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.