Thady Ryan, believed to be the longest-serving master of hounds in the British Isles, died in New Zealand last Friday, aged 82.
Ryan was senior master for 58 years of Ireland’s famous Scarteen (Black and Tans) hunt. A man of great charm, he was one of the most admired huntsmen of the 20th century.
Thady was the seventh generation of the Ryan family to own and hunt the Scarteen’s distinctive pack of Kerry Beagles in Tipperary and Limerick during the past 300 years.
Thady hunted them for 41 years from 1946 and his hounds achieved a remarkable reputation, attracting many keen visitors from England, the USA and elsewhere.
An exceptional horseman, Thady played a major role in championing the Irish half-bred, and was awarded life membership of the Royal Dublin Society.
He was a founder member of the Irish Horse Board and a leading hunter judge. He was also chef d’equipe of Ireland’s Olympic eventing teams in Mexico and Tokyo.
In latter years, Thady lived mainly in New Zealand, the native country of his wife, Anne. He is survived by his son, Chris, who hunts the Scarteen, two other sons and a daughter.