Woods family produces Basset Hound champion

By Joe Bowling
OUTDOORS EDITOR

   On April 1, Darrell and Vickie Woods, Bishop Hollow went to Petersburg, Ind. to enter their dog, King's Let's Have a Chase, in the Basset Hound runoff for the Purina Hound of the Year.
   Little did they realize that on April 6 their dog would be the World Basset Hound Champion.
   Chase is four years old, and besides the national title, he was presented the title Reserve Hound of the Year in the Open Class Division by the American Hunting Basset Association.
   Chase will be in the Basset Hunt Sept. 28-29 in Hansonville, Va. The hunt is sponsored by the Twin City Sportsmans Club in Bristol, Tenn. and Va.
   The American Hunting Basset Association began as the Basset Division of the American Rabbit Hound Association and remained with the ARHA until March 2001. The AHBA Registry is now owned by the DCS Publishing Company in Royston, Ga. The competition is controlled by the AHBA Board of Directors under the leadership of the Chairman of the Board, Jacob James IV and the President of the AHBA, Gerald Bailey.
   On February 10, 1990, the first two bassets were entered in AHRA competition. They ran against beagles in this hunt. There were 17 hounds entered in the competition, and the bassets finished third and fourth.
   There was also a basset named JRK Bunny Troubles that qualified and ran in the 1990 ARHA Big Pack World Hunt. After these two events it was decided that bassets must have their own division.
   The three people who were the most instrumental in starting the Basset Division were from Oklahoma -- Jo Ann Lawrence, Rita James and Jacob James. They held the first Basset World Hunt in Golden, OK, December 11, 1993. There were 13 bassets entered in this hunt. The AHBA has grown at the 2001 World Hunt, where there were 88 bassets entered.
   We are aiming for 100 bassets at the 2002 World Hunt.
   The Woods family got some disheartening news this past week. The were scheduled to leave May 23 to Melaca, Minn. for the Minnesota State Hunt, but Vickie, who has been recovering from surgery, was informed by the doctor to cancel the trip for health reasons.
   All of the Woods family enjoy working with basset hunts. Their son, who is a student at Tennessee Technology, works with the dogs when he has spare time, and their 15-year-old daughter Summer, who is a freshman at Unaka High, also spends her spare time in working with basset hounds.
   The Woods have been hunting bassets and training hounds for 16 years. In addition to Chase, they have three other basset field champions.