NEWSLETTER NUMBER 22
EDITORIAL by Ann Gatenby
SEMINAR FEEDBACK by Vickie Kemp
THANK YOU, PAT! by June Crookdake
ANOTHER SWIMMER by Barbara Smart
THE CHRISTMAS QUIZ by Jamie Mace
IMPORTANT APPEAL by Ivor Keyes
"What’s this?" I hear you say, "two newsletters within the same number of months!". Well - yes, the editorial team thought you deserved them as you had to wait quite a long time for the last one. This one won’t be quite as big, as running true to form, no-one but the dedicated few send in anything of interest to be included. However we will do our best.
A lot has been going on in the dog world over the past year, regarding the Kennel Club’s new system of breed clubs’ judging list, and these are really becoming a nightmare for club secretaries. We are hoping that, eventually, the entire list of judges for the breed will be held by the Breed Council. However there is a lot of work to be done first on our own individual lists. Now something about the dogs, and this is my own personal view. Others will probably disagree. There is no doubt that the quality of the bitches at the moment is far superior to the dogs, and this seems to be the general opinion of most of the show fraternity. However, I have to say that I think the pendulum is swinging too much in favour of the terrier side of our breed. People who know me know that I personally prefer a little more "terrier" than "bull" in a Stafford, but now they are in danger of becoming too terrier, and losing substance. As I remarked in my write up of the Notts. and Derby Ch Show (bitches), being fit does not mean being skinny, and I have to say that one or two of the bitches looked as if a square meal would not go amiss. I do not deny that they looked fighting fit, but the show ring is not the place for this and a little more covering would have produced a much nicer picture. However the basic quality of the bitches was excellent and this bodes well for the future generations of Staffords.
After Christmas we will be starting to think about our AGM, and we would love to see every Downlands member there (March 26th), although I know this is only a pipe-dream. However, you get the committee you, the membership, vote for, and when you are thinking about this, do please give it some careful thought. Committee members must be prepared to do a lot of "back room boy" work. Of course the shows we have are all important for members, and we try to make them really good shows, and to cater for every exhibitor’s needs, but this does not just happen on the day. Committee members must be prepared to be called on to work in the background - in other words, be committed to the Downlands.
As you know, we ran a well-attended seminar earlier in the year, and will possibly be able to do another one later in 2000 if the membership would like one. Let us know your views on this (perhaps at the AGM when you all turn up!).
All of you who have puppies for sale - don’t forget we have a puppy co-ordinator in Mrs Elaine Bruton (0181 715 8358), who will help you if you have problems selling or buying a puppy. This does not mean of course that she will actually guarantee the quality of the puppies, or the suitability of the new home. Sellers and buyers will have to do the "vetting" themselves. However Elaine will provide the contacts.
Finally let me wish you all (and your dogs) a very happy Christmas and a successful New Year, and don’t forget the old adage - you still love your dog as much if he doesn’t win as if he (or she) does, and don’t forget a pressie for the dog at Christmas. I look forward to seeing you at the next Downlands show (Feb 13th), when Connie Bowdery will be in charge of the decisions. We think this will be a good show, and there will be lots on offer in the form of specials, a super raffle run by Pat the Hat, a good rescue stall, a well stocked sales table (and other stalls), and of course lots of food (hot and cold). See you there.
Those of you who attended our very interesting seminar in Petersfield in March this year might be interested to hear the results of the feedback forms you kindly filled in to assist us in planning future events.
We received 46 feedback forms, 33 of which were from Downlands members, as well as some highly complimentary letters. Most of you thought most of the speakers were either ‘excellent’ or ‘good’, with very few ticks in the ‘average’ boxes. Practically everyone seemed to enjoy the food, and the only slight fly in the ointment seemed to be the parking. I think the problem with the parking was that the attendance was far higher than most of the committee expected, and when the event was being planned the car park seemed plenty big enough for the number of cars we expected. Anyway, at least we know from the forms what we need to improve on next time, so thank you to all those who took the time to return them.
We look forward to seeing you all at the next one!
How many times over the
past few years have I intended to write a big "thank you" (in the
Newsletter) to Pat Pritchard? Seeing Ann Gatenby’s tribute to her in the
Autumn 1999 edition has spurred me on to put pen to paper.
We absolutely adored her and in no time at all she became a beautiful, fit little girl. But unfortunately, Holly has been a street urchin and allowed to roam freely, and if it moved, it was "fair game." We handled this without incident until December 23rd when Holly killed a neighbour’s cat. Fearing for her safety, I contacted Pat. After a lot of hard work and numerous phone calls Pat had arranged for Holly to be housed overnight in private kennels and by lunchtime Christmas Eve, Holly had been rehomed, out of harm’s way, some 150 miles distant in a virtually cat free home. WHAT SPEEDY DEDICATION TO SAVE A STAFFORD FOR, LET’S FACE IT, JUST BEING A DOG.
I was inconsolable and Pat encouraged us to consider having another Stafford. I could never have visualised, in my wildest dreams, the dramatic effect losing Holly would have had and how empty our home would be without her. I shed enough tears to sink a battleship and it was the worst Christmas I have ever had so readily agreed to adopt another Staff (Ann Gatenby was also extremely supportive during the most harrowing fortnight and deserves a big "thank you" as well).
On the 6th January 1996 I had a phone call from Pat saying, "I know you wanted a bitch but I have the most gorgeous boy called Tuska looking for a good home." Pat continued to expound all his virtues (including he was very good with cats!!!) and eventually we agreed to have him if he took to us.
We arranged to collect Tuska at Rake Village Hall, the next day, when the committee were holding a meeting. We arrived early, but Ann was already there and had brought Fiery Angel along to keep us company whilst we waited for Tuska to arrive. Pat arrived soon after and explained that Tuska was in his way with another committee member. The wait seemed interminable, car after car arrived but still no Tuska....and then a car drew up, the door opened, and out jumped the most beautiful Staff I have ever seen. I couldn’t believe my eyes, surely this couldn’t be the dog looking for a new home? (Pat has given us a brief account of his past history and apparently he had already had three owners) But it was!!! It was very apparent from those first few moments that here was a boy who loved people.
Pat, from the bottom of our hearts, "THANK YOU!". You were right, Tuska is a most gorgeous dog. We will never forget Holly but Tuska has taken the pain away. Our whole life revolves around him, and so he also says, "Thank you, Auntie Pat. Please keep up the good work of introducing us Staffords to homes like mine where we can happily and contentedly spend the rest of our lives."
Congratulations on your presidency, Pat. You’ve earned it.
We enjoyed Veronica Brown’s article in the last newsletter as we have a swimmer too. We’ve got a beach hut on the Poole prom, and between June and October we take him in whenever we can tolerate the sea temperature! During a good summer this can be as much as three to four times weekly. We attach a ten foot rope to his collar and he’s down the steps in a flash, raring to go.
Although small, he’s built like a brick outhouse and his prowess in the water amazes us. He’s popular with all the youngsters and his appearance is invariably greeted with shouts of "Here comes Sam!" and "Can we hold him?". On one occasion a little girl called out "Look Mummy, there’s a seal on a rope!". Not being blessed with the usual rose ears they take on a fair bit of water and from time to time we have to grab his collar while he clears them. He’d stay in all day but half an hour is usually our limit! We have to make sure he has a good "shake" on the shore line as he’s not too popular if he does this on his way up a crowded beach! We had one hairy moment when his collar came off and while we were gathering our wits he was on his way to the Isle of Wight. Luckily a man in a dinghy saw the danger and headed him off.
Of course the anti-dog brigade are always around, and one man swam up angrily and said "What happens if your dog wees in the water?". When we replied that we thought he was more at risk from the myriad of toddlers in the sea he became even more angry and stomped off to the Beach Office, where fortunately his complaint was received unsympathetically.
But on the whole most folk
are pleased to see him and some even try to persuade his partner-in-crime to
join him. She has always distrusted the water completely, and has no intention
of keeping him company, but she is furious at the attention he receives, and
spends the entire time pacing the shore line and occasionally barking at him to
If you would like the chance to win a lovely collar by AE Collars (normally on sale for £13.25), why not try your hand at our challenging Christmas quiz. All answers to the Newsletter sub-committee at the address shown on the back cover.
1. Name the bitch on the cover of The Stafford - Winter 1997/8 issue.?
2. Who owns the affix "WILLOWSTAFF"?
3. Who is the secretary of the North Eastern Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club?
4. Who bred Champion HIGHLAND DREAM?
5. Name the dog on the front cover of the Photo Review - first issue.
6. Who won Best Puppy in Breed at Bath Canine Society in 1996?
7. Name the editor of the Photo Review.
8. Name the Best Bitch and Best in Show winner at the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club Open Show, 21st July 1996, dogs judged by Mrs K Evans, bitches judged by Mr J Ford.
9. Name the sire of Champion Fromestaff the Minstrel.
10. Name the sire and dam of Champion Bellglen Braws Best.
11. Who gave Champion Timgold Rita the Raver her third ticket?
12. Name the top SBT puppy of 1997.
13. Name the top Stafford of 1998.
14. Name the top stud dog of 1997 and 1998.
15. How many SBT breed clubs are there?
16. Name the sire of Breathless Mahoney at Janastaff and Darley Arabia.
17. Name the dam of Champion Wyrefare Prince Naseem.
18. What year was the Downlands Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club founded?
19. Steelyard Double Dash won the CC at which show, and who was the judge?
A £5 prize is on offer for the Downlands member who can suggest the most suitable caption for this picture of two Kerrisdale puppies, left - Kerrisdale Queen of the May (Ch Spirestaff Jimmy Jazz x Kerrisdale Celtic Silver), and right - Kerrisdale Barbarian (Ch Constones High Five x Kerrisdale Fiery Angel). Please let us have your suggestions by 31st March 2000, and the winner will be chosen at the next committee meeting after that date.
Our congratulations go to Roz and Dave Leadbeater, owners of the Downlands top points winning Dog for 1999 (full results on next page), who has won the Perleen Shield.
We would have liked to have printed a picture of the winning bitch as well, but unfortunately there are five bitches tying for top place, so hopefully we will be able to print some or all of their photos in the next issue.
We’re pleased to be able to bring you the final placings in the competitions for the Perleen Shield and the Oakshire Salver for 1999.
Our congratulations go to Dave and Roz Leadbeater and KERRISDALE BRYNS ALTER EGO who has won the Perleen Shield for Dog or Bitch gaining the most points at Downlands Shows. As you will see from the table below, five bitches have tied for first place in the competiton for the OAKSHIRE SALVER, each with 20 points. This situation will be discussed by the committee at the next meeting on January 9th, to determine how this tie should be resolved.
BITCHES (OAKSHIRE SALVER)
Points Compiled by Vickie Kemp
The following letter has been sent to Steve Dickenson and we felt it was very important that all Downlands members should see it as soon as possible. If anyone has any ideas about fund raising, or would like to donate any money towards this very deserving cause, please let any of the committe know. It will be discussed at our next committee meeting on Jan 9th, any further information will be passed on to all members as soon as it becomes available.
As you may already know, at the most recent meeting of the SBT Breed Council a motion was passed to go forward with research to be conducted by The Animal Health Trust at Newmarket into the condition Hereditary Cataract in the Stafford. The aim of the research is to develop a DNA test which will be available to breeders so that they can determine whether or not their dogs and bitches are carriers for the condition prior to the mating. The Breed Council formed a sub-committee to enter into correspondence with the AHT and gather any information that will enable the breed to make any decisions that may be required along the way. The three clubs that form the sub-committee are Merseyside, Northern Counties and North West, with Dave Levy as an observer. Dr Jeff Sampson the genetics co-ordinator for the Kennel Club has agreed to act as a technical advisor should we require any particular guidance in this respect. I must stress at this point that the type of information we will be handling will be of a passive nature. The AHT will handle all such information to maintain confidentiality for owners.
Enclosed is a letter addressed to me from the AHT to outline basic requirements for the research to go ahead, plus a fly sheet outlining the requirements for sampling, both of which have been lodged with the Breed Council. It is important that our dealings with the AHT are totally transparent, so that all clubs and therefore all members are equally informed.
The BC sub-committee for the Canine Genome Project (that department of the AHT conducting the research) have asked that all club secretaries make the information regarding sampling requirements available to members whether that be by post, newsletter, or perhaps leaving the form on tables at club functions so that no-one needs to ask for details if they choose not to. This is the first big step towards gathering samples for the research to begin. Details for sampling requirements will also be forwarded to breed columnists, and put on the BC website. It is important that everyone who has an affected dog, or close relative as indicated on the fly sheet has the opportunity to forward samples to the AHT.
The second step is to raise sufficient funds to enable research to be conducted once the required samples are collected. A separate account is to be opened by the BC for the collection of any money raised. In the first instance we need pledges of money from all the breed clubs so that when the AHT tell us that they are in a position to start research the money can be collected from clubs and forwarded straight away through the new account. This way large sums of money are not being held unnecessarily. Also it may be that some clubs need more time than others to raise funds. If we can tackle the question of funding at the earliest opportunity so that if required members need to be approached it will save a great deal of time later. Perhaps if your club committee can discuss this at its next meeting and let me know of any pledges at the above address, we will start to get a picture of what further work needs to be done at this stage. I am led to believe that there are already individuals who want to pledge financial support although no figures have been mentioned.
As you will see mentioned in the letter from the AHT the target sum is £20,000, which is in respect of the research involved. Dr Sampson did make it known at the BC meeting that payment from the breed may be acceptable in instalments but that is a question we need to ask of the AHT itself and we will keep you posted of any correspondence. The expected time for the research is about a year from receiving enough samples, and at the outside 18 months.
The AHT have also agreed to accept samples from dogs affected with PHPV and their relations, so it may be possible to tackle both problems together, however the inheritance of this condition is not clear, and therefore may take more time, but we may be lucky and there’s no harm in trying.
It is likely that you will have questions to ask and the sub-committee will try to get as much information as possible to answer them as soon as possible, in the meantime we can make the first big steps towards developing a test to control the condition by obtaining samples and raising the money required.
Animal Health Trust
Research into DNA Marker for Hereditary
The total number of samples required is about 50, of which 10-15 must be from affected dogs. All dogs in the sample pool need not all be related to each other and it is envisaged that in the first instance samples will be obtained from two perhaps three small families of dogs.
The definition of family in this case is for example from affected dogs, their parents, brothers and sisters, and grandparents.
The AHT will also receive
samples from dogs and related dogs as indicated for the condition PHPV.
2. A copy of the dog’s KC/BSAVA eye testing certificate to provide clinical diagnosis of the condition whether affected or clear.
3. A copy of the dog’s