2012 National Beagle Club of America “Triple Challenge Trial” : Rabbit Hunter
Turkey Hollow Anne was the big winner at this year’s Triple Challenge Trial and she did it in an unlikely fashion. Anne, who is by FC Kotch’s Moss Glenn Tucker out of Kotten Kandi Katie is owned by Chris Meyers of Bernville, PA and was bred by Chris’s neighbor, friend and mentor Mike Maciejewski. She is a nice looking, very steady and dependable field hound who finished 3rd overall last year, so it was no surprise that she performed well in the brace and stake classes, but it was her third place finish in the show against some very nice hounds that enabled her to edge out Old Chatham Tornado to be crowned the champion hound. Chris and Mike and Mike’s son Sean (who couldn’t make it this year) have attended the Triple Challenge for many years, and they always have nice hounds – the kind that when you get paired with them in the brace part of the trial you are happy because you know they will make your hound look better – in fact Anne’s mother Kotten Kandi Katie was a very successful participant in the Triple Challenge in former years, and in 2010 Chris won the championship with his hound Turkey Hollow Gypsy. It was not surprising that Chris and his Anne were right in the thick of things this year. Still, that third place finish in the show was a little bit of a shock. Chris must have paid attention when Mandy Bobbitt gave the handling clinic Friday night.
Old Chatham Tornado has been a mainstay of the Old Chatham pack for several years now, there has been more than one pack trial when he has saved the day for the Old Chatham by keeping their run going just when it looked like all was lost, and his performance at this trial was typically consistent – he finished 4th in the brace, 2nd in the stake and 11th in the show, In addition to being the Reserve Champion, he was the Best of Opposite Sex to the Champion hound and the best Bred by Exhibitor hound. To add insult to injury, to those of us who weren’t so fortunate, Jessica Anderson, Joint Master of the Old Chatham and Tornado’s handler at this trial, won the raffle for the wonderful Beagle quilt that Jean McDonald had made and donated to the National Beagle Club. I expect it was a happy ride home to New York for Jessica and her husband Cody.
The high scoring hound in the brace was Hills Bridge’s Wingate Chuck a nice 13” male by Lone Hunters Chuck out of Wingate’s Dixie. Miki Crane, the Master of the Hills Bridge Beagles has drawn upon the advice and breeding expertise of Joe Wingate to her great advantage for the last few years, and as a consequence, the Hills Bridge has been very successful at the pack trials. Wingate’s Chuck is certainly a nice hound and a deserving winner of the brace competition. The high scoring 15” hound in the brace was FC Shawnee Creek Blazing Clyde, owned by Adam Keith from Fincastle, Virginia. This nice Field Champion is by Davis’s Bo III out of Colson’s Bad Bonnie.
The overall winner of the stake class was 15” Shadyside Puffin Blue Smoke, owned by Scott Davis of Zanesville, Ohio and handled by his son, Ryan. The Davises like fast, wide-ranging hounds, and Smoke was definitely one of those. In the brace competition he took off and could not be found until the trio (or what was left of it) had been picked up so he finished dead last in the brace, but he redeemed himself in the stake and gave Scott and Ryan a little something to tell son Josh about when they got home. The high scoring 13” hound in the stake was FC Elk Garden Abby, a lemon and white Field Champion, owned by Harold Black and handled by Adam Keith. She is by Sycamore Creek Abraham out of Squirrel Mountain Thelma Lou and was consistent enough in all of the competitions to finish 5th overall.
The winner of the show was Jan Weiher’s CH Hair-Raiser Spring into Action OA OAJ.. This tri-colored 13” show champion has competed at the Triple Challenge before, but this year she had a nice performance in the brace competition as well as the first place in the show and she finished the trial in 10th place, which must have helped ease Jan’s long drive back to Florida. The top 15” hound in the show with a second place finish was CH Circle H Hazzarous Harley who is owned by Judi Doran from Centerburg, OH. Harley is by CH Buckridge Marksman Remark out of Sundown Strongbow Bullseye.
There are thirty hounds entered in the Triple Challenge each year, and every one of those hounds is a special hound for somebody. That is true at any Beagle competition, but at most competitions there are the three or four winners, and then, everybody else is in the same category of not placing, but at the Triple Challenge everybody has to get a score, so everyone knows who was first and who was last. That doesn’t mean that the last place hound is a bad hound. A lot depends on a little bit of luck – being in a brace at a good time of day, getting a good running rabbit, or just having the judge see something good and miss something bad – and that is true in any competition, but it is interesting at this trial to see how the three different formats affect the overall results. The brace winners are announced at dinner on Saturday night, and those hounds, the 13” winner and the 15” high scoring hound, are immediately considered to be the favorites, and sometimes they should be. Last year Blain Grove’s Ch Choptank Blue Blade won the Brace and was 2nd overall (Reserve Champion), but more often than not the hounds at the top seem to come out of nowhere because no one knows the placements in the Brace or the Stake until the final results are announced. So it makes it interesting. One of the results of this year’s trial which illustrates that there are no bad hounds is that Old Chatham Tornado was the Reserve Champion hound while his littermate brother Old Chatham Tender, who was Old Chatham’s reserve hound, and who got in when another entry came in season, was second from last. Now Tender might not be quite as good as Tornado, but he has been in a lot of pack classes that have won ribbons at the pack trials, and he goes out every Sunday when the Old Chatham hunts for their subscribers at home, so I don’t think Jessica and Cody were tempted to leave him at the first rest stop they got to on the way back to New York. He, like every other hound entered, is a good hound, but somebody has to be at the bottom if all 30 hounds are ranked. It seems to me that the real value of any field trial is not so much the bragging rights that go with the placements (although that is certainly fun), but the fact that the competition provides a yardstick by which to measure the performance of the exhibitor’s own hounds, and to be a spur to the exhibitor to try to improve his hounds. My friends at the Old Chatham and the Hills Bridge who win consistently might not need such a spur, but those of us mortals who hunt regularly at home and on some days have pretty good runs need to be reminded that there is always room for improvement. For quite a few of us exhibitors, the Triple Challenge served as such a reminder.
In addition to being a fun and interesting trial to participate in the Triple Challenge is an enjoyable weekend. There was a good spaghetti dinner on Friday night, a great cocktail party on Saturday night hosted by John and Wanda Borsa, two of the originators of this event, and Jean and Joie McDonald who are retiring as show chairmen after this year, followed by a nice roast pork dinner and then the big auction and raffle in the main meeting room. There were lots of good prizes including a Tri-tronics shock collar, and Purina dog food provided by Mike Luchetta and the Purina Company. Mike was in attendance all weekend long – he doesn’t just make an appearance and then disappear, he is there to the very end. Everyone in Beagling should be grateful to the Purina Company for the great dog food they have developed and for the money they have made available to Beagle clubs through their Purina Parent Club program. The National Beagle Club has just received a check from Purina for this year. The Board of Directors will be allocating money to the clubs who have put in requests at the November meeting so any club that needs some funds to help with their rabbit farming program should send us a request before November, and it will be considered. It is also important to encourage everyone to use Purina’s weight circle program and to designate the National Beagle Club as the beneficiary for their Parent Club Program so that more money will be available.
As usual, the McDonalds organized a wonderful event. Everyone had a good time and now we can look forward to next year.
National Beagle Club of America’s 17th Annual Triple Challenge Trial
Saturday and Sunday, May 5-6
Event Chairperson and Secretary: Jean McDonald
Assistant and slave to the Secretary: Joie McDonald
Brace: Tom Cheney and Jack Silvernale
Stake: Jennifer Buckley and John Tobachka
Show: Nick Peaker
Champion: Turkey Hollow Anne, owner Christopher Myers
Reserve: Old Chatham Tornado, owner Old Chatham Foot Beagles
3rd Howards Sweet Talking Oscar, owner Jeremy Geiger
4th Springfield Paprika, owner Mandy Bobbitt
5th FC Elk Garden Abby, owner Harold Black
6th Nantucket Treweryn Kobe, owner Nantucket Treweryn Beagles
7th Wingate’s Chuck, owner Margaret M. Crane
8th FC Shawnee Creek Blazin Clyde, owner Adam Keith
9th FCGD Huck Run Bruiser, owner Michael Johnson
10th Ch Hare-Raiser Spring into Action OA OAJ, owner Jan Weiher
Qualifying hounds (those earning a score of 200 or more out of a possible 300) in addition to the placing hounds:
Johnson’s Double Trouble, owner Jeremy Geiger
FC Cedar Ridge Brute, owner Adam Keith
Arrowhead’s Gunslinger, owner Michael Booker
B&B’s She’s Fancy Fancy, owner Stanley Booker
Glenbarr Heat Wave, owner William E. Bobbitt, Jr.
B&B’s Miss Kitty, owner Michael Booker
Glenbarr Half Time, owner William E. Bobbitt, Jr.
Ch Circle H Hazzarous Harley, owner Judi Doran
Ch Roirdan Crystal Skye’s The Limit, owner Jackie Dugan
By William Bobbit