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Congratulations to the Winners at the 2023 UKC Hunting Beagle World Championship

October 11, 2023

United Kennel Club wishes to congratulate our major winners at the 24th Annual Hunting Beagle World Championship, held October 6-8, 2023 in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania!

UKC established the Coonhound World Championship in 2000, with the first event held in Grafton, West Virginia, only about 50-60 miles south of this year's site.

Before we dive into our winners, let's take a look at how we got here.

In order to qualify for this year's event, dogs had to earn a cast win at one of nearly 40 World Qualifying Events held around the country, running from February through the first week in September. Of those that qualified, around 300 dogs headed to Waynesburg to compete for this year's World Championship. It was a star-studded group, with dozens of Grand Hunting Beagle titleholders, Hunting Beagle Hall of Famers, and the defending World Champion from the 2022 event.

Speaking of last year, this marked the second consecutive year UKC has held the World Finals in Waynesburg, with those representing the only two years in the event's history we've been in the Keystone State. Other destinations included eight times in Ohio (2002, 04, 05, 07, 12, 15, 20, and 21), four times in Indiana (2006, 08, 09, 17) three times in West Virginia (2000, 2010, 2018), twice each in Michigan (2001, 2013), Missouri (2014, 19), and Tennessee (2011, 16), and once in Virginia (2003). Be sure to follow us on social media, as we'll make an announcement when we've got an official destination for 2024.

On Friday morning, October 6, between the A and B groups, 280 dogs went out in 70 casts to take the first step toward a World Championship! With only two dead casts, the list trimmed from 280 down to 68.

On Saturday, those 68 dogs went out for an early round where the field was trimmed to 18, and then in the third round later that day, from 18 to 6. Those six dogs would go out and hunt heads up (three two-dog casts) to give us our final three that would make up the final cast.

After three days of hard hunting, three dogs were left standing on Sunday in Waynesburg:

  • GRHBCH 'PR' Scottys Little Italys GG, a female owned by Brian Hartrum, and handled by Dustyn Erwin,
  • GRHBCH 'PR' Deep River Bad Company, a male owned and handled by Kristin Bundy, and
  • HBCH C&R's Go Bo Go, a male owned and handled by Chad Smith.

In the end, after everything had settled late Sunday morning, it was Dustyn Erwin and GRHBCH 'PR' Scottys Little Italys GG who were crowned World Champion! This win makes the second win in a row for the female beagles, following six straight wins for the males dating back to 2016.

Congratulations are in order to Dustyn, owner Brian, and this little female on a monumental accomplishment!

In addition to the hunt, the Hunting Beagle World Championship also features a World Championship Bench Show on Friday morning between the A and B runs in Round 1. With dozens of dogs on the bench, Judge Amanda Alexander did not have an easy time of things, but in the end, the World Bench Show Championship title went to HBCH GRCH No Cures Angel Maker, a female owned and handled by Mike Higby, of Mountain Grove, Missouri. Opposite Sex winner was Stone Creek Chambered's Bruce, a male owned by Roy and Brogan Sampson, of Fairmont, West Virginia, and handled by Brogan. Congratulations to Mike Higby and Roy and Brogan Sampson on picking up these big wins!

An event like the Hunting Beagle World Championship, now in its third decade, takes the support of a variety of prize sponsors, partners, and staff. That said, we would also like to thank our partners, Eukanuba, the Official Performance Dog Nutrition Partner of UKC, as well as Dogtra, the Official GPS Collar Partner of UKC.

We look forward to seeing everyone in 2024 for the 25th Annual Hunting Beagle World Championship!

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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