Wiggins Hounds was established by Master Edmund S. Twining, III, to provide mounted foxhunting in the finest British tradition in a spectacular South Carolina setting. Under the skill and dedication of huntsman Tommy Gesell, the pack was fully recognized by the MFHA in 2017, and now offers sport pursuing fox and coyote (and occasional feral hogs) from their beautiful kennels in Ehrhardt, about an hour from Charleston and Savannah, GA.
Huntsman Tommy Gesell with littermates Wiggins Blamegame and Wiggins Blackout (Tryon Bling x Middleburg Roddy).
Twining and Gesell have enjoyed decades of collaboration across the country, from selecting and training Mustangs out west for the polo field, to envisioning and developing a keen, level pack of Crossbred hounds with a strong dose of American bloodlines. A tour of the spacious property reveals the functional, well-planned, and workable facilities maintained to the highest standards: tack gleams, relaxed hounds enjoy a spring day in their yards, horses graze contentedly.
Happy hounds in the bright, airy kennels, The hunt stables are in the background.
At the same time, Twining is dedicated to promoting foxhunting by welcoming newcomers to learn about our sport. At his direction, Gesell offers introductory clinics to prepare area equestrians for the special challenges of following hounds, with the opportunity to participate in a regular meet when horse and rider are ready. Gesell, a multitalented horseman with experience across a variety of disciplines, is as patient with young or anxious students as he is with green colts. He and his wife, Amy, also joined fellow South Carolinian foxhunters from Lowcountry and Middleton Place to represent our sport at the MFHA display at the recent Southeastern Wildlife Exposition in Charleston.
Gesell has Blamegame's full attention.
Gesell appreciates the South Carolina territory surrounding the kennels and its potential for a variety of game. While a bit off the beaten path, thousands of acres are available, and by cultivating relationships with neighbors and attentively managing the Wiggins property, the wildlife population had flourished. Gesell readily describes a full day's hunting with three different foxes challenging hounds - all right at the edge of the hunt horses' pastures.
Hounds relax in their spacious yard.
Gesell has also enjoyed the process of developing a cohesive pack from the many drafts that inevitably are part of founding any new hunt. He has added some Piedmont-bred American blood to his Crossbreds for endurance in South Carolina heat. He looks forward to continuing to fine-tune hounds for their specific conditions and quarry over the coming seasons.
The hunt stables are surrounded by vast grassy pastures close to the training field with a full course of jumps and gymnastic obstacles.
To read about Wiggins Hounds' recent clinic for foxhunters, please view our article here.