Reprinted from yesterday's late editions
It was billed as hunt ball. But it turned out to be a combination hunt breakfast and ball for Hunt Night at the Capital Centre Wednesday night. The hunting pinks were there in force as were the Miltons, black ties and even one plaid jacket adorning a partygoer.
The fare was eggs Benedict, and the popular drinks were Bloody Marys and screwdrivers for the weary horseshow crowd.
Norwegian Ambassador Soren Sommerfelt, who will be posted to Rome later this year, presented the hunt prize of the evening to the Fairfax County Hunty. "The ambassador's interest in horses is genuine," said True Davis, president of the Horse Show. "His daughter is a show rider. They also have a general interest in horse because a major Norwegian competitor will be running at the Washington International at Laurel on Nov. 4."
The horse show crowd and the hunt crowd don't mix very often, although there were 32 hunts represented Wednesday showing the skills that are "indigenous to this region," according to former horse show president Bruce Sundlun.
In the horse world there is a saying that there are those who ride to hunt and those who hunt to ride. Wednesday the crowd was divided between those who ride to compete and those who hunt. Diana Norris, who rides with the Orange County Hunt here, is one of the latter. Her three children had come to watch her compete in the Ladies' Sidesaddle Hunter Class.
"It is a whole different story between fox hunting and the jumper competition that goes on here. I appreciate what those high-jumping horses are doing: they are fine athletes," she said. "But they are freaks like basketball players. They seem to listen to their riders and take those huge jumps. A hunt horse is more concerned with looking after himself, and that's a test of a rider too."