Over 300 people attended a most enjoyable and interesting evening at the wonderful home of Newsells Park Stud to raise funds for the Puckeridge Hunt. It was good to see so many Puckeridge subscribers and supporters, along with a diverse range of visitors from racing and hunting backgrounds soaking up the atmosphere created by the beautiful surroundings on a wonderful balmy summer’s evening.
We were welcomed with canapes and drinks before the start of a most impressive parade of Newsells Park Stud resident Stallions, broodmares and foals (including Equiano and Nathaniel and a particularly attractive Mare and Frankel foal). We were then treated to a very entertaining speech by Sir Mark Prescott in which he relayed some very amusing anecdotes raising much laughter. The evening was rounded off with a most successful ‘Auction of Promises’ with some very impressive and, judging by the sums raised, desirable Lots.
The Puckeridge Hunt Ball was held on Saturday 5th November at Brent Pelham. The weather proved much kinder than the previous year with no monsoon on the preceding days so the wellies weren’t needed this year although it was the coldest night of the year so far. However the lure of the dance floor soon warmed everyone up after the 400 or so guests had been wined and dined courtesy of wonderful food done by Di Pyper and her merry band of helpers. The waitresses all of whom either hunted or were members of the Pony Club looked after everyone brilliantly and then all took to the dance floor or if they were feeling brave, ventured onto the Bucking Bronco which soon drew a large crowd of vocally encouraging onlookers. When the evening finished in the small hours the dance floor was still full …. A good few tales were there to be recounted when many of the guests next went hunting ….!
The inaugural ‘Country Tour’ sponsored ride took place on Sunday 11th September. The first of 120 riders starting at 9.30 am in glorious weather. Months of preparation, route planning, sign making, entry processing and the help of about 40 people on the day itself made it a great success.
The ride was approximately twelve miles long, with a six mile option, and went north from Albury Hall towards Furneux Pelham and Brent Pelham mainly across private land which is not generally open to the public. There was a mixture of open views, woodland, parkland with some optional jumps along the way. The day was completed by a delicious BBQ at the start/finish as well as a refreshment stop half way along the twelve mile route.
A total of about £3,000 was raised for the hunt. This is a great base from which to grow the event in future years. The Herts Air Ambulance has also said how grateful they are for our continued support and they raised an additional total of £1,200.
All the feedback from the ride participants has been very positive. Thank you to landowners, hunt supporters, hunt staff and many other friends and family who all gave their time and help.