South Carolina coonhounds dominated the standings in both the Friday and Saturday Nite Hunts at the 54th Annual Grand American Coon Hunt.
But, when all the scores were tallied, it was Marshville, N.C.'s GRNITECH'PR' A and B's All Night Polo, a Treeing Walker Coonhound, that won the overall title and was awarded at the Orangeburg County Fairgrounds early Sunday morning.
All Night Polo is owned by Eddie Huntley and handled by Dillon Bradshaw, and earned a spot in the final cast by finishing 3rd overall in the Friday Nite Hunt and 15th overall in the Saturday Nite Hunt.
Finishing second in the final cast was NITECH CH'PR'Soggy Bottoms Sweet As Sugar, a Treeing Walker Coonhound from Coward, owned by Anderson Matthews and handled by Eric Franks, after a 19th-place finish on Friday and a 4th-place finish on Saturday.
Placing third in the final cast was Orangeburg County resident GRNITECH'PR'Sandifer's Bodacious of Norway, an English Coonhound owned and handled by Landon Sandifer, after a 14th-place finish on Friday and a 7th-place finish on Saturday.
Placing fourth in the final cast was NITECH'PR'Hardtime Bam of Chuckey, Tenn., an English Coonhound owned by Paul Maupin and handled by Karter Maupin, after a 9th-place finish on Friday night and a 2nd-place finish on Saturday night.
Also on Saturday night, owner/handler William McDaniels of Mullins and his Treeing Walker Coonhound named Mojo Wildman Hoss made it a second straight year posting the highest score of the weekend, with a 1,112.5+ on the Saturday Nite Hunt. But, even that score didn't get the Pee Dee dog into the final cast, having not scored in the Top 20 on the Friday Nite Hunt.
The soggy conditions around the area from heavy rains through Friday afternoon still played both hunts to the experience of South Carolina dogs, who reguarly hunt in wetland conditions. In the Friday Nite Hunt, 14 of the Top 20 scoring dogs were from the Palmetto State. In the Saturday Nite Hunt, 12 of the Top 20 scoring dogs were from the Palmetto State.
However, both Tennessee and Virginia had two dogs score in the Top 10 of the Saturday Nite Hunt.
A total of 228 dogs hunted in the weekend competition, although about 60 who had preregistered to compete didn't show due to the heavy rains earlier in the week or other circumstances.
"It's been a good weekend of hunting and fellowship," Grand American Coon Hunt Association President David McKee said. "We were worried about the water and the possible flood conditions.
"But, things went fine and, the Good Lord willing, we'll be back again to do it next year."