June Sneak Peek

AKC National SPO Championship

by Marj Roach

The 2013 AKC SPO National Championship drew people from Texas to Georgia to New England to Wisconsin and all states in between. It is always a wonderful gathering of folks interested in one thing, the running of our hounds against the best. Everyone’s dream is to be the Champion of their class and many work very hard at that dream.
The number of entries was down somewhat at 336 total. The 13-inch female class was again the largest at 111 entries. All of the judges did a wonderful job of taking a hard look at each pack and bringing back the best out of each.
The AKC National Committee assigned a class to each of the three major federations and one to Butler County, the host club. They were responsible for providing the field marshal, gallery marshal and collar marshal for their class. This seemed to work very well in assuring good coverage for each class. Our suggestion to each class next year is to have a tag team of two or three field marshals for completing that assignment rather than just one person. Everyone agrees that the hardest job at the trial is the field marshal, and not everyone can run after the dogs and judges for 12-13 straight packs.
Bright and early each morning at 5:30 AM, Randy Moran, Treasurer of the Committee, would take the entry fees and send the handlers to Whitney Payne and me for entering in the classes.
Each day at 7:00 AM we began with a prayer by Nic Nichols. Bill Emerson, President of the AKC Committee then would recognize Mel Stewart, Director of Hounds for AKC. Mel announced that the Committee had decided to award a jacket to all placing hounds, not just first place. Next he welcomed our guests, Eddie Wiley of Purina, Eddie Thompson of Tri-Tronics, Mike Franklin of Okie Dog Supply, & Tom DePriest of Hounds & Hunting. Next, he recognized the members of the Hall of Fame in attendance.
Todd Seitz of NEBGF did roll call each day and I called the packs. Then, it was off for a wonderful day of trialing. The weather certainly cooperated each day. When I arrived in Kentucky Wednesday night, it was 83 degrees, but the temps dropped into the fifties for the weekend. The tick population has not subsided any in Kentucky. I did my darnedest to avoid bringing any back to Wisconsin, we have enough of our own.
Each day, Anthony Wiley, Angie Ashby, and the wonderful guys of Butler County Beagle Club put on delicious meals and snacks for the attendees. Without this wonderful crew, we would go very hungry.
On Friday, our 13-inch female judges were Mike Wright & Brent Champagne, their field marshals were Travis Byers & Dustin Morris, and collar marshal was Bill Walthen. In the 15-inch females, our judges were John Jarzynski & Richard Sawyer, our field marshal was Blaine Grove, gallery marshal was John Gibble and collar marshal was Charlie Coles.
On Saturday, our 13-inch male judges were Bubba Seger & John Cable, our field marshals were Reuben Shamwell, John Porter and Randall Accardo, and Bill Walthen was collar marshal. Our 15-inch male judges were Don Bowen & Tim Kasmarzik, our field marshal was Nic Nichols and collar marshal was Wayne Mayhugh.
Following the completion of the classes and presentation of trophies, we announced the winner of the Triple Challenge. The top beagle was FC Madison County Ruby owned by Tony Waters. Geary’s Little Peaches & Cream LJ owned by Jerry Winn was one point behind, and FCGD Star Cut-in-up Chrissie owned by Mike Reynolds was two points behind. A very close competition that came right down to the wire.

To read the remainder of this article, please refer to page 34 of our June issue.

May Sneek Peak

Pedigrees 101

by John Gibble

A long time ago I wandered onto a farm in Indiana where I’d heard that a fellow had some good beagles for sale. The place was about as run-down as the fellow who lived there. His bibs were about three sizes too big and the holes in the seat revealed his preference for boxer shorts with candy cane stripes. He gave me a snaggle-toothed grin when I announced the reason for my visit, and with a wave of his greasy blue cap directed me to a converted hog pen where he kept his hounds. He pointed to a rather fat red dog that looked something like a beagle and proclaimed, “That there is a direct great, great, great grandson of Warfield Red”. Then, he showed me a skinny young bitch that retreated to the furthest reaches of her pen at our approach. “This young gal is entirely Blue Cap bred.” As we progressed along the pens, it seemed he had, according to his own calculations, representatives of the best of the breed based on his own line and in-breeding. Pearson Creek, Yellow Creek, Blue Cap, rolled off his tongue like brand names at a Procter & Gamble sales meeting.
When he saw I wasn’t convinced, the old boy turned to another line of persuasion. He noticed I had a bad case of poison ivy on my arm and suggested that if I’d take a nice potent bud from the vines along his hog fence and eat it, I would no longer suffer any reaction whatsoever from that noxious weed. I didn’t eat any poison ivy and I didn’t buy any dogs there. I’ve heard a lot of folks over the years, spitting out pedigrees, judging hounds by their papers rather than their performance. Some of them were pretty accurate in their predictions, but most of them I put in the same category as that old fellow with the holes in his bib overalls.
Looking over a pedigree is a lot like looking into a crime scene. Your first order of business is in deciding if your information is correct and valid. For instance, a few years back a fellow told me he had a bitch that had just whelped a litter. Thinking back 63 days, he remembered that she was riding in the same box with Pistol, but she was exposed to another male while in the field, Shotgun. Pistol acted kind of aggressive that day so that was another point. Looking over the litter, they reminded him more of Pistol in their coloring than they did Shotgun. So he registered them as Pistol puppies. It makes me wonder how many times guess work is used in filling out papers, and it makes me wonder more, how many times guess work isn’t right. Then too, I’ve heard about several big stud dogs that couldn’t get the job done anymore or they were overbooked for a few days, so a sibling or related pup stood in for the job. I’ve even heard about field champion bitches that raised 12 pups in every litter, two and sometimes three times a year. The point is: using a pedigree as a tool, is only as accurate as the information that was used to build the pedigree.
I kind of consider a pedigree to be something like the periodic chart of elements we were given in 8th grade physical science. At that point, we had to remember that “O” stood for oxygen and “K” was potassium (though many of us put down P for Potassium and forgot that P represented Phosphorus). In high school chemistry, we learned that the chart was organized by atomic weight; based on where they were on the chart, some elements were metals and other were gases. In college chemistry, we were supposed to be able to theoretically mix up a bunch of these elements and using complex calculations determine what we would get for compounds. Then, they made us take organic chemistry and that just proved that everything you learned was wrong and that you were pretty much a dummy. When it comes to reading pedigrees and predicting the outcomes of breedings, there are a few good organic chemists out there, a few college-level chemists, a few more high school students, and a whole bunch of 8th graders.

To finish this article, check out page 18 of our May issue!