Gravestown Boxers is located in the rolling hills of North Mississippi. I was born and raised on a family farm just outside of Ripley, Mississippi near the community of Gravestown. I recall my parents purchasing a boxer when I was a small child. His name was Rosco named after Rosco P. Coltrane from the Dukes of Hazzard. Throughout my childhood, my father raised a few litters and I recall many great memories with Rosco, Daisy, Dixie & Queen. They molded my love for the breed even at such a young age.
After I graduated from college, I started showing interest in finding a good pedigreed, champion sired, healthy boxer for a pet. I did extensive research and it took me almost 10 years to eventually come to terms with making that first purchase. In 2009, I was talking to a good friend of mine and we started talking about becoming partners in buying a few quality boxers and breeding a few litters. Justin Kirkman & I eventually made our choice and made an 1100 mile round trip to make our first purchases. We had found a breeder with two champion sired litters. We purchased one flashy brindle boy out of one litter and two classic brindle girls out of another litter. As they began to grow up, we particularly started to notice quality issues in the girls & placed them in pet homes. We kept the boy, Diesel, we were much more attached to him and he showed to be more promising. Unfortunately, as handsome as he is, we have limited him to only a few breeding’s because he has a slightly low tail set & his hocks are long giving him a “cow hocked” gait. Luckily, the few times that he was bred, these faults did not carry over in his offspring.
It was never our intentions in breeding for show purposes or even showing, however, the more research that we did and the more we learned about health & structure, we realized that if we wanting something great, we had to start with something better than average. Therefore, I started researching the ABC website for reliable “show” breeders. We purchased a few more bitches along the way and they were better than the original bitches that we purchased but we still had not arrived at our desired goal. Discouraging? Absolutely! Was it time to give up? Not a chance! I started researching night after night on showing, show dogs, show breeders and we finally came to the decision that we needed to change our goals from just breeding a few litters of pets per year to breeding show quality dogs. We drove 5 hours to Hattiesburg, Mississippi one weekend just to observe a dog show and we have been hooked ever since.
Since 2012, we have been very fortunate in building a great friendship and working relationship with Rick & Mandy Justice of Justice Handling as well as Steve & Ann Anderson at Rummer Run Boxers. In 2012, they afforded us the opportunity to purchase a wonderful young boy out of CH Carillon’s Number One Draft Pick (Tebow) & Country Time’s Echo In Harmony (Smudge). We named this boy, Rummer Run’s Money In the Banks @ Gravestown (Fairbanks). Fairbanks exemplifies the boxer standard in type, substance, balance, and head. We are very fortunate to have such a wonderful boy as the cornerstone of our future breeding program & have him as our first American Champion. Thank you, Mandy, Rick, Ann, & Steve for believing in us and the potential we have in working together as a team for many years to come.
Over the years, “style & type” have played a tremendous part in the start of our breeding program. I personally like the Rummer Run “style & type” of boxer equally as much as the old Turo “style & type”. Particularly the old Turo’s prior to the year 2000. Boxers like CH. Marquam Hill’s Traper of Turo, SOM, LOM, CH Turo’s Empire, SOM, Turo’s Escappade, SOM, Turo’s Vanity Fair, DOM, DOMC, AM/CAN CH Garnsey’s Mad Max, SOM, CH Cachet’s Mad Max of Turo, SOM, CH Turo’s Cachet, DOM, and many more. Justin on the other hand prefers more of the Rummer Run “style & type” of boxer. Boxers like GCH Rummer Run’s Black Magic, CH. Capri’s Woods End Spellcaster, SOM, LOM, GCH Hopa’s Grand Slam, CH. Holly Lane’s Free As the Wind, CH. Rummer Run’s Mary Jane, CH. Rummer Run’s Star Dust, CH. Rummer Run’s High Noon, SOM, and the lovely, CH. Carillon’s Elegance of Rummer Run. Therefore, we have decided to incorporate some “old” Turo breeding’s into our program, specifically for outcrossing to our tightly line-bred Rummer Run bitches.
In 2015, I noticed on Facebook puppy pictures that Pam Holzapfel of Glenmere Boxers kept posting. There was one flashy brindle boy that kept catching my eye every day as she posted allot of pictures. I finally sent her a message and ask about the breeding and pedigree. She told me that it was a co-breeding between her and Cheryl Cates at Encore boxers. The dam was a line-bred Encore bitch and the Sire was out of Avalon’s Justice of Windsong. Pam sent me a pedigree and I was overjoyed to see that the puppies grandfather was CH Sundarby’s Fleetwood Mac, SOM, LOM, the son of CH Turo’s Empire, SOM, which is also the son of the “great” Marquam Hill’s Traper of Turo, SOM, LOM. At that point, I was hooked! I wanted this “Naughty” boy and he quickly became our Bentley. Bentley will be used for outcrossing as well as taking a few breedings back to the “old” Turo dogs that are closely bred to the ones mentioned above.
Our goal is to become self-sufficient, while still relying on our mentors in producing wonderful champions by focusing on the great boxers of today as well as incorporating the great Boxers of the past. Every good breeder should breed for type, soundness, temperament & longevity with the purpose of preserving the breed standard.
We would like to thank you for visiting our website. Boxers have become a very influential part of our lives. It is exciting to think that we could possibly be a major contributor to the breed for years to come. We are very blessed to be working with some of the very best veteran breeders and professional handlers in the breed; breeders and handlers that have contributed so much to the breed over the years. If you would like to contact us for any reason, please feel free to drop us an email or give us a call. When it comes to our boxers and the breed, we always welcome conversation. Please take the time to view our entire website. Gravestown Boxers is young in the breed but we have the energy and desire to make our presence known in the boxer world for years to come.
Michael H. Graves II
Justin E. Kirkman
Michael H. Graves II
Justin E. Kirkman
Ripley, Mississippi 38663
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