The Official Journal of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Society of NSW inc

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A Brief History of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier in N.S.W
 

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier has certainly progressed since it’s introduction to Australia in the early 1950’s. Originally a rare breed, relatively unknown in the show rings up until the mid 1960’s, the early statement of well known veterinarian and breed supporter Dr Paul Pemberton that the breed “will one day be running the streets” has certainly proved to prophetic. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is now one of Australia’s most popular breeds, recognized as the foremost all purpose dog, with over 70,000 puppy registrations in the ten years between 1996 and 2006.

The dream of Harry Pimlott and John and Margaret Bright, early enthusiasts of the breed, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Society of N.S.W Inc was formed in November 1965 in order to bring together the relative few who were passionate about the breed in those days. Unfortunately Harry Pimlott passed away before affiliation with the RAS of NSW was achieved, but the club was ably established in the hands of its first president Doug Williams and Bull Terrier exhibitor and Stafford supporter Joan Officer, who served as Secretary for many years. The first championship show was held in 1965, judged by Mr Fred Luland (N.S.W), with Mr Les Kendall’s Aust/NZ Ch Mowcop Maestro (imp N.Z) winning Best In Show and also going on to win the Society’s first three championship Shows.

The Society has gone from strength to strength since its infancy, going on to bring the first U.K breed specialist to Australia. Mr Ron Servat adjudicated in 1977, awarding Brittany Bedazzled the Best In Show award. Stafford matriarch Mrs Marion Forrester (N.Z) was the first overseas specialist to judge the breed in Australia. She judged the Society’s tenth Championship show, finding her winner in Crossguns Bill Sykes. The Society will conduct its 84th Championship Show in October 2007, having brought 28 overseas specialists to judge its shows over a 42 year period. These judges have come from not only New Zealand and the U.K, but also the U.S.A, Ireland, South Africa and the Netherlands. The breed is now represented by clubs in all states and territories of Australia except for Tasmania and the Northern Territory, with each of these clubs following the foundation club’s lead and regularly bringing specialist judges from all over the world to adjudicate at their shows.

The Society has officially recognized the contribution of the early pioneers of the breed here in Australia, with Joan Officer, Les Kendall, Yvonne Reeder, Lois Davidson being honored with perpetual trophies in their name since the passing of these stalwarts. The hard work these early doyens did to make the breed the force it is today cannot be overestimated, and it is to them that the breed’s acceptance as the ultimate family pet here in Australia can be contributed.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier in Australia is now a truly global mix as we are no longer confined to the limited gene pool of Australia and New Zealand.
It is hard to believe that since 1970, 102 imports have been registered in Australia, coming from New Zealand, the U.K, the U.S.A, the republic of Ireland, and Scandinavia. With advancements in technology, frozen semen is now an important part of local breeding programs, with successful litters being bred from sires in the U.K, South Africa and Scandinavia. Australian dogs are also making their mark on the overseas show rings, with frozen semen contributing to breeding programs in Scandinavia and the U.S.A, and exports achieving show ring success in New Zealand, the U.S.A, the U.K and Scandinavia. Many Australian Stafford enthusiasts have become championship show judges, now recognized as amongst the world’s most knowledgeable judges of the breed and judging not only here in Australia, but across the globe including the breed’s mother country, England.

The breed continues to enjoy great success in the show rings across the nation, and is clearly the most prolific winner of the terrier group on a week to week basis, especially here in New South Wales. There have been approximately 65 dogs made up to the title of grand champion since the inception of the title here in Australia in 1998. This is an outstanding achievement for Australian bred dogs as only 5 of these champions were imports. This is also an impressive statistic for New South Wales dogs as approximately 30 of these grand champions were bred in this state. 1061 champions have been titled since 1970, with approximately half of these winners originating from New South Wales.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is now a regular winner of Best In Show awards at all breeds championship show level, with dogs such as Ch Southstock Pot Black, Ch Gamester The Chainmaker, Grand Ch Highbourne Luskin Star, Aust Grand/Eng/Ire Ch Cumhil Little Mischief (imp Ire), among others, multiple winners of this award in New South Wales. They follow on from the tradition set by Aust/NZ Ch Warsop Pickwick, owned by Mrs Marion Harding in New Zealand and cared for and exhibited in Australia by Mrs Yvonne Reeder, who won the breed’s first all breeds Best In Show .

(All statistics courtesy of Dogs NSW)