Conservation Awards Highlight Annual Meeting in NYC

Two significant awards related to land conservation were given at our annual meeting in New York City last month - one presented by the MFHA, and one presented to us. The 2018 Hunting Habitat Conservation Award was given to Santa Ynez Valley Hounds (CA). Decades of strategic purchase and use of easements have allowed Santa Ynez Valley to protect several thousand contiguous acres outside Santa Barbara. Joint Masters Steve Lyons, Paul McEnroe, and Bonnie Hayden gave a presentation accompanied by spectacular images of hounds out in their country. They also explained how they communicate the value of this ongoing project to the community. For example, by inviting local children to experience a day in an historic, restored one-room schoolhouse on Lyons' ranch. The hunt received a trophy and $5,000 for earning this special recognition. Watch for a feature article about their success in the next issue of Covertside.

After giving the Hunting Habitat Conservation Award, the MFHA received the prestigious Anson W. Taylor, Jr. Award for Leadership in Land Conservation from the Equine Land Conservation Resource. The ELCR is a prominent national advocacy group for protection of open space for equestrian activities. ELCR President Ken Haddad, a foxhunter, presented the engraved silver plate and outlined how, through various initiatives, the MFHA has helped conserve over 1.5 million private acres and another 1.2 million public acres. “The Hunting Habitat Conservation Award epitomizes why ELCR is giving the Anson Taylor Award to the MFHA, a recognition that is long overdue,” he said.

Save the Date for Our Biennial Seminar: June 22-24 in Virginia

Our popular Biennial Seminar will take place June 22-24 in Old Town Alexandria, VA, and nearby Mount Vernon. In addition to seminar topics of general interest to all foxhunters, attendees will be invited to a live foxhound conformation clinic with Daphne and Marty Wood of Live Oak Hounds (FL). This special event will be held on the lawn at Mount Vernon, the spectacular restored home of President George Washington, a passionate foxhunter. A private tour of the house and cocktails on the veranda, with stunning views of the Potomac River, are also included. Check our website for details on registration coming soon.

Hark Forward Performance Trial at Hillsboro Raises Funds for New Headquarters

We want to thank all the organizers and participants at last weekend's successful Hark Forward Performance Trial at Hillsboro Hounds (TN). In addition to some great hunting and socializing, the weekend raised more than $60,000 towards renovation of our new headquarters in Middleburg, VA! Well done to all. Following the success of this fall's previous performance trials, joint meets, and hunter trials, our Hark Forward initiative continues to build friendships in support of a new home for the MFHA. If you haven't already, be sure to put an event near you on the calendar and enjoy meeting fellow sporting people. Again, thank you to the Hillsboro organizers and supporters. To see full results, click here.

Benjamin H. Hardaway, III, MFH Midland Fox Hounds, Passes Away

Benjamin H. Hardaway, III, MFH, influential hound breeder and past president of the MFHA, passed away on October 19. Ben served as the MFHA President from 1981-1984 and as a member of our Hunt Staff Benefit Foundation Board of Directors for seven years. As a Master of Foxhounds for 67 years, he had a profound influence internationally on foxhounds and hunting. As we are saddened by our loss, we equally celebrate a life well lived. Mr. Hardaway was a true icon of our sport. Read more in the upcoming print issue of Covertside, and read his full obituary here.

 

Take Advantage of Special Rates for Our NYC Events

Don't miss your chance to attend our annual Masters' Dinner, Annual Meeting, and Masters' Ball in New York City! Hotel reservations must be made with the Pierre Hotel by December 23 to get our discounted rate. The Masters' Dinner will take place on Thursday, January 25, at 8pm at the Union Club, which will also host Friday's membership meeting at 9am. Later Friday evening, the Masters' Ball gets underway at 8pm at the Pierre. For new Masters, the events begin with a luncheon at the Pierre on Thursday. Find all the details and register on our website

Plan to Support the Hunt Staff Benefit Foundation

While it seems like the season is just getting underway, it will soon be time to begin planning for the holidays, and many hunts ask their members to consider supporting the Hunt Staff Benefit Foundation. This fund provides financial assistance to professional hunt staff and their families facing urgent financial need. Grants are considered on an individual basis determined by need. For more information on how to support this important foundation, please click here.

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