Finley River Chief
Breeding Today For Hounds Of Tomorrow!


Tom Hopkins knew he had something special with the dog he named House's Lipper when Lipper was at an age most people would call him a pup.  As he hunted this pup more and more he showed the potential for greatness in the coon hunting world.  He proved his worth as a coon hound and in the competition circle winning at a young age and often.

House's Lipper held the record of being the worlds youngest Dual Grand Champion for many years.  As great a coon hound and competition hound he was making and did make I don't think even Tom Hopkins knew how great an impact the hound he named House's Lipper would have on the Treeing Walker Breed.

On January 9th, 1984 when Lipper was a two year old Tom Hopkins had the foresight to have Lipper drawn and froze his semen.  At that time people didn't know for sure how good this was going to work and even if it would be recognized by the registration offices.  But Tom had the faith in his hound and what he had seen out of him already in the breeding pen that he felt like this could be a good thing to do for the future.

I doubt if Tom even thought then how important an impact that Lipper would have on the breed.  There are a few and it is a very few dogs that come along that have an influence on the breed that is truly worthy of mention.  Like him or hate him Lipper is one of those few hounds.

Through the years Tom kept this semen to use sometime in the future when the time was right.  He even got out of hunting for a few years but even when he was out of the sport he kept the semen and refused to sell it, even though he had many opportunities to do so.

Then in 2010 after he had gotten back into the sport he decided it was time to break out some of the Lipper Semen he had been saving all of these years.  In 2010 from this semen that was collected in 1984 there was born a litter of 10 pups.

The semen was good and strong and Tom still have 3 vials of it left.  As I was talking to Steve Kinney he expressed to me an interest to breed World Champion Insane Jane to Lipper.  He told me he was reluctant to call as he called him Mr. Hopkins about his semen since he only had 3 vials left.  There was other Lipper semen out there that was collected when Lipper was an older dog.  But some people hadn't had much luck when they tried to use that semen to get pups.

The semen that Tom collected when Lipper was a young two year old hound had proven to be good when the first vial produced 10 healthy pups.  I talked to Tom and told him Steve Kinney had expressed an interest in breeding Jane to Lipper.  Tom said he would have an interest in his Lipper semen being used on a World Champion so many years after his passing.

The next time I talked to Steve Kinney I encouraged him to call Tom Hopkins and talk to him about the Lipper semen.  I had heard many unflattering things about Mr. Kinney but up to that time he had been nothing but nice to me.  I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt and decided maybe it was just people being jealous or blowing things out of proportion and that since he had been nothing but nice to me that he would have to prove to me he wasn't who he appeared to be to me.

With that thought process I encouraged Tom Hopkins to try to make some kind of deal with Steve Kinney and breeding Jane to Lipper.  I consider Tom Hopkins a good friend and with my dealings with Steve Kinney to that point thought it might be a good match up for those two to get together.  Tom had the semen he had saved from Lipper for so many years and Steve had a World Champion he wanted to breed to Lipper.

Now after what has happened I really feel bad about this and encouraging Tom to try and work with Steve.  But until everything went  ??? it seemed like it was going to be a good relationship.

Jane was coming in heat very soon and a deal was struck.  Steve took Jane to Doctor Law to do the AI.  He had her up there in plenty of time for the AI to take place.  It didn't happen through no fault of Steve Kinney or Tom Hopkins.

On the way home from Doctor Law's office Steve decided to try a live breeding with Jane.  He took her to Trackman and from this Jane had 7  pups.  I believe Steve told me he weaned them at 7 weeks of age to get Jane back into shape as soon as possible so they could try again get Jane bred to Lipper.

When she came in heat again arrangements had been made to have the AI done somewhere else.  It was done and Jane was with pups from Lipper.  Tom Hopkins went up to Steve Kinney's place to take part in the birth.  He spent I believe a week there and watched 11 healthy pups being born out of Insane Jane and House's Lipper.

From this litter Tom Hopkins was to get the choice pup plus Tom and Steve were going to partner on the 2nd choice pup.  Also from this litter Steve Kinney offered me a female pup out of the litter and I accepted his offer.

Everything seemed to be going well.  Tom went home and they were doing so much texting that Tom had to change his texting plan.  Then when the pups were two weeks old something changed.  They wouldn't answer his texts or the phone.

Through the weeks Tom was attempting to make contact with the Kinneys to try and get some pictures and see how the pups were doing and to make arrangements to pick out and up his pup.  During this time I also wasn't able to make contact with them.  It seemed like they had dropped off the face of the earth.

I will go into more of this later but finally the Kinneys announced that the pups had died.  It was a number of days before they actually texted or emailed Tom that the pups were dead.  I would have thought he would have been the FIRST one they should have contacted since he was getting the choice pup.

There is a lot more that can and will be said about the happenings from the time the pups were two weeks until the claim was made that the pups had died.   We will putting more on here in time.



Tom Hopkins and Lipper plus Dr. Law and Insane Lipper



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