UKC shares historic update for Field Dog Stud Book (FDSB) eligible breeds. See News section for full details.

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Congratulations to our Big Winners at Autumn Oaks

September 12, 2023

United Kennel Club wishes to congratulate our major winners at the 64th Annual Autumn Oaks, held August 31 September 4, in Richmond, Indiana!

We had record turnouts this year at the event which has been a Labor Day tradition dating back to its inception in 1960, and which has been a fixture in Richmond since the early 90's. It all started with the Slam series Tuesday through Thursday, which saw record or near record turnout each night, including a Thursday turnout which shattered our previous high mark.

National Dual Championship

On Thursday and Friday, we held the National Dual Championship, which is open to dogs who have earned a Bench Show Champion title and a Nite Champion title. This year's effort saw 94 dogs enter and 89 head into the woods on Thursday. After the hunt concluded, 24 dogs had earned plus-point cast wins and moved on to the show portion on Friday.

After the show was all said and done, a Plott hound stood above the rest, NITECH WCH FCH GRCH 'PR' Midnight Brindled Bindi, owned by Scott and Connie Hogan of Windber, Pennsylvania, and handled by Scott. This marks the second time that a Plott has taken home National Dual Champion honors. Bindi's sire is 2018 World Show Champion WSHOWCH CH 'PR' Midnight Brindled Donner, and her littermate NGRCH GRCH 'PR' Midnight Brindled Bonfire took the National Grand Show Championship at Autumn Oaks in 2022. Congratulations to Bindi and Scott and Connie Hogan!

AO Dual Winner 2023

Congratulations to Scott and Connie Hogan, with National Dual Championship winner, NITECH WCH FCH GRCH 'PR' Midnight Brindled Bindi.

Bench Show

In the Bench Show on Saturday, we had 119 early entries, along with a number of walk-up entries, which headed into the ring to crown a National Grand Show Champion. While Treeing Walker Coonhounds have dominated the Nite Hunt, the Bench Show has continued to be wide open for the last decade, with five of the seven recognized breeds winning at least once. The only two breeds to not find their way to the National Grand Show Championship in that time have been the Redbones and the American Leopard Hounds. In 2023 that changed, as the Redbone Coonhounds broke into the winner's circle with CCH GRCH 'PR' Wabash River Lost Highway, a Redbone male owned by Andi Emory of Lake Lure, North Carolina. This win was the first by a Redbone at Autumn Oaks since 2010, and the first for a Redbone male since 2002. Congratulations to Andi on the big win! Opposite Sex honors went to GRCH(2) 'PR' West Fork River Cindy Lu, a Treeing Walker female owned by Melinda Hicks.

AO Bench Show Winner 2023

Congratulations to Andi Emory, with National Grand Bench Show Champion CCH GRCH 'PR' Wabash River Lost Highway.

Nite Hunt

After Friday night's hunt, we were able to narrow down to our Grand 16our sixteen highest scoring double cast winners or highest scoring single cast winnerswho would go on to compete Saturday night for the National Grand Nite Championship. A strong group of hounds hit the woods Saturday evening, consisting of 12 Treeing Walkers, three Black & Tans, and one Bluetick. In the end, it was four Walkers that made it to the final cast, and they all deserve recognition:

  • GRNITECH(3) 'PR' Snookis Cookie, a Walker female owned by Justin and Stephen Davenport
  • GRNITECH GRCH 'PR' Sparks Creek Moonlit Penny III, a Walker Female owned by Garrett Fender
  • GRNITECH 'PR' After Dark Ferris, a Walker male owned by Lee Varner, and
  • GRNITECH(2) 'PR' Willy's Insane Scar, a Walker female owned by J.R. Gray and Ellis Keen.

The Treeing Walker breed's streak of National Grand Nite Champions was going to extend to seven regardless of the outcome, but in the end, with a score of 175+ in the final cast, it was GRNITECH 'PR' After Dark Ferris who came out with the victory. Congratulations to Ferris and Lee Varner on this major accomplishment!

AO Hunt Winner 2023

Congratulations to Lee Varner with National Grand Nite Champion GRNITECH 'PR' After Dark Ferris.

In total, hundreds of dogs went into the woods or into the show ring--or in some cases both--over the course of the weekend. United Kennel Club is thankful to the judges, field reps, clubs and club personnel, staffers, and local officials which were able to make this event possible.

We also want to take a moment to thank our partners, Eukanuba, the Official Performance Dog Nutrition Partner of UKC, as well as Dogtra, the Official GPS Collar Partner of UKC.

Likewise, we want to thank our prize sponsors who donated lights, leads, collars, dog boxes, vests, and more to the winners at this year's event. Make sure to check them out, and support those who support the sport of competitive coon hunting.

Autumn Oaks Sponsors 2023

Thank you to everyone who came out, congratulations to the winners, and we'll see you next year!

You can also listen to a recap of the weekend as well as interviews with our major winners by listening to this week's edition of the UKC Hunting Ops Podcast!

Guided by the belief that dogs make a difference by being the best partner a human can have in the field, on the job, or in a competition event, UKC is a community for people and dogs to pursue excellence together. Founded in 1898, UKC has been dedicated to enhancing the lives of Dogs That Do More, and their owners, by providing essential resources to help owners and breeders make informed decisions. The dog-human bond is celebrated through family-friendly programs highlighting the instincts and heritage of purebred and mixed-breed dogs alike at over 18,000 licensed events annually.

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