PROFILE: John William “Bill” Ewalt was born in 1899 on a ranch near Atlanta, KS and died September 19, 1982 at the age of 83. When he was 27 years old, he quit his regular job at an ice plant in order to take his first kennel of greyhounds to St. Petersburg, FL.
HISTORY: Ewalt’s father owned cold bloods and mixed breed greyhounds that caught coyotes and jackrabbits hindering life on the farm. For recreation, the Ewalts joined other farmers and ranchers who conducted Sunday community coursing meets, pitting greyhounds against each other. When Bill was about 12 years old, his father bought a pair of registered greyhounds, one of which was WILD TOMMY. The boy was given sole care and responsibility for the pair and he won several coursing matches. He had to give up the greyhounds when the family moved to town the next year. In 1919, however, Ewalt purchased another pair of registered greyhounds and in 1921 he visited his first greyhound racetrack in Newton, KS. Three years later he leased three of his greyhounds to be raced at a track in Tulsa, OK. In the years that followed, his kennels opened many tracks throughout the country and also in Cuba and Mexico. He also sent greyhounds to New Zealand, Australia, Greece and South America. He imported greyhounds from Ireland, England and Australia for their bloodlines.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Some of Ewalt’s outstanding greyhounds from 1926 to 1979 were; CASTLE’S JET, FAR AND AWAY, FAWN EMPRESS, SPARROW HAWK, BE LIGHTLY, CURRENT ASSETS, CAM SHAFT and JOSIE’S DOLL. They won many Derby and Inaugural stake races, special distance stakes, hurdle championships and other big matches. To handicap some of the stars, such as FREEDOM’S CALL, lead weights were sown in the greyhound’s racing blankets. One of Ewalt’s greyhounds raced in an exhibition sprint against Olympic gold medalist Jesse Owens; two others competed in matches against outstanding racehorses. Ewalt also helped to write many of the rules and regulations of greyhounds racing in Massachusetts, Florida and Colorado and served on various committees that made decisions affecting breeders and owners.