COSHOCTON — Out of about 400 entrants a local dog grabbed one of the top spots at this weekend’s 20th annual United Kennel Club Beagle Nationals.
Brian Mead, of Warsaw, and his dog were presented with the Grand Hunting Beagle Champion trophy Sunday in Hunter Arena at the Coshocton County Fairgrounds. His dog is Mead’s Outback Hard Pumping Winnie. Mead said he’s been competing for about 10 years.
“I’m tickled to death,” he said. “It was anybody’s game.”
Winning in the registered category and having the highest scoring dog in the field were Curt Douglas and Allen Newby, of Team Hurricane from Keeling, Va. Their dog is Big D’s Hurricane Touch of Frost.
“We run them after work and pretty much anytime we get time,” Douglas said. “We had a blast this weekend, it’s a good place to have (the event).”
Winning Hunting Beagle Champion was Tom Ingram of Williamstown, W.Va. with his dog Stylish Dakota.
“I’ve put a lot of time in it. It feels good. I’ve been close before, but this is the first time (to win),” he said.
Ingram said he’s been competing for about five years. He likes to hunt the dogs by themselves to get their stamina built up.
“I keep them on a good diet. It’s like a person, if they don’t feel good, they’re not going to do good,” he said.
Not all awards were given out Sunday. Scott Fluhart of Fredericksburg won the bench show on Saturday with his dog Got To Go I Go, who Fluhart calls Iggy. The bench show has judges comparing dogs to the ideals for the breed in how they look, act and move.
“It was very exciting. I’ve come close before, but it was the first time I’ve gone the whole way,” Fluhart said.
Coy Stacy of West Virginia was named to the UKC hall of fame Saturday night. He also placed fourth in the grand champion cast, or group, Sunday.
Stacy said he’s been involved with hunting dogs for about 55 years. He started raising dogs with his father.
“I’ve enjoyed meeting the people. I’ve met a lot of great people and have made a lot of friends talking about dogs; what they can do, what they can’t do, what we’ve seen and what we haven’t seen,” Stacy said.
This was the fourth year the event was held in Coshocton. UKC announced a three-year extension has been signed to the contract with the Coshocton County Fair Board for the use of facilities.
The Coshocton County Convention and Visitors Bureau reports the event is an economic boon for the county as hunters and their families from across the country stay in area hotels, eat at local restaurants and shop at nearby stores over the weekend.
“There’s a lot of rabbits and the people are nice to us up here too. Everywhere we’ve went the people have been good to us,” hunter Greg Baker of Winston-Salem, N.C., said.