The first issue of Covertside made its appearance in June, 1994. It was mailed to about four thousand recipients (the total combined lists of the Virginia Foxhound Club, the Museum of Hounds and Hunting, and the MFHA!).
Recalling this first issue, Jimmy Young wrote in the Fifth Anniversary issue of Covertside, July, 1999:
“The arrival of this formative issue was greeted with overwhelming praise and congratulation. It obviously filled a void in the continent’s foxhunting appetite. The paper was slick, the production values excellent, the pictures befitting….
“This still-fledgling journal continues to provide more foxhunting substance per column inch than any other continental sporting publication. By dint of its success and demands for even more information, Covertside doubled its size to sixteen pages. It is quoted by individuals and institutions around the world and is a respected voice for a way of life under attack. For that success, a foxhunting engineer named Norman Fine, a foxhunting leader named Marty Wood, and the foxhunting leadership named the Board of Directors of the Masters of Foxhounds Association should take great pride. I know I do.”
In the first column on the first page of the first issue (Covertside, May, 1994) we said: “Covertside is a newsletter for foxhunters published by the Masters of Foxhounds Association of America in the belief that improved communication cannot but help to strengthen the unity of our foxhunting community. Through these pages the MFHA wishes to reach all who love foxhunting – Masters, staff and field members alike. We will bring you NEWS of Recognized and Registered hunts; INFORMATION about foxhunting – practice, management, tradition, history, literature, art – that we hope will delight both newcomers and old-timers; and important ISSUES that bear upon the well-being of our sport.”
To the extent we have fulfilled these objectives over the course of our first ten years, we are gratified. If we have brought you closer and involved you more personally in the conduct and happenings of our sport, foxhunting has benefited. Whether you are a new enthusiast or an experienced foxhunter, if we have deepened your enjoyment of hunting by providing useful information about hounds, hunting, sporting literature or art, we are exceedingly gratified. And if we have encouraged one individual to help in the preservation of our precious open space, or given you reason to be proud to count yourself in the fraternity of foxhunters – conservationists, protectors of wildlife, good citizens – foxhunting has greatly benefited.
The New Covertside
Over the years, Covertside has transformed from newsletter, to award-winning print magazine. In 2009 MFHA added e-covertside, and in 2010 this website. This family of products offers timely communication, a beautiful magazine for readers and a better vehicle for advertisers.