Record breaking coonhound wins dog of year award - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Record breaking coonhound wins dog of year award

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January 25, 2008

Albany -- More than ten thousand spectators are expected in Albany this weekend to see the best coon hunting hounds from across North America. More than one thousand dogs will compete in the U-K-C Winter Classic.

Friday afternoon at the Exchange Club Fairgrounds the Purina Outstanding Coonhound of the Year Award went to a record breaking treeing walker. Abe is owned by Kevin Phillips of Columbus.

Abe set a U-K-C single season points record, placing or winning in 27 of the 30 events held across North America last year. Phillips said "it's a long and grueling race. It's run all year. Some 70 thousand miles just to events. That's not keeping the dog hunted up, trained up to go all week long."

Phillips and Abe earned a record winners check of more than $11,000 dollars. The Coon hounds and their owners and handlers will spread across South Georgia Friday night for the first of two night hunts. The dogs are judged on their ability to track and tree raccoons.  But the coons are not harmed.

The U-K-C Winter Classic has an estimated two million dollar impact on the local economy.

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