The sudden death over the weekend of Michael Dalton, Cloughaleigh, Golden, Co Tipperary has caused a major shock both to his family and to the entire greyhound fraternity.
Aged only 43, he had already achieved huge success as an owner and as a breeder, particularly with his runners that carried the Airport and Express prefixes.
His father Pat Dalton is of course a legend in greyhound circles both internationally and in Ireland. He was awarded the prestigious Hall of Fame by the Irish Greyhound Board in 2003 and was co-opted as a member of the Irish Coursing Club in 2010.
We extend our sincerest sympathy to Michael’s wife Mary Jo, son Gavin, daughter Lauren, parents Pat and Nellie, brothers John and Patrick, sister Marie as well as to his extended family and friends.
Reposing at Devitt’s Funeral Home, Cashel on Tuesday (June 27th) from 5pm with removal at 7.30pm to the Church of the Blessed Sacrament, Golden. Requiem Mass on Wednesday at 1pm followed by burial in the adjoining cemetery.
May he Rest in Peace.
The provisional fixtures list for the 2017/18 coursing season can now be found in Fixtures (under Coursing on top tool bar of this website).
Please note that these dates must be ratified by the delegates at the AGM of the Irish Coursing Club on Wednesday 16th August.
Please also note that when the ICC Executive Committee meet on July 6th one of the main items for discussion will be the dates for the 2018 National Meeting. The favoured dates at the recent Provincial Meetings were Saturday, Sunday, Monday 3rd, 4th and 5th February. However since then a possible clash with a new major sporting event has come to light so the dates for Clonmel may have to be revisited.
A huge thank you to everyone who supported our Coursing Awards & Dinner Dance at the Charleville Park Hotel on Saturday 1st April. Sincere thanks to our Award Sponsors: Greyhound & Pet World Abbeyfeale; Flaherty Markets Galway; Event Power Ltd Thurles; National Meeting Bookmakers; Brian & Noelle Divilly; Michael Horgan Mitchelstown; Bridget Byrne Surrey.
Of course it is the attendees who also make this night so special and we were thrilled to have over 300 once again for what was the 15th Annual Awards Night. Westmeath, Kilkenny, Cork and Limerick were very well represented this year as were the Abbeydorney coursing club who held their field development draw during the evening. The biggest cheer (and standing ovation) was reserved for Hall of Fame recipient Jimmy Darcy and his wife Anna. However for us Tipperary people the most memorable moment was the emotional rendition of Slievenamon from two other Kilkenny men Brian Doyle & Tommy Norton on Sunday morning.
We would also like to pay tribute to our superb band who suffered a very close family bereavement just a few days earlier but honoured the booking despite how difficult it must have been for them all. Thank You.
Our photo shows owners Dr Paddy & Mary O’Kelly, trainer Gerry Holian and breeder Denis Guiney receiving their trophies from Kathleen & Liam Murphy of Greyhound and Pet World after Reikers Island was announced the ICC Greyhound of the Year.
More photos on this week’s Sporting Press (April 13th).
What a coursing season it was for the Carr family from Killucan, Co Westmeath and indeed for everyone at Westmeath Utd coursing club. They had a path worn from Tables 7 and 8 to the stage at the ICC Awards & Dinner Dance last Saturday night in the Charleville Park Hotel. Sporting Press Progress Charts for Killucan Rose & Howdododo, the Charity Fantasy Coursing cheque for David & Declan Carr, the Patsy Byrne Junior Nominator Award for Caoimhe Ivory and Michael Horgan’s ‘Road to Glory’ Award for Westmeath Utd coursing club.
However the highlight of the night for them all was the Coursing Bitch of the Year Award presentation for Killucan Rose, very kindly sponsored by Flaherty Market’s, Galway.
Our photo shows Kevin Carr accepting the 2017 ICC Bitch of the Year Award from Martin Flaherty (presenting on behalf of his dad Jimmy) with members of the Carr family, Lucy Flaherty, ICC President Brian Divilly and ICC CEO DJ Histon.
“If you could come up with a definition of what a coursing man should be, look no further than Jimmy Darcy. He is a breeder, owner, trainer of distinction, club working member and of course has great respect for the Irish hare. He is a man we all aspire to be like and he is an inspiration to us all”.
Those were the words of DJ Histon, CEO Irish Coursing Club as he welcomed Jimmy Darcy into the ICC Hall of Fame at the Coursing Awards & Dinner Dance last weekend. As Jimmy and his wife Anna came to the stage to accept his Award from sponsors Brian and Noelle Divilly he received his second standing ovation of the evening. The first had come a short time earlier when the guests had watched a moving tribute to Jimmy which had been filmed at the Johnstown & Urlingford coursing field in Woodsgift and at his home.
Our photo shows Jimmy accepting his Award from sponsor and ICC President Brian Divilly whilst Anna accepts a bouquet from Noelle Divilly. Also in photo are Jimmy’s children Jimmy jnr and Marie, two of his grandsons James and Conor and his many friends from Johnstown and neighbouring coursing clubs.
Unlucky Champion Bitch Stakes runner-up Blades of Glory has produced some exceptionally fast greyhounds since being retired to the breeding paddocks.
However as owner Denis Guiney said at the ICC Awards on Saturday night last he thought a Classic win was going to elude her. That all changed of course on January 30th of this year when two of her sons Reikers Island and the Guiney family owned Blades Of Fire divided the 2017 BoyleSports Derby.
Their sister Our Miztique also reached the quarter-final of the Oaks so it was no surprise that Blades Of Glory was voted ICC Brood Bitch of the Year for the second time in three years.
Our photo shows Mike O’Connell (representing sponsor Richard Maher of Event Power Ltd, Thurles) presenting the trophy to Denis’s mam Mary and members of the Guiney family together with trainer Gerry Holian and Jacqueline Farrell.
In the 15 year history of the ICC Stud Dog of the Year Award only five different dogs have won the Award including Adios Alonso who took his third title this year.
The other winners are Hilltown (5), Bexhill Eoin (4) and Ashmore View, Kingsmill Dynamo and Razor Ashmore with one Award each.
Adios Alonso had previously won the Award which is kindly sponsored by the National Meeting Bookmakers in 2013 and 2015 so he appears to be making a habit of winning every second year. This might be of some comfort to other Stud Dog owners as we head towards the 2017/18 season !!!.
However there was no doubting his supremacy during the season just gone, siring the Oaks winner Knockout Glory and the two Derby dividers Reikers Island and Blades Of Fire as well as a host of other big stake winners and National Meeting qualifiers.
Our photo shows Michael Sheil representing the National Meeting Bookmakers presenting the trophy at the ICC Awards last weekend to Gerry Holian who trained Adios Alonso to win the 2010 Derby. To the right of Michael is John O’Sullivan who co-owns the dog with Richard Maher and Basil Holian.
Many congratulations to our ICC Award Winners for 2017.
A big thank you also to our Award Sponsors and to all of you who voted.
Our photo shows 2017 Greyhound of the Year, Reikers Island, with Dr Paddy & Mary O’Kelly.
Greyhound & Pet World Abbeyfeale Coursing Dog of the Year
Flaherty Markets Galway Coursing Bitch of the Year
National Meeting Bookmakers Coursing Stud Dog of the Year
Event Power Ltd Thurles Coursing Brood Bitch of the Year
BLADES OF GLORY
Hall of Fame Award (Kindly sponsored by Brian Divilly)
JIMMY DARCY, Urlingford, Co Kilkenny
Please be advised that following the prohibited substance testing procedures carried out at the recent Irish Cup Meeting, all samples have been certified as Negative.
The Irish Coursing Club would like to thank owners, trainers and staff for co-operating fully with the process to ensure the integrity of our sport is maintained.
Full details on this week’s Sporting Press.
Skellig Shane has added the blue riband of All Age coursing, The Irish Cup, to the Jim Howard Cup (Rathcormac) and Kingdom Cup (Co Kerry) won earlier in the season. It was a great day for owners Tim & Rose O’Driscoll, Glanmire, Cork and trainer Denis O’Driscoll, Skibbereen. Like last year’s winning owners of Foot Solution they now have an Irish Cup to display beside their Coursing Oaks trophy won in 2011. Rose & Tim also bred Skellig Shane who is a son of Mafi Magic and Skellig Beag.
The final of the Irish Cup was almost an exact replica of 12 months ago with Drive On Smokey taking a flier from slips like he did on that occasion. However it was to be heartbreak once again for his connections as Skellig Shane loomed upsides him as they approached halfway. Full credit to Smokey who didn’t let the winner go past him easily but had to give in at the end to the superior stamina of a worthy victor who was third favourite at 9/1 before the event got underway on Friday morning.
When the draw was made for the Patsy Byrne All Age Bitch Stake all the talk was about the top class All Age Bitches entered for this year’s renewal. However in the end they had to give way to two super pups which had caught the eye in Clonmel a few weeks ago. On that occasion Finn Dancer had recorded the fastest clock in RD1 of the Oaks and Mother Of Pearl had put in a very fast clock in the Kitty Butler. Finn Dancer went to slips as favourite for the final but got behind early and had no answer to the Sir Mark Prescott owned and Michael O’Donovan trained Mother Of Pearl. In her previous course the winner had surprised Champion Stakes winner Killucan Rose.
There was compensation for the connections of the original Irish Cup favourite Octane Wonder when he took the Irish Purse. The winner had run brilliantly throughout this stake but Domain King made him work very hard in the final. The loser built up a nice lead in the early stages, lost it, but then came again at the very end which admittedly was almost at the escape making it difficult for the Judge. In fairness he was in the right position to make the difficult call.
There was no braver winner today than the pup For The Parish in the Irish Plate. The hare brought him & his opponent all the way back to the slippers hut in their quarter final and many thought he might be withdrawn. However he came from behind in his semi-final to gain a narrow verdict and set himself up with a final match against Alcar. When his early lead in final petered out we thought he would have no more to give but how wrong we were and he fought back much to the delight of all the neutrals in the stand.
Bexhill River, Ardmore Magic, Gadget Eoin and Pay Me Later were the winners of the supporting events and congratulations to all of their connections.
And so concludes the 2016/17 Coursing Season. Well done to everyone at Co Limerick Coursing Club who put on another very good show and made us all wish we didn’t have to wait seven months before we go to slips again.
Of course we do have the ICC Awards to look forward to in April and voting for the four Greyhound Award categories will be open to all paid up members of our web site in approx two weeks time. Make sure to cast YOUR vote.