Michael and Myra Seets of Stonefort received the Purina Outstanding Bench Show Coonhound Award for their 2 year-old male Treeing Walker Coonhound.
Their dog WCH NITE CH GR CH 'PR' PREACHER JOHN the "Rock" outperformed 2,033 hounds to win the award which was presented on April 6 in Flora.
"Rock is flashy," said Michael Seets. "His coloration is just perfect with his four white feet and symmetrical black patches across his back and neck. Rock has the best head I have ever seen on a Walker," he said.
Rock earned 190 points at 12 Purina Points bench show competitions to win the award. Hounds are judged on their overall conformation and movement on the ground, or gait. Rock stood out among 98 hounds to win the Tennessee State Championship last May.
After this win, Seets knew he had enough Purina Points for Rock to clinch the Purina title. Rock also won the Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri and Illinois State Championships and was the American Coon Hunters Association 2012 World Show Champion.
Seets bought Rock in Indiana as a 14-month-old.
"I knew he was a diamond in the rough with his handsome head and his superior conformation," Seets said. "I started feeding him Purina ProPlan and got him into shape and then started training him."
Seets trained Rock while on the road showing his other hounds.
"I'd get there early so we could practice at the fairgrounds in the atmosphere where bench shows are held rather than in my garage at home," said Seets. "Rock proved to be a fast learner with an easy-going temperament."
Seets has competed in bench shows and night hunts since 1978, when at age 19 he sold his car to buy an English coonhound puppy. He is a three-time winner of the Purina Outstanding Bench Show Coonhound Award, having also won in 2001 and 2008. In addition to winning the overall award with Rock, Seets won the Black & Tan and American Leopard breed categories.
"I enjoy competing for this award, seeing the different places and being with people," Seets said.