Finley River Chief
Breeding Today For Hounds Of Tomorrow!
Different Strains Of Treeing Walkers
   Nite Champion Finley River Chief 
                    "A Legend"

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The Treeing Walker is one of the greatest coonhound breeds created.  This site is created with a love for the breed and the history of the breed.  For those of us that have hunted for years looking at some of these pictures of the greats of the past brings back wonderful memories.

Finley River Chief wasn't the only Great hound to have an impact on the Treeing Walker breed.  There are many other great hounds that had a great influence on making the Treeing Walker breed one of the most popular breeds.  We will be adding pictures as we are able to  obtain them of the dogs and the breeders responsible for them.  If you may have a picture or information that should be on this site, please contact us and share with us your treasure of knowledge and history.

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In researching the pedigrees of what are considered the top reproducers of the treeing walker breed in recent history one thing became very clear.  A lot of the strains of 20 - 40 years ago that made up some of the best foundation DNA of the walker breed have been combined very much to make up the top reproducers of the day.

After being very involved in the breeding of Treeing Walkers and breathing pedigrees as I was doing this, it is so interesting after close to 20 years being away from it.  To research the pedigrees of the hounds today and see how they got here by the different strains being crossed to get them is exciting to me.  Maybe more so because I have been away from the sport so long.

One of the great things is UKC's data on Producing Males and Females.  As many Registries as there are you would still want your dog registered with UKC also.  That has been what every one considered a True Registered Dog.  No slight to the other coonhound registries.  But I would be very surprised that in this day when a person is picking their pup up and the breeder is giving them the papers from all of the registries on their pup, I would be very surprised if the UKC papers aren't the one they are most concerned about.
As we search a lot of these great hounds one of the common threads we find in many of them is Hershberger's Okla. Spot.  Maybe in fairness instead of calling it the Sailor strain it should be called Hershberger.  Doing that could take away from identifying what strain you are talking about correctly.  Dick Hershberger had a number of hounds in his day that weren't related to Spot.  So to correctly indentifing the strain we will continue calling it the Sailor or Sailor Boy Line.

                         DIFFERENT STRAINS
What could be called a strain?  Starting off the Treeing Walker breed had very few dogs.  What became the foundation were dogs that had a desire to tree when the game climbed.  The first registered Treeing Walker was White River King owned by Lester Nance.  He had watched closely the Walker Foxhounds in his area that would tree game, not just run track, and in October of 1932 gave $13 cash and two bags of pig supplement for a 7 month old black & white male he named White River King.  White River King became well respected among all coonhunters of the area, and generated a whole new level for those that enjoyed the sport. Nance had the first Treeing Walker to be called a World Champion in White River Boone, which he had purchased from Bernard Hole, and the Reserve World Champion was White River Rowdy, a daugther of White River King.  Looking back far enough in the Treeing Walker Pedigrees you will see the names White River King, White River Boone, White River Rowdy.  These dogs would be the foundation for the strain called NANCE or WHITE RIVER.

In the early 50's the first Treeing Walker to win two ACHA World Championships was call Incredible Rock.  As with the foundation dogs of the breed early in the beginning a lot were Single Registered dogs. One strain of dog you found in a lot of pedigrees in the early years was INCREDIBLE ROCK.

The next walker hound to win the ACHA World Hunt and have an impact on the Treeing Walker Breed was Nite Ch. Merchant's Bawlie.  Bawlie won the World Championshipe three times.  The only hound to have done that.  The first hound of many owned by James Merchant that had an impact on the Treeing Walker breed.  Merchant sold Bawlie to Red Dolan who owned him till his death.  Going back researching old pedigrees you will find MANY crosses between Incredible Rock daugthers and Merchant's Bawlie.  So another strain could be called MERCHANT'S BAWLIE
.  Some dogs are strains didn't produce as good of results as others.  Merchant's Bawlie was used a lot as a stud dog mainly because of his hunt record.  He wasn't considered a top producer of tree hounds.

Another dog's name you will see a lot in an extended pedigree is Ch. Nite Ch. Motley's Mo. Major owned by Raymond Motley .  Mr. Motley's name and dog's name are scattered through out extended pedigrees.  There was a time back in that era that people talked about the MOTLEY strain.

 Also around this time another single registered  Treeing Walker that was from Foxhounds that loved to tree and was track driving, cold nose very hard tree dogs was introduced to the public.  Mack Twain was one of the top dogs of his day.  Still if you go back far enough you will find Mack Twain in some of the better hounds.  The strain was introduced to the public a great deal by John Cason who also owned Nite Ch. California Mack.  California Mack and a son of Calif. Mack, Nite Ch. California Mack Twain Jr. were responsible for producing many track driving, cold nose, very hard tree dogs that are what the
 MACK TWAIN strain is known for.  Dick Herberger's best female Nite Ch. Hershberger's Texas Babe was a grand daugther of  Mack Twain.

In 1961 a dog won the ACHA world hunt that introduced another strain to the treeing walker world.  Nite Ch. Stan's Sailor Boy was
1961 ACHA World ChampionThen in 1964 a son of Sailor Boy, Nite Ch. Stan's Sailor Jr. won the 1964 ACHA World Championship.  Sailor Boy was sired by  Hershberger's  Spot Jr. and his dam was Hershberger's Kansas Rose who was out of Hershberger's Little Butch.  As we search a lot of these great hounds one of the common threads we find in many of them is Hershberger's Spot Jr. or his son Ch. Nite Ch.  Hershberger's Okla. Spot.  Maybe in fairness instead of calling it the SAILOR strain or SAILOR BOY  strain it should be called HERSHBERGER.  Doing that could take away from identifying what strain you are talking about correctly.  Dick Hershberger had a number of hounds in his day that weren't related to Spot Jr.  So to correctly indentify the strain we will continue calling it the SAILOR or SAILOR BOY Line.

In 1963 another strain was introduced to the Treeing Walker world.  In 1963 House's Bawlie won the 1963 ACHA World Hunt and the 1963 ACHA World Show.  1963 ACHA Dual World Champion House's Bawlie was owned by Joe House.  Bawlie's mother was House's Queen upon who the HOUSE
strain was created.  If the UKC Data on Producing Males and Females had been in effect back then House's Queen would be listed as the top reproducing female of all time.  Based on the amount of pups she had and how many became Nite Ch. or Grand Nite Ch.  Shortly after winning the world hunt Joe House sold House's Bawlie to a Doctor in Tennessee for $5000.00, which at the time was a very large amount and the highest amount ever paid for a coonhound at the time.

One reason Joe House sold Bawlie was that he had a replacement coming  up out of House's Queen and Ch. Nite Ch. Johnson's Banjo called Ch. Grand Nite Ch. House's Chief.

Ch. Nite Ch. Johnson's Banjo was bought by James Merchant.  Banjo was known for being a very hard tree dog and for producing the same.  James Merchant didn't breed a lot of the dogs he offered to the public so I don't know if you could say there was a
MERCHANT strain, but he deserves the credit for recognizing some of these very nice hounds and introducing them to the public.  Johnson's Banjo was another of the foundation hounds that was single registered.  The BANJO strain was noted for very hard tree dogs.  Two of Banjo's more famous sons were Ch. Grand Nite Ch. House's Chief and Grand Nite Ch. Merchant's Banjo II.  In their day, they were two of the elite.
Some of the other hounds that James Merchant owned were
ACHA World Ch. Grand Nite Ch. Katie's Rowdy, ACHA World Ch. Grand Nite Ch. Deep River Mike, Dual Grand Ch. Merchant's Bawling Barney.

In 1965 John Monroe won the
1965 ACHA World Championship with Grand Nite Ch. Claxton's Finely River Spot who was a son of Nite Ch. Finley River Chief.  Chief was bought as a puppy by Herb Carsten of Springfield, Missouri.  Chief was from the cross of Ch. Nite Ch. Shetler's Sonny Boy and Ch. Nite Ch. Bixler's Supreme Sally.  Shortly after winning the World Hunt with Spot, John Monroe bought Finley River Chief for I believe $3000.00 which was a great deal of money for that time especially considering Chief's age.  John Monroe deserves much credit for bringing the FINLEY RIVER CHIEF strain to the attention of the public.

The next year in 1966 a grandson of Finley River Chief won the
1966 ACHA World Championship.  His name was Grand Nite Ch. Spring Creek Smoky owned by Duane Clark who also owned Dual Ch. Spring Creek CB.  CB was another son of Finley River Chief and the sire of Dual Grand Ch. Spring Creek Rock, one of the top producers of the day.  In 1970 Grand Nite Ch. Gann's Finnisher won the 1970 ACHA World Championship.  Finn was a son of Finley River Chief.  In 1973 Grand Nite Ch. Beanblossom Buck won the 1973 ACHA World Championship.  Buck was our of Grand Nite Ch. Carsten's Finley River Buck who was a grandson of Finley River Chief.  In 1981 Dual Grand Ch. Hern's Red Eagle Dick won the 1981 ACHA World Championship.  Dick was a grandson of Finley River Chief being out of Grand Nite Ch. Mear's Finley River Dan owned by Lonnie Mears.  Finley River Dan was one of the best producers in his day and many consider him the best reproducing son of Finley River Chief. Lonnie Mear's deserves a lot of credit for helping to promote and better the treeing walker Finley River strain.  Another ACHA World Champion
was Grand Nite Ch. Easy Goin Eileen.  Eileen was out of Mear's Finley River Dan which makes her a grand daughter of Finley River Chief. But she also has Chief on her mother's side, being a grandaughter of Grand Nite Ch. Finley River Pete who was a son of Finley River Chief.

John Monroe not only owned Spot and Chief, but also other Finley River dogs that helped promote the breed and strain.  He offered Grand Nite Ch. Monroe's Finley River Joe, Grand Ch. Nite Ch. Monroe's Little Chief,  Grand Nite Ch. Blue River Bill, Grand Nite Ch. Finley River Pete.


  1961 ACHA World Champion Stan's Sailor Boy

Shown in the picture with Sailor Boy is the owner.   W.O. (Stan) Stanfield.  Sailor Boy also produced a ACHA World Champion.  He came from the Hershberger Spot Jr. Line of Hounds.  You will find many hounds with the Sailor Boy line in them
  1964 ACHA World Ch.

1964 ACHA World Champion Stan's Sailor Jr.  A son of Stan's Sailor Boy and he was also owned by W.O.  (Stan) Stanfield of Tennessee.  Sailor Jr. produced Wright's Pistol Pete and Shive's Goldhill Lou.  You will find these two dogs in many pedigrees.  Also Sailor Jr.'s grand dad Hershberger's  Spot Jr.  is the sire of Ch. Nite Ch. Hershberger's Okla Spot who is the grand sire of Terrell's Palmetto Chief.  Chief is the sire of Merchant's Bawling Barney, who is the sire of Ball's Hickory Nut Harry.  Harry's mother was also a daughter of Ch.Nite Ch. Hershberger's Okla. Spot.   As you can see the Sailor Boy line of dogs have many branches in the Treeing Walker DNA tree.
  Grand Nite Ch. Ball's Hickory Nut Harry

Harry can be found in many good hounds pedigrees.  I owned a nice female out of him named Sarah that was a very nice hound.  Harry has Ch. Nite Ch. Hershberger's Okla. Spot on both sides of his pedigree.
  Grand Nite Ch. Yadkin Tar Rattler

One of  Rattler's son is Grand Nite Ch. Nocturnal Nailor.  If you study pedigrees much you will know that name.  Tar Rattler also has links to the Sailor Boy strain of Treeing Walkers.   His sire was Nite Ch. Yadkin River Jeff.  Jeff was a grandson of Stan's Sailor Jr. on his top side and a great great grandson on his mothers side.   Jeff also has in his pedigree the strains of  Finley River Chief, Johnson's Banjo, and the House strain.

Rattler on his mother's side has heavy Johnson's Banjo and also Grand Nite Ch. World Ch. Deep River Mike.
  Grand Nite Ch. Rock River Sackett

Another hound that you will find in many pedigrees.  One of his sons is Ch. Grand Nite Ch. Rock River Sackett Jr.  Sackett has Nite Ch. Yadkin River Jeff on both sides of his pedigree.  That will make him heavy in the Sailor Boy strain.  He also has Dual Grand Ch. Spring Creek Rock and Grand Nite Ch. Wolfe's Tree Picking Bill which are from the Finley River Line.  Also there is some Johnson's Banjo Line.
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