Mike and Diane de Kock and Kevin Shea were invited to Falcon Hunting in the Dubai desert with Sheikh Saeed bin Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum this week. He is the eldest son of Summerhill client Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum.
Explains Sheikh Mohammed’s right-hand man, Mohammed Khaleel: “Falcon Hunting is a substitute to hunting with a gun which gives equal chance to the hunt, because we must always remember a falcon hunts for itself not for the human, so the hunter’s job is to have him fit and strong enough to chase the hunt and at times fight on the ground which, believe it or not, is more tiring than flying.
“Plus the falcon should be brave enough. You achieve this with daily training and strict diet, he must be hungry enough to hunt. The blindfold is a hood to keep them calm, you have to keep them hungry enough to hunt. If they are without a hood, any bird or animal movement will get them excited and they could get hurt. In the natural habitat the falcons eat in the desert or the mountains and plains, we feed them on their hunt.”
Extract from Mike de Kock Racing