The Dubarry Horn and Hound Ball 2018

The Centaur, Cheltenham Racecourse2018 Sponsors2018 guests taking their seats

The fifth Dubarry Horn and Hound Ball took place this year at Cheltenham Racecourse on Saturday 21st April, and brought the 2017/18 hunting season to a close with a night to remember!

The Hunt Staff Benefit Society’s biggest annual fundraiser again brought together over 400 hunt supporters from Hunts and Packs across the country for a fabulous evening celebrating their united love of the sport, whilst also raising vital funds for the Society.

The Pol Roger Champagne reception was enjoyed in glorious sunshine, the perfect opportunity for hunting friends old and new to catch up with each other, with the Dubarry photo booth taken full advantage of, before guests headed in for a delicious three course dinner in the beautifully decorated Centaur building.

The much anticipated National Horn Blowing Competition followed coffee, sponsored this year by E.P. Barrus Ltd, and of course it proved as competitive as ever! (You can watch a video of the competition on the Hound and Hound Ball Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/HornandHoundBall/videos/1006559319497320/)

This year’s ten competitors were Duncan Cinnamond (Cotley Harriers), Ben Dalton (Croome and West Warwickshire), James Davies (Monmouthshire), Ashley Doherty M.H. (Brighton, Storrington, Surrey and North Sussex), Rupert Inglesant M.F.H. (Cotswold), Robert Medcalf (South Devon), Robert Moffatt (Royal Artillery), Jake Oppenheim (Cheshire), Stuart Radbourne M.F.H. (Avon Vale) and Gareth Watchman M.F.H. (South Durham).

After a tough contest, culminating in a tense ‘Blow off’ for second place, the winners were revealed by the judges Jacky Thomas M.F.H. and Alastair Jackson. Runner up Duncan Cinnamondfrom the Cotley Harriers was just pipped at the post by this year’s Champion, Jake Oppenheim from the Cheshire, who took home the much coveted Dorian Williams Horse & Hound Trophy, presented this year by Capt. Ian Farquhar. Both the winner and runner up received engraved hunting horns, kindly sponsored by Horse & Hound. A huge thank you and well done to everyone who took part, and we look forward to welcoming back Jake as a judge next year.

The Silent Auction, which opened online two weeks before the event and continued running throughout the evening with iPads on every table, was brought to a close with the live auction of three rather special lots, and raised a record-breaking total of £37,000. The generosity of all the donors surpassed all expectations and we are incredibly grateful to those who provided such wonderful lots, as well as to all those who bid.

Of course this fundraiser would not have been possible without the incredibly generous support of our all wonderful sponsors- many of whom were in attendance on the night. With huge thanks to Dubarry of Ireland, our headline sponsor for the third year running, Pol Roger, Lycetts, the Coniston Hotel, Barrus Ltd, Horse & Hound, Jenkins Group Holdings, The Countryside Alliance, Butler Sherborne, Bowlby Equine, Frankie Price Equine, The Hunting Stock Market, Bluecuckoo, Ben Pauling Racing, Glaze & Gordon, CKD and Calcutts & Sons.

With particular thanks also to Cheltenham Racecourse, who looked after us superbly, the artist Mary Ann Rogers, who again very kindly allowed her fabulous Hound designs to be used as the Ball’s logo, and to Sarah Farnsworth Photography, who offered her services free of charge and perfectly captured the evening for us. Photos of the night can be viewed and bought from Sarah’s website, following this link (https://www.sarahfarnsworth.co.uk/p213693297).

These fundraisers only work if we have the support of the Hunting community and so a huge thank you goes to all those who attended and supported this event- we really hope you enjoyed yourselves and we look forward to seeing you all next year!

The 2018 National Horn Blowing Competition Competitors  The 2018 Champion, Jake Oppenheim from the Cheshire, being presented with the Dorian Williams Horse & Hound Trophy by Capt. Ian FarquharGuests dancing into the night with 29 Fingers