The East Antrim Hounds had a change of date this year for their annual hunt ball due to the refurbishment of The Grand Ballroom at the Dunadry Hotel and they were not disappointed. It was well worth the wait for the new décor and luxurious surroundings.
After the drinks reception Huntsman Robbie Hodge blew the horn inviting the master, members and guests into the Grand Ballroom for a beautiful meal. A huge thank you goes thanks to Malachy and the staff of the Dunadry.
Master Robert McKnight said Grace while Kerrie Knipe, on behalf of the Master, thanked all the farmers and land owners over whose land the hunt crossed over during the year.
Thanks were also conveyed to Wilson Dennison for the use of his land at the Point-to-Point and to all the sponsors at various events through out the year.
During the meal there was a digital display of photographs of all the hunts and events throughout the year including those that had joined the Tumblers Club.
A new member to the Tumblers Club was a waiter on the night getting everyone’s attention as he fell with a clatter and a bang. But he jumped up quickly and burst into song having the guests all singing along waving their napkins to various songs from Dean Martin’s That’s Amore to Galway Girl, Sweet Caroline and finishing with Pavarotti’s Nessun Dorma.
The atmosphere was truly set for the charity auction and donation draw raising £3,600 for Cancer Fund For Children NI.
Auctioneer for the night was Connor Strain who with his patter soon had fierce bidding for Lot 1, a corporate day for 10 people at the Magners Ulster Derby for 10 People in the Guinness Suite. This was sold to Brendan Doherty and James Gillespie visiting Masters from Mid Antrim Hunt.
Lot 2, a Magowan Tyres voucher for £300 tyres, was bought back by Darryl Magowan.
Dancing then got underway with “The Untouchables” who soon had the floor filled to capacity.
In the interval auditions were held for the “Horn Blowing” Competition which was hotly contested with Roy Logan Jnr and Grant McCullough sharing the bottle of champagne.
Thanks go to the charity sponsors Down Royal Race Course - Mike Todd; Magowan Tyres, Mallusk and Carrick – Darryl Magowan; The Dunadry Hotel; Healy’s Haylage – John Healy; The RUAS, Balmoral Show; and of course all those who bid in the auction and to those who gave in the donation draw.
Thanks to Sarah Kinnear, Kerrie Knipe and Diane Gibson for a very successful and enjoyable night that was had by all.
The next event is the Point-to-Point Races on Easter Saturday and Easter Monday at Loughanmore, Dunadry First Race 2pm.