Showsight Presents the Treeing Walker Coonhound

We’re called the Treeing Walker Coonhound

he would be among the first half-dozen to enter the Treeing Walker Hall of Fame held with the Treeing Walker Breeders & Fanciers, Association (UKC). That first year King soon developed a hatred for the masked bandits, but more importantly, he improved his talents for catching them. In the decade of the 30’s Lester and King became very well-known in Indiana as the most dedicated hunter and hound in the sport of coonhunting. Their catches were well documented all over the state, not only for catching coon, but also for the fact that Lester broke him to run fox in the daylight. King proved just as apt at catching fox as coon, but at night would not open on a fox even when put with the Foxhounds, a feat that Lester had to prove on several occasions to those who did not believe. By the end of the decade, Lester tried to find a female he felt worthy of breeding to King to begin a breeding program. The best female he knew of was King’s littermate, Peggie. No breed was at this time formed, nor organizations issuing pedigrees on Walker-type coonhounds, so Lester Nance was breed- ing for ability and only ability. He selected what he

of ear, but payed special attention to what was between the ears!” This statement was the basic premise of his entire career as a breeder, and I believe the major reason that the Treeing Walker Dog has become a dominant force of the coonhound world. Sparkie would become one of the most important parts of Lester’s breeding program, and a very top cooner. Sparkie, at the age of 13 years and in failing health, was entered and came home the winner of the National Treeing Walker Days in Bloomington, Illinois. Also in 1942, Carl Sloan of Atlanta, Indiana bred his fine Star female to King. From this litter came White River Rowdy, and White River King II. Rowdy would become in later years the backbone of the females in the White River Kennels, then and now. She was in Lester’s opinion the greatest trail hound he ever followed. She was a dog with personal- ity and the brains to make a tough coon track look easy. In 1950 a pup out of Rowdy called Nance’s Ring would win Best Male of Breed in what was then one of the most prestigious coonhound events – Leafy Oak. Ring was to become the sire of Little Topper, one

of the early titled dogs in night hunt competitions and the sire of Nance’s Little Topper, which later sired many top big fame and coonhounds. In 1983, 41 years after her birth, Rowdy was voted into the Hall of fame, another of Lester’s proudest moments in the Treeing Walker breed. Beginning about 1942, Lester was looking for somewhere to register his line of hounds and made contact with several orga- nizations. Since he had been involved with the purebred live- stock business, he realized the value of having a proven and known pedigree that could be shared with others. Both AKC and UKC showed no interest, so he turned to Full Cry maga- zine, which had started a reg- istry in 1940 under the direc- tion of Bill Harshman. In 1943, White River King became the first Treeing Walker registered in this group; very fitting since he

felt were the two best cooners in Indiana besides King, and bred Peggie to one of them. This litter was born in 1941, and his pick was a female called Gin. She showed enough promise before her first birthday that she was bred to the other male he had selected and this litter was born in January of 1942. From this litter came N & K Sparkie, the female he wanted to breed to White River King. In July of 1944, Lester ran an ad in Full Cry magazine that the litter by White River King and N & K Sparkie were for sale at $35. This litter was line bred to King, who at the same time was at stud for $25. This was a mile- stone to the coonhound world, as it was the first time the words “TREEINGWALKER” were ever seen in print as a strain of breed of hound. Lester stated in this ad that he “did not breed for length

S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE • O CTOBER 2010 • 89

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