with Horse and Hound

MFHA Elects Tony Leahy President; Promises Season of Celebration

tony leahyMFHA President Tony LeahyTony Leahy, MFH of the Fox River Valley Hunt (IL), was elected to a three-year term as President of the Masters of Foxhounds Association at the Annual Meeting held on Friday, January 27, 2017 in New York. Leslie Rhett Crosby, MFH, Mooreland Hunt (AL) was elected First Vice President and Penny Denegre, MFH, Middleburg Hunt (VA) was elected Second Vice President. Also, David Twiggs was officially confirmed as the MFHA’s new Executive Director.

Retiring Executive Director Dennis Foster will remain at the office for another two months to complete David’s training. Upon his official retirement, Dennis will continue to assist the MFHA in animal rights and other areas, on a consulting basis.

I had the distinct honor of addressing the Annual Meeting crowd, the largest crowd I have ever seen, to relate how special David and his family are, and to explain President Leahy’s vision for an upcoming season of celebration. It was literally standing room only.

The David Twiggs Family
We recognized Sally Rasmussen, ex-MFH, Shakerag Hounds (GA), for giving the Twiggs their first good dose of foxhunting. Then I explained how lucky we were at Belle Meade to have the family move to Thomson and join the Belle Meade Hunt.

“How many of your hunts have ten percent of the people doing ninety percent of the work?” I asked. Most of the hands went up.

I told them how David and Ashley Twiggs quickly became part of the ten percent at Belle Meade. They helped on work days, performed extra trail mowing, and searched for lost hounds after the hunt when most everyone else had gone home. David became a whipper-in, and a fine one at that. Ashley created and ran our silent auction at the Hunt Ball, and made it a success every year until they moved. Daughters Salem and CeCe became very active with the hounds and won the pack class at the Carolina Hound Show! Not only is the MFHA getting a fine leader with exceptional business and communication skills, and not only is David a great guy, but we are getting a wonderful package with his entire family. They are all passionate about this great sport that we all love so much!

Doug Hancock, MFH of Wayne DuPage Hunt (IL) told me, “Epp, your introduction of David Twiggs was so great. Everything you told us about him and his family was so helpful. You painted a fine picture. Now we all know that he is truly one of us!”

A Season of Celebration
Next I explained how MFHA President Tony Leahy plans to bring back all the most popular events of the MFHA Centennial across the United States and Canada next season. Tony’s vision includes:

•    Foxhound Performance Trial Circuit, Epp Wilson, MFH, Chairman
•    Regional Joint Meets, Leslie Rhett Crosby, MFH, Mooreland Hunt (AL), Chairman
•    Field Hunter Championships, Sheila Jackson Brown, MFH, Green Spring Valley Hounds (MD), Chairman
•    Masters Ball in NYC
•    Big participation at the Hound Shows, etc.

The crowd responded enthusiastically to Tony’s plans for a season of activities, and the excitement will only build as plans are firmed up. I told the crowd that I had one hundred Centennial pins that I had been saving for a special occasion. This is the special occasion. “I will give them to the first hundred people who volunteer to help with the upcoming events.” By ten p.m. Friday evening at the Master’s Ball, I gave out the last of the pins. People from all over the U.S. and Canada have volunteered to help. This is an exciting time for our sport!

Posted January 30, 2017