Every Fox Hunting Club I know feels its important to put on a Hunt Ball, for some it’s a celebration of their club, for others its an important means of fund raising, for some its a chance to don ones best clothes and have some fun. The Amwell Hunt Ball seems to be a combination of all of these things, and my how it has changed over the years I’ve been attending.
My first Hunt Ball with Amwell was as a guest and landowner. I wasn’t too keen on going along, but was persuaded. I found everyone incredibly friendly and welcoming, but Master Stephen and I sat on a table of just three of us and the room seemed somewhat barren of attendees. I can’t seem to remember a silent auction, and while I danced a bit, we felt a little overwhelmed by the lack of people to the size of the room.
How different the AVH Ball is today, and as I arrived at the Fiddlers Elbow with our guests (all 22 of them!) I just had to smile when I looked at the room as it looked magnificent; I loved the hound names at the tables and was especially delighted to be sat on the table called Gadget. Our guest were baffled until I explained that Gadget or known in the Buxton household as “Gadgey Baby” was a hound that we brought up, and loved to bits. We knew it was time for her to go back to the kennels when she started to take off on our walks around the farm, hot on the scent of a fox, leading our three dogs behind her. Not the best when one has to rush to work and rescue four dogs first, and we certainly couldn’t tell her off!
Anyway, the photo booth was ingenious, and huge thanks go to Kris Spillane and Nadia Rosen for donating it for the evening. Now if you are one of those that made silly faces, or were caught adjusting bra straps, checking your teeth for lipstick or checking your pose when the camera flashed, you are caught- as the ladies informed me they have the master disc with all the photos on. Lets hope they don’t decide to release the top candid shots of the evening!
After the welcome by our three Masters and a thank you for all the hard work for the evening, Master Joanne announced the Marc Torselleri Award. I had forgotten to warn Gus Torselleri whose Uncle it is named after, and he was incredibly moved by the gesture that his favorite Uncle would be remembered in this way. But with the sentiments of the award made to someone who has gained their “Colors” at least ten years ago, demonstrated leadership, commitment above and beyond, shared the values that Marc represented, it was wonderful to learn that Brian was the recipient this year. I can think of no one who deserved it more.
I know Wendy Furlong had suffered much angst about the Silent Auction but the display (thank you Katy and MP) looked fabulous and Wendy’s cajoling certainly worked, along with a very nice raffle prize which one one of our guests won.
I loved the shortened format of the Whip Cracking contest, and in the “crack off” young Joe Possum out classed the field of adults to a resounding victory.
The food was excellent, the band played on and by the time the evening ended I am sure many had sore feet as well as a few tired and aching legs from all the dancing. Several people told me on the way out just how the evening had flown by.
All I can say is it was a grand evening that certainly ranks in my opinion as our best Hunt Ball ever! Well done Wendy and Wendy. Goodness knows how you will surpass that next year!