Not saying that I’m an expert, but I do spend about 60% of my disposable income on attending hunt balls. So here goes with a list of the things you are bound to see…
1 Some guy in red tails prancing around like he’s some sort of superhero combination of all the best Jilly Cooper heroes. Actually he’s third whip for the neighbouring Division Five pack, and Mummy still plaits his horse and fills his hip flask.
2 The hunt chairman and his jolly wife having a lovely bop to “Blurred Lines”. Always awkward to watch when they go for a tender embrace across the line “I’ll tear your ass in two”
3 Why has the disabled loo been engaged for the last twenty minutes? Clue: nothing to do with either broken locks, or food poisoning. VERY NAUGHTY
4 Dresses that should never have been designed, let alone created. Favourites are always the classic “mutton dressed as lamb”, anything extremely short (referred to once, memorably, as “greyhound dresses”*), feathers, and bridesmaid pastels on anyone over the age of 15
5 Misinterpretation of the dress code
6 That one girl who insists on wearing a tiara
7 Casual food fights when the main course gets boring
“Oooh look at my amazing cricketing aim”
“Nooo Anna we’re throwing food at the Pony Club table, not the one where the joint Masters and committee are sitting”
8 The divide during the horn blowing between the people who take it very seriously, and the people doing it because their horrendously drunk friends convinced them that it would be a good idea
9 When the end of the night comes round and someone gets massively upset because the DJ has failed to play “Mr Brightside” or another hunt ball classic
10 The couple lying in a heap on the floor because he attempted a lift and she forgot to tell him that she packed on a stone after taking up the Pill
11 Emergency dress repairs- what’s a flashed nipple between friends?
12 Someone usually decides that the entire hunt needs to see them take off their shirt. Spoiler alert: this is rarely the scrumptious new subscriber, and almost always the aged terrier man with a beer belly and a dodgy tattoo
13 Hunt staff gone wild. Yes that is the huntsman doing some sort of breakdancing. No, he won’t be walking the hounds out at 6am tomorrow. Oh yes, he has now beckoned for the lady MFH to join him….
14 That group of girls assessing their BFF’s ex’s new girlfriend and passing (not so) silent judgement:”DOWNGRADE”
15 The same group of girls later dancing in an awkward huddle because a particularly sweaty and unattractive man has approached them and is trying to make eye contact
16 There is always massive, massive drama in the ladies’ loos. Guys, you never want to go there. Unless of course the men’s loos are also occupied by drunk chaps telling you their life story in between vomiting and crying
17 That poor bottle of wine that has been to every hunt function raffle since its bottling in 1997
18 Why does that woman look like she has just been sick in her mouth? Well the man speaking to her ghosted five years ago and has just decided to creep on her after realising that actually, no, he couldn’t do better. Her expression is the universal “I can’t believe I once touched his penis”
19 Speaking of vomit, someone normally has. Poor cleaning people
20 The sober designated driver trying to convince a plastered teenage girl that she really does need a lift home
21 Hunt ball debris: raffle tickets, crumpled napkins, assorted sugar and cheese spillage, lone shoes, a fur slipped off it chair
22 Terriermen getting too drunk and having a “friendly” fight with the local foot pack over who has the most fierce Patterdale terrier
23 Re- applying your lipstick at 1am and realising that your make up has all made a desperate dash for somewhere near your chin
24 Some girl-on-girl action on the dance floor. Always the same two friends, who kiss each other passionately every time they drink
25 The photo booth being overrun by middle- aged people who can’t quite get over the novelty of having their photograph taken in a pink wig, oversized sunglasses, and something that may have once been a fox
26 That couple who think that they’re all romantic like Christina and Will eloping in Flambards, when actually he’s already talking to another girl(s) on Tinder
27 Five women with identical updos because they all went to the same hairdresser and asked her to “put it up somehow”
28 When the lights go on, everyone scurries out of corners, the music ends, you feel a little more sober, and you take a proper look at the person you’ve been grinding with all night….
29 And when you leave and start counting down to the next one….
*The technical definition is “an inch from the hare”. Or “hair.” And no, not the hair on one’s head