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Tony Weldon Reinstated As Trustee

by Bob Funkhouser


In what has been an ongoing battle with her siblings, Lenore “Tony” Weldon recently won a court battle that reinstates her as a co-trustee of her mother's, the late Betty Weldon, trust. In May of 2005, Mrs. Weldon’s other two children, Frank “Gifford” Weldon and Sally Proctor, along with some other members of the board of Weldon Holding Company (WHC) decided to abruptly close the breeding and training operations of Callaway Hills Stables and sell most the horses at two separate dispersal sales. Tony Weldon had not received formal notice of that board meeting and when she learned of the meeting, she arrived late and was surprised at Gifford Weldon’s proposal. According to records, she left the meeting early and did not participate in the vote. All but one member of the board (Robert Blosser) voted to close Callaway Hills.


Tony Weldon fought to have her mother’s wishes carried out that Callaway Hills continue. It was ruled that Mrs. Weldon’s intent under the Trust was that Callaway Hills would remain intact and in operation for as long as she lived and that it would be available for distribution to one or more of her children upon the final distribution and termination of the Trust.


A court ruling enjoined the proposed sales and enjoined Larry Vivion, Richard McGonegal, Gifford Weldon and Sally Proctor from injecting themselves into the ongoing operations of Callaway Hills Stables. It also removed Vivion, McGonegal and Tony Weldon as co-successor trustees of the Trust. Tony’s cross-appeal challenged the trial court’s removal of her as a co-successor trustee and its replacing Vivion and McGonegal instead of permitting her to serve as sole trustee.


The most recent ruling by the Missouri Court of Appeals Western District reinstated Tony Weldon, allowing her to be in the position to carry out her mother’s wishes that Callaway Hills remain a breeding and training operation.


“Some of the recent Missouri Court of Appeals decision may be considered moot due to my mother’s passing,” said Tony Weldon. “It’s very important to me, however, for several reasons. First, my lawyers pretty much hit a home run. Our goal all along was to preserve Callaway Hills Stable during mom’s lifetime so there would be something left for me to continue.


“Secondly, it states that we were correct from day one. Trust law governs, not corporate law and ‘Fiduciary duty.’ Lastly, it outs the wrongdoers and completely exonerates me. The trial court has been ordered to reinstate me as a trustee.


“Mother was (and I am) a rather private person,” continued Weldon. “I find it tragic that this entire situation ended up being public information. On the other hand, if it had not, I would have never received the wonderful support from the horse community or realized there are so many people (most I’ve never even met) who truly care about Callaway Hills.


“Unfortunately, it is far from over since the other heirs can still fight to sell or run Callaway Hills Stable, but I am definitely now in a better position. The Court of Appeals decision was a great victory.


“Mr. Blosser, a great gentleman who is now in his 90s, was the only member of my family’s corporate board of directors who stood by me and my mother’s wishes. He is a former president of the News Tribune who met my mom when she was 11 years old…and he is my hero. It is also amazing that this nightmare brought Will’s [Shriver] trainer back into my life and back into the heart of Callaway Hills. Redd Crabtree is my rock.”


The complete opinion of the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District can be found by clicking here.

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