World coon hunt in Illinois
Coonhound enthusiasts from across the country turn their attention to northwestern Illinois, as the country’s 100 best coonhound dogs compete for the title of World Champion during this year’s UKC World Coonhound Championship Finals taking place September 18-20 in Elizabeth.
Dog/owner teams featured during the finals must advance from semifinals in Virginia, Texas, Georgia, Utah, Iowa, Ohio, Missouri and Tennessee. There are 100 spots available in the finals.
All UKC registered coonhounds who have qualified at designated events from January to August are eligible to compete in the semifinal events. The field of hopefuls will be a group of 700 to 800 dogs.
The Northwestern Illinois Coonhunters Association located in Elizabeth will act as Host Club for the 2008 UKC World Championship Finals. Based on average numbers per event; they have been considered Illinois’ top club for five years running. Last year the NWICHA was ranked #9 in the nation out of a grand total of nearly 1,400 clubs.
Founded in the spring of 1999 by Tom Basten of Elizabeth and Mark Hauck of Stockton, membership is made up of houndsmen and women from Jo Daviess, Stephenson, and Carroll Counties, Southern Wisconsin and western Iowa. The club is very supportive of charity groups and events for all of North Western Illinois and is also a major supporter of local town chambers.
This national event starts with Round 1 and 2 on Thursday night and Rounds 3 and 4 taking place on Friday as necessary. All events during the weekend are free admission and open to the public.
Championship Saturday begins with the most competitive Bench Show of the year with the winner being crowned “World Show Champion”. Saturday evening the main event Nite Hunt Finals takes place to determine which of the final four Coonhounds will be crowned “World Coonhound Champion”.
The UKC World Coonhound Championship Finals is the third and final round of this year’s Triple Crown, sponsored by Black Gold brand dog food, which awards a prize package worth over $3,000 to the dog with the highest cumulative point total from UKC’s three largest yearly events (including Autumn Oaks and Winter Classic). UKC also thanks Nestle Purina (Purina Points Series sponsor) and Tri-tronics for their support of the World Show Championship Finals.