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(The following is from an article by S.L. Woolridge in the Dec.,1954 Chase magazine)

Wooldridges Sprite  794

Sept. 1937




 If you should ask any hunter in Kentucky which was the best hound I ever owned, he would invariably say "Sprite" and tell you of some wonderful race she ran in a field trial or of some grueling race at a private hunt. She was beautiful to look at, red and white in color, and a hound that won right along on the bench. She stood 221/2 or 23 inches high and had one of the most outstanding mouths I ever heard, a heavy chop she gave constantly when running. If a track was cold when Sprite hit it, it at once got hotter, when the fox was up she ran with the first ones, and the longer the race the faster and harder she ran and the stronger her mouth got. When she was thirteen months old, I saw her win the Derby at the Kentucky State in one of the hardest races I ever saw at a field trial, over six hours and a hard drive all the time. Her pace was terrific, and every time she passed the judges her tail and head were up and her coarse mouth going. The fox was shot in front of the bounds, and if it hadn't been I believe she would have killed that big, rusty red. This race was at La Grange in 1913, one of the first Kentucky State hunts.

1 think Sprite was one of the most beautifully bred bitches I ever hunted. She was by Wade's Alex, a mate to Hub Dawson, and a hound that will go down in history as a sire; and out of the celebrated Creek (CH. Calvin (F)-Phoebe). Creek won the Forked Deer and Red Fox AllAge, was third at the National, and one of the sweetest bitches 1 ever hunted. She was B&T in color, a small hound, but every inch valuable. Sprite's heritage to run was perfectly natural, coming through that blood.

Sprite was first bred to Skipper (Lee-Kate) and had a litter of nine pups. Ripper, one of the three that reached maturity, placed at Crawford Springs Hunt. Sam, a wonderful running dog of that litter, died of distemper. I presented Sambo, their mate, to L. B. Shouse, at weaning time, and later tried to buy him back for $325.00 1 thought so much of him. He was a beautiful BW&T hound and sired some good hounds out of Mat (Buster-Little Babe).

Sprite was also bred to Cable and produced the immortal Big Stride, the only dog pup in a litter of nine. As I will write about Big Stride later, will not go into detail about the bounds coming through this cross. Sprite was then crossed on A. V. Huyler's Cable Jr. (Cable-CH. Pride) and produced a splendid litter of pups. In this litter were Doug Crane and McAdoo. Doug Crane died early but McAdoo was bred to a great deal and many winning hounds trace to him.Mr. W.C. Baldwin's (Hull-Canada) has alot of this McAdoo blood. Baldwin's June and Baldwin's Blaze, now owned by the Winn bros. of Nachua, N.H. , are of this bloodline. Ross Brown of Alabama has a bitch of this litter , and he told me he had never seen her equal for speed and ability to carry a track. She ran so hard, he said, that it divided his pack up so that he really had better running after she was dead.

Sprite was then bred to Lockhart and produced some good hounds. Among the most famous of this mating was Ajax, owned by Dr. Ben Hammontree of Bolivar, Missouri. Ajax was a great hound that sired the winner of second in the Futurity, and was outstanding in every way.

When crossed on CH. Hustler (Skipper-Winona) Sprite produced War Sprite, a hound that sold for $175.00 at the age of ten months. Unfortunately he went the distemper route.

It will be many a day before there is another like Sprite. She did a great deal to help the Walker hounds. On many a hunt I have heard Jasper Maupin say when Sprite opened up, -Look out, boys, she has begun to cluck for her chickens." Then the race would begin in earnest. She didn't know what losing a fox was, and a hound just couldn't live in front of her. Her gameness was never questioned by any hunter.

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