May Joy All Star: Frank Giddings
Most everyone that has un-snapped a dog into the blackness of night in hopes of hearing the sweet sound of hounds trailing and treeing will know the name of Frank Giddings. Frank has been a staple in the sport of Raccoon hunting since the early 70s, and his success is undeniable. A true legend, a great ambassador to our sport, and the epitome of what it takes to be a Joy All Star.
Frank made his initial mark on the coonhunting world with his first venture into the stud dog business with Rock River Ring, and Ring by all accounts was a special dog who did his job well. In both facets of the sport at the time, competition and reproduction, Ring excelled with Frank behind him, and the pair began what was to be an amazing journey for Frank in the years and decades to come.
While Ring put Frank on the forefront, an even more special dog was coming. Rock River Sackett Jr was a special animal, and the impact he had, and continues to have on the Treeing Walker breed is incalculable. Jr’s sire, Rock River Sackett, according to Frank was “Pretty much a top dog, but didn’t reproduce on outside females at all,” but did well on Yadkin River bred females.
When Sackett Jr was born to his mother Skeans Dolly, he came in a litter of 3 with only 1 male. Frank had bred old Sackett to Dolly on the agreement he be given a male puppy out of the litter, but at weaning time he was denied that and given the female, and Frank concluded
“That was the last time I made a pup deal.”
But fate sometimes intervenes when it comes to placing the right dog into the hands of the right handler, and luckily for everyone Frank was able to buy Jr a short time later.
While the history of Frank and Sackett Jr is well known, and one for the books, what is sometimes overlooked is the impact that he had on dogs generations down the line. Rat Attack is considered one of the most dominant reproducers in the breed, and was a son of Sackett Jr. Sacket Jr’s Son, Tell Sackett, and Rock River Cord were all continuations of the Sackett Legacy that were campaigned by the Giddings family, and Tequila Sunrise, a dog that had a major impact on both performance and reproduction, was a pup out of Rat Attack.
All of this is amazing considering that at the height of his popularity, Sackett Jr was struck and killed by a car while showing Jr to some prospective breeders at the age of 7. Who knows what would have happened if Jr had lived to reproduce the dogs that he was known for until the end of his life, but the future was as bright for him and the Giddings family as one could be at the time of his death, but according to Frank, “If it’s meant to happen, it’s gonna happen.”
Despite these setbacks, Frank continued to hunt and continued to have success. He attributes this to his work ethic, his love for the sport, and his family. Most notably his loving wife, who he continues to praise, as he still heads out into the dark night, in hopes of hearing the sweet sounds of hounds, trailing and treeing.