MANY hunt followers will be sad to hear that the remarkable Connemara Pony Harvey (by Templebready Fear Bui), who graced the hunting fields of Meath and Louth for nearly two decades, has passed on.

His original owner, Olivia Duff, proprietor of The Headford Arms Hotel in Kells, hunted Harvey since he was a four-year-old with the Meath Foxhounds for a remarkable 12 seasons. She described him as brilliant, quirky, possessed an exceptional brain, loved his job, and had often hunted three days a week. Remarkably he was never a day lame. She called him ‘Twinkle Toes’ as he was so careful, and always finished with the hounds.

Olivia recalled one day when the Meaths had a cracking run on the last day of the season over the most challenging ditch country and Harvey was one of only seven that finished with the hounds out of a field of 70. Olivia showed him at the Dublin Horse Show on a couple of occasions, but Harvey did not have the patience for the showring, preferring the wide-open spaces of Meath with a pack of hounds. He had a liking for classical music on the radio. Although he snorted at water and sand, he never put a foot wrong in 12 seasons.

When Harvey showed a change in pace, Olivia passed him on to a good home with the Boylan family. Gerry, his wife Louise, and their daughter Abigail are members of the Louth Foxhounds where Gerry is joint-master. In Olivia’s words, Harvey had gone to a very special home where he was treated like royalty.

Abigail hunted him with the Louth Foxhounds for another seven seasons. Both Olivia and Abigail are devastated at the loss of Harvey, truly a horse of a lifetime. They are so grateful to the team at Lisadell Equine Clinic for their exceptional care of Harvey.