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Top Honors go to Treeing Walker Coonhounds at AKC World Coonhound Championships

(Wednesday, February 27, 2008)
– Popular breed captures "World Nite Champion" and "World Show Champion" titles –

The American Kennel Club® is proud to announce that a pair of Treeing Walker Coonhounds captured both top honors - the "World Nite Champion" and the "World Show Champion" awards — at the 2008 AKC World Coonhound Championships during six days of competition from February 11-16 in Newberry, South Carolina.

More than 400 dogs from 24 states, representing two AKC recognized breeds as well as four Foundation Stock Service (FSS) breeds competed in Nite Hunts and a Bench Show for the two prestigious titles and the top prize of $25,000.

WNC Buck Creek Mr. Smith, also known as "Mr. Smith," a five-year-old Treeing Walker Coonhound, owned by Larry Weaver of Fredericksburg, Ohio and handled by Don Dunlap, captured the World Nite Champion honors.

Another Treeing Walker Coonhound, CCH Diamond Ridge Queen of Diamonds, also known as "Queenie," owned and handled by Vera Bergbauer of Hartford City, Indiana, won the "World Show Champion" honor.

"The AKC World Coonhound Championship was a spectacular event for participants and spectators alike," said Assistant Vice President of Coonhound Events Steve Fielder. "Our congratulations go out to the winners and all who participated in making this competition — now in its 60th year — a major success."

To earn the title of World Nite Champion, a coonhound must demonstrate hunting prowess in a series of six consecutive "Nite Hunts" during the competition. Coonhounds are judged on their abilities to strike, run, and tree wild raccoons. In keeping with AKC coonhound regulations, there is no contact permitted between the hounds and the raccoons. This recent win makes "Mr. Smith" a two-time World Nite Champion, having previously won this event in 2005.

To earn the title of World Show Champion, a coonhound must compete in preliminary rounds of breed judging during the bench show competition – which is judged separately from the Nite Hunt. Eventually six finalists – one from each coonhound breed — emerge to compete in the final round. Of those six, "Queenie" emerged victorious to capture the title of "World Show Champion."

L to R: Steve Fielder, Wyatt Dunlap, Kelly Dunlap, Don Dunlap, and Nathan Weaver

L to R: Steve Fielder, Judge Johnny Brinkley, Nicole Bergbauer, Vera Bergbauer, Rodney Bergbauer, and Judge David Birdsall, DVM.

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