THE fundraising Bilsdale Hunt Ball has collected more than £5,000 to help cover the hunt's running costs.

The annual ball is used by the hunt as a means to collect funds it then spends on its hounds.

The dogs are kennelled with the Hurworth Hunt's hounds, at West Rounton, near Northallerton, and the money from the ball covers the upkeep of the kennels and provides food for the hounds.

Hunt secretary Catherine Windross said: "It was an absolutely fabulous night. We raised more than £5,000, which is better than we normally manage to collect from the ball."

The Bilsdale Hunt is the oldest in England. It was set up in 1668 by George Villiers, the Duke of Buckingham.

The ball takes its alternative name, the Buckingham Ball, from the hunt's aristocratic founder. This year's event was held at Thirsk Racecourse and more than 220 people attended.

The money was raised through ticket sales and sponsorship, as well as games played on the night