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UKC Congratulates Our Big Winners at Tournament of Champions

NITECH CH 'PR' Maxed Out Mad Money Takes 1st Place

April 15, 2024

United Kennel Club wishes to congratulate our first-place winner at the 2024 UKC Tournament of Champions!

It started with over 1,400 dogs who earned at least five cast wins in UKC-licensed coon hunts in the 2023 calendar year, getting them eligible for this prestigious competition. From there, 848 entered regional competition, which winnowed the field to 96 who advanced to the Finals in Greencastle, Indiana April 11-13. Finally, in the early hours of Sunday morning, April 14, there was one left standing.

Congratulations to handler Dustin Weed, owner Travis Black, and NITECH CH 'PR' Maxed Out Mad Money, a 3-year-old Treeing Walker male, who emerged from the weekend as the $50,000 first place winner at the 2024 Tournament of Champions. The team came out of the Conway, Arkansas region, where they picked up double cast wins to advance to Greencastle.

Once in Greencastle, Maxed Out Mad Money (Out) picked up a first round cast win with a score of 300+ on Thursday, and added two more wins on Friday night, in a 4-dog cast in the second round, and a heads-up cast in the third round to reach the finals.

Then in an incredibly exciting and action packed final cast, with thousands watching live on the UKC YouTube channel, Out overcame an early 400 point deficit to claim the top prize.

In picking up the win, Out became the first dog who had not yet finished to Grand Nite Champion at the time of competition to win this major event.

Previous winners at Tournament of Champions are GRNITECH 'PR' Stovers Charley Creek Bad Butch (2021), GRNITECH(2) 'PR' Willy's Conor McGregor (2022), and GRNITECH 'PR' Stricks Hardtimes Hobo (2023). Titles listed for the hounds here reflect those at the time of their win.

To date, all four winners of Tournament of Champions have been male Treeing Walker Coonhounds, all either two or three years old at the time of their win. One winner from Ohio (Butch), two from Kentucky (Conor McGregor and Hobo), and now Florida (Out).

Coming in second place and taking home a $30,000 prize is NITECH 'PR' Heather Island Wipeout Z, a 6-year-old Treeing Walker male, owned by Ike Rainey and Malcolm Rains, and handled by Oliver Winn. Wipeout Z advanced with double cast wins out of the Manning, South Carolina region.

The third-place finisher, earning $20,000 in the Final Cast was NITECH 'PR' Freak of Nature, a 3-year-old Treeing Walker male, owned by Walter Hickman, and handled by Josh Craig. Freak of Nature advanced with double cast wins out of the Decatur, Tennessee region.

Congratulations to each of these fine hounds on an impressive run in the Tournament of Champions!

UKC's Tournament of Champions was established in 2020, with the first event held in April of 2021, to give competition coon hunters an opportunity at a big money hunt under the UKC banner. This year's event set records for qualifiers and entrants, and 15 states saw their best entry level numbers this year. Tournament of Champions is continuing to grow, and UKC is excited for the future of this new yearly tradition.

Congratulations again to Dustin Weed, Travis Black, and NITECH CH 'PR' Maxed Out Mad Money on their tremendous accomplishment!

Be sure to listen to the UKC Hunting Ops Podcast on Wednesday, April 17, as Episode 99 features a recap of the event from Allen Gingerich and Trevor Wade, plus interviews with all three final cast members, and judge Steven Cromer.

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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