Betting on Drag Hunting
While betting on drag hunting isn’t popular, betting on Hound Trailing is. Betting is an integral part of this sport and a reason why it maintains its popularity to this day, particularly Ireland and England.
In Ireland, the hound trailing season runs from March to September, and events take place on weekend. Hound trailing is a very old sport. In fact, it dates back to the late 1800s. As the story goes, two hunters were arguing over whose pack was faster. The men decided the only way to know was to have a competition. The premise of the competition was simple – the pack that found and tracked the scent first won. Many bets were placed on the outcome of the competition. It turned out to such an enjoyable event by all that participated, that it became a regular occurrence (betting included!).
Hound trailing can include a form of gambling – similar to horse racing – and is regulated by hound trailing organisations.
The Hound Trailing Association was the first club created specifically for this sport. It formed in 1906 and covered all hound trailing competitions in England and Ireland.The Borders Hound Trailing Associations – formed in the 1930s – also covered England and Ireland, but included Scotland, too.
While drag hunting only uses Bloodhounds, hound trailing is open to any breed of scent hound. Packs can be 20 to 30 dogs in size, and each competition can have 4 to 6 packs taking part. Anyone wanting to take part in the race is required to be a member of the association, and each hound must be registered.
The race will take place over moorland, fields and fell. The association gets permission from farm owners to use their land for part of the trail. The full course takes anywhere from 25 to 45 minutes. There is prize money for the owners, and gambling winning for the viewers at stake.