Well what a morning! As we drove in our costumes to the Hillsborough Country Club for our Sunday meet, I was reminded of Noel Coward’s song "Mad Dogs and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun" but no sun today just a storm barreling in that broadcasters described as "disastrous and historic" So maybe Noel Coward was really addressing fox hunters.
I thought with such a terrific showing at the Essex joint- meet the previous day (17 Amwell members went out) and with the storm approaching we would have a very small field. But when I arrived at 7.30am, the few spots of rain had cleared up, while still somewhat gloomy the sight of 27 riders wearing an array of amazing costumes was enough to warm ones heart and lift the spirits. As people adjusted their horses, their hats, their make-up and in some cases their antennae, the storm was put aside.
We crossed the road to Mr. and Mrs. McGarren’s Farm, and gathered while Robin Hood (Master Stephen) welcomed the field, explained we had 14 1/2 couple of hounds and the field would be led by a Stink Bug (Master Joanne). So after thanking Mr. and Mrs. McGarren (Headless Horseman) for being our hosts, we took off, clowns frills flapping in the breeze, (Samantha and Mr Nibbs both in colorful attire) a man hound (Charlie) Indiana Jones (Ralph), a horseradish (Lauren), Austin Powers, (Richard, surely you were kidding when you said they were clothes from the back of your closet?) and a fox in evening attire with hound, (MP and her horse Jack) whipped by.
Normally as we progress towards the air park we meet the odd deer hunter and as I said to the Elf and Santa’s deer behind me (Brooke and her horse) I was dying to see their faces at the parade. None were spotted, and with the wind gradually picking up, I saw one fox, but the scent must have been terrible as 2 hounds took off in the opposite direction, I’m sure all other self-respecting foxes had gone to ground to beat the storm.
Now here’s where yours truly messed up, Declan my old campaigner a little excited by my fox head gear earlier in the day, decided that he was having none of all the excitement and wanted to lead the field! (Silly boy I tried to explain it was a Stink Bugs turn!) So when Master Joanne decided to turn left on a trail to follow our huntsman-Steve F, I was in the way. So we went straight on and then spent a bit of time dashing this way and that trying to catch up. I thought my dear husband was going to shoot me with a sucky end arrow.
When we found the hounds at the edge of the pond, I think the dash resulted in our Sugar Daddy (Roy) having lost a few dollars from his jacket, our jesters looked bemused (Lori and Sue) and the dazzling diamond display on Sue’s mare had started to run, our red matching matadors, had lost sleeve embellishments (Lynnette and Brian), one renaissance lady looked even more deathly pale (Maria) 2 scarecrows were slightly coming apart at the seams (Donna and Ruth), Tonto and Roy Rodgers somewhat flushed (Steve P and Katy who said her butt hurt riding on a rough blanket). A bright yellow chicken had almost blinded herself on her own feathers (Wendy H) our fearless Stinkbug leader had lost headgear, Linda’s coconut shells from her Hawaiian costume had clanked together beating time to her horses canter and were in jeopardy of cracking, our Viking however, still looked splendid (Christine) but pirates had the look of a rough night on the town (Jacqui and Kat) and despite Thing 1,2 and 3 still looking fresh (pony clubbers and they are young!) and Jeanne who cut a fine figure in her military attire, it was time to turn for home.
All I can say is not a good idea to ride in a full fox costume, it’s amazingly hot and sitting on a tail is quite uncomfortable- no comments please!
After almost 3 hours, the wind had picked up considerably, and the sky started to look ominously dark, it was with relief to return where we had the pleasure of a party hosted by Nadia and Shelly who had helped to further decorate the barn and provided a fabulous spread, before everyone dashed home to prepare for Hurricane Sandy.
They say that we will all remember Hurricane Sandy, and will never see a storm like it again in our life time, which I hope we won’t, but I will always remember our Halloween Hunt as being part of quite a momentous weekend.
Sue Dehaven looking splendid and the efforts of getting up at 4am!!!
Ps If I have missed you out I am so sorry, and if I described your outfit incorrectly again sorry but you looked great!