The Westmeath Hunt


The earliest records of hunting in Westmeath date from circa 1690 when Bishop Dopping of Meath kept a pack of hounds at Lowtown near Killucan.

The hunting season began in November and ended in March and weather permitting, members and followers would expect to enjoy up to eighty days hunting in a season.

Prior to the introduction of tennis and golf, hunting provided the only sporting recreational outlet available to the female landed gentry.

At the conclusion of the hunting season an annual steeplechase race meeting was organised which was confined to members of the Hunt and to supportive farmers.

The highlight of the social calendar was always the annual Hunt Ball. It is first recorded as having being held at Ballinlough Castle in 1861 and at Knockdrin Castle in 1865.

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