VIENNA, W.Va. — For several years Jarrod Waybright has been raising and training beagles for hunting competitions and this year one of his dogs was named world champion at a competition in Tennessee.
That champion is World Ch LPCH Ch GRHBCh (world champion little pack champion — champion grand hunting beagle hunting beagle champion) Brush Axe’s Hurry Up Grand Slam, or just Slam for short.
Waybright said he has 12 beagles and many of them have won titles in the Hunting Beagle Championships over the years, but 6-year-old Slam is his first world champion.
“I’ve had an international field champion and I’ve had them place in grand championships and place in the nationals,” he said. “This is my first and only world champion.”
In 2015 Slam was fourth in the performance pack championship.
Waybright said his 12 other beagles include Slam’s sister and his father who is 10. Waybright said Slam’s father was the oldest in the hunt, since the normal retirement age is between 8 and 10 years of age.
Waybright said Slam has the pedigree for being a champion in hunting.
“He is the grandson of a world champion and there are many more in his pedigree,” he said. “Many have the same, they are hunting dogs and grand hunting beagle champions.”
Waybright said Slam was in a field of 253 dogs from West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Virginia, Kansas, North Carolina, Michigan, New York and Tennessee.
Raising beagles is a way of life for him, Waybright said.
“I got into this as a young boy,” he said. “I grew up around them and went hunting with them.”
Waybright also raised coon dogs but now he concentrates on beagles.
In the competition Waybright said the dogs and handlers go out in groups of four and they are judged on how quickly they pick up on the scent of a rabbit and how long to find it.
As the competition the winners of each group go into another until there is a final four and the champion is picked from that group.
“They are not distracted by any other animals that may be in the area,” he said. “They are broken of wanting to hunt anything other than rabbit. If they go off after something else they are scratched from the competition.”
Waybright said he breeds his beagles for hunting and he looks for certain characteristics.
“The are bred mostly for competition, we breed them for what we like,” he said. “I look to breed them to others that are complementary to each other to get them to do what we want them to do.”