The Hound Welfare Fund dinner and auction held on 4 June in Lexington, USA, raised just over $68,000 (£42,000) with all proceeds going towards looking after retired hounds from the area.

With annual running costs of around $30,000 a year to look after 25-30 hounds the hunt exceeded its expectations with plenty of interest in the lots and the fund coming from H&H website users.

The most expensive lot bought was the exclusive Andre Pater charcoal and pastel piece entitled ‘Awake’ which was unveiled on the night and went for $16,000.

Other lots bought included a Hazel Morgan painting ($3,500), a Belinda Sillars bronze ($2,000) and a day of exclusive hunting with the Iroquois Hunt.

One of the active hunting hounds, and new mother to a litter of nine, Cottesmore Baffle 06 made a special appearance at the pre-dinner cocktail party to meet and greet the guests whose bids will help provide for her when she retires from the working pack.

Christopher Oakford, of the Hound Welfare Fund, said: “What we raised is enough to keep them in dog food and pay their medical bills for quite some time.

“The amount of traffic to the blog from viewers of Horse & Hound was tremendous and we can’t tell you how much we and the retired hounds appreciate it.”

For more information about the fund please visit their website: www.houndwelfarefund.org or blog: http://houndwelfare.wordpress.com/