NEWSLETTER NUMBER 23
Hallastaff Princess Warrior, Photograph supplied by Mr. M. Halladey
EDITORIAL by Ann Gatenby
FROM THE CHAIR by Ben Kemp
THE WONDER OF MOTHERHOOD by Guida Templeton
CHRISTMAS QUIZ RESULTS by Jamie Mace
STAFFORDS ON THE WEB by Ben Kemp
POEM contributed by Kathy Palmer
REMINISCENCES by Muriel Masterman
Dear Members and Friends
Sadly I feel I have to start this editorial with the really worrying news about Staffords in Germany, and I fear soon to spread to many other parts of Europe. Even Britain cannot be 100% sure that, in time, we will not be affected by European legislation. Our dogs are very much "on the fringe". For people who donít know what I am talking about (and Iím sure there cannot be many), it is the legislation going on in Germany regarding sixteen different breeds of dog (and Staffords are one of these) who will be outlawed in Germany following a sad incident of a small boy being attacked and killed by a Pit Bull and an American Staffordshire Terrier, not a Stafford as it was said to be by German officials. If these laws go through, in about ten years time there will not be one Stafford in Germany or many European countries. The owners of Staffordshire Bull Terriers over there are having a terrible time at the moment, and we must do all we can to help them. There are details at the end of this editorial of some useful phone numbers to use. Our Breed Council will do all it can and we will try to keep you informed of any vital information that comes to hand. In the meantime, try to be very careful and sensible owners of this lovely breed. Do not allow your dog to contravene any local laws because we are very close to Europe (I never wanted to be a European in the first place!!). If you want any information on this subject contact Mr. Phil Buckley, Press Officer, The Kennel Club, 1 Clarges Street, London W1Y 8AB OR phone 020 7518 1020 OR mobile 07977 548168 OR Email: email@example.com. Ring me if you want any literature on the subject.
On a happier note, our shows so far this year have been well attended, and seem to have been enjoyed by all who came. Unfortunately we have been told by the Kennel Club that we still do not have C.C.s for next year, but I feel we must be getting near to some sort of arrangement whereby even if we do not get tickets every year, surely there must be a way of sharing them with other clubs on a rotation basis. After all there are only two SBT clubs with tickets in the south (Southern Counties and the Western), whereas the Midlands and the North have ten, and we do have consistently good entries at our open shows.
The Judges Working Party continues to be a bit of a nightmare, but I think by next year we shall have it sorted out. If anyone wants to have their name on any of our judgesí lists, write to me with details of their judging experience, also stewarding experience and details of stud dogs, litters bred and seminars attended. We hope to have an official form to send applicants soon. If possible, we are going to have another seminar later this year or early next year. The last one was very popular, and hopefully we will be able to even improve on it.
Well, thatís all from me at the moment. Enjoy the Summer and the Summer shows, and remember to make your dog behave impeccably when other people and their dogs are around. At the moment we simply cannot afford to have any bad publicity, so it is in our own interests to "to the line" and keep our dogs well under control.
My very best wishes to you all and I hope you all have some good wins with your dogs this year.
Important Phone Numbers
For your MP your first port of call could be a telephone directory
THE PHONE BOOK - BUSINESS AND SERVICES SECTION
MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT
are listed for your area.
Details include addresses and phone & fax nos.
MEPs - UK EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT OFFICE,
2, Queen Anneís Gate, London SW1.
Tel: 020 7227 4300 Fax: 020 7227 4302
MEPs are also listed for ENGLAND with addresses and phone & fax nos.
YELLOW PAGES - Look under political organisations
THE GERMAN EMBASSY
23, Belgrave Square, London, SW1X 8PZ
Tel 020 7824 1300. Fax: 020 7824 1435. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ambassador - Dr. Hans-Friedrich von Platz.
There can have been very few people more surprised than I was when, at the committee meeting immediately following our 2000 AGM where Dave Harris had stepped down, I suddenly found myself elected chairman of the Downlands Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club. And since I used to regularly harangue Dave for a column in this Newsletter, I suppose that itís only right that I show willing and put the proverbial pen to paper (or maybe that should be hand to keyboard these days).
Some of you will already
know me (Iím one of the people normally hovering around the top table at
Downlands shows), and many of you will know of me through the Newsletter, but
for those of you who donít, let me come clean straight away by telling you
that Iím not what youíd consider a Stafford person. Of course, I love dogs -
especially Staffords, but I have no interest in judging, or the show ring. In
fact Iíve only just acquired by first Stafford (gasp!), although I do feel a
special affection for my mother-in-lawís gang of four Stafford bitches.
I was born in Exeter in
1968, and work in Information Technology for a large financial services company.
I first became involved in the Downlands early in 1994 when I was introduced to
the club by my girlfrend (later my wife, Vickie.) I had recently bought a PC,
was given some word processing software (Lotus Ami Pro, I think) and suggested
that the club newsletter might be enhanced in appearance if we were to retype
all the copy rather than just pasting it onto sheets of A4 and duplicating it.
Ann Gatenby, the Newsletter editor (and now my mother-in-law), accepted these
ideas and I was drafted onto the Newsletter sub-committee. Later this was
followed by a co-option onto the Committee, and after three years I qualified as
a member in my own right.
The few readers who know
me will be aware that I have been out of the show scene for a few years and have
just returned with my new puppy.
3) Within reason a broader
collar is better because it transfers your 'jerk' over a wider area and gives
"Are you or arenít you? Have you got any babies in there?" This is the question I am constantly asking Domino as she basks in the sun on her chair, a poor consolation for the denial of her frolics in the wood. Never mind, we will soon be able to enjoy our walks together now that her season is almost over. She is too precious to risk any old mutt having his way with her, and she seems to understand that this is a time when once the plastic sheet goes under her bedding she has to make do with the garden.
In our wait to have her pregnancy confirmed, I cast my mind back to last year when she produced her first litter of magnificent babies sired by "Mr Jack" (Chelmstaff Soldier Boy at Rotherstaff). I had no doubt in my mind that she would be a wonderful mother, as hers was before her, but I was not prepared for the devotion of care or the instinctive mothering that went on, to prepare them for the outside world.
As a novice breeder (with grateful thanks to Ann Gatenby for being my mentor) I read books, took advice and prepared what I thought was the perfect spot for Domino to have her babies. Whelping box, complete with Banana box, towels and hottie were made ready, and for three nights I slept downstairs with her in case things should happen. In fact she showed very little sign of anything happening until on the third night I thought I should investigate some rather frantic licking that was going on, on the other side of the room. To my amazement I could see the bulging forewaters, and managed to get her into the whelping room. This is where my well laid plans fell apart as she decided to have the pups in the banana box, originally intended for the pups during whelping. Quite a squash.
Eventually five pups, four bitches and one dog were born. Having nine years of midwifery experience under my belt, I was still tearful at the wonder of seeing these little creatures make their way into the world. Practicality came into gear and each pupís time of birth was duly noted, the markings drawn and the pup weighed at an appropriate moment. All around 300 grams. I never saw the placentas as Domino, on a different planet now, dealt with everything.
I was a little anxious the next day as Mum was rather restless as I understand newly whelped bitches can be. I was quite taken aback though when, the next evening, she carried her pups one by one into her crate which is kept in the lounge. The door is rarely closed on her and she regards this as her very safe and private place. She obviously wanted to be near us, her extended family!!! After that it was all plain sailing, but this time if she wants to whelp in the lounge then who am I to stand in her way.
The most impressive memory I have of her as a mother teaching her pups was when they were getting adventurous in the garden. We were blessed with sunny weather and I made a pen for the garden that gave her access at will, but contained the pups. Occasionally I would take one out to go exploring under watchful eye. Dominoís behaviour became quite different and she appeared to really bully the pup who was on walkabout. I was quite upset initially, but tried not to interfere. As I watched she kept on and on until the pup turned round and growled at her. She then left it alone, obviously happy that it would stand up for itself. This happened with all the pups and was obviously a built-in instinct for the mother to start training them. I had in fact read of such behaviour in a book, but to see it in action was quite awesome. As the pups grew older, it seemed that her attitude changed somewhat for she would bully them again, this time to submission. I found this even more scary to watch, but she was obviously teaching them to have respect. We can learn a great deal from our four legged friends I think!
When the time came for the puppies to go to their new homes I was so worried at how Domino would feel. I felt quite a traitor. I neednít have worried because as she watched them go up the path in the arms of humans she had met a few times before, she just carried on chewing her bone. She had done her job, carried out her duties and was looking forward to a well earned rest. I wonder how she will feel when the day comes when we keep one! But that will be a different story.
Hello, my name is Bess, Iím a small black brindle Staffordshire Bull Terrier now approaching eight years old. My life began in Devon with my seven brothers and sisters. I went to live in Bournemouth not too far from the seaside. During the week I went to work with my master in his van, ate sandwiches with the workmen and sunbathed until hometime. Weekends were spent with the in-laws in the New Forest exploring.
In April 1994, upheaval, my master and family decide to move to France, so with a clean bill of health, off I go to deepest Brittany. My new home was an old ruin of a farmhouse (my temporary home was an ancient VW Camper) set in two glorious acres of Ďgardení. Here I could chase rabbits, foxes, even badgers. Life was blissful, but again after two years of renovations, work and a general slowing down of pace we were off again, this time to gay Paris. We rented a big apartment with friends off the Champs Elysees and for a time I became Bess, resident queen SBT of the Champs Elysees, with many an afternoon spent with my master drinking coffee, watching the world go by.
Work for my master was running an English pub in the centre, ĎThe Frog and Rosbifí, very apt I thought. Here I positioned myself at the end of the bar and welcomed the ex-pats with all the Staffie grace of a mini bulldozer.
Not long and off again, this time across the Seine to St Germain de Pres, a very posh quarter, but of course I fitted in no problem, and became quite a local attraction. "Excuse me monsieur, is it a French Bulldog Cross?" The cheek of it!! Again, life was peaceful, making friends with shopkeepers, flower sellers, the butcher, but soon, yep you guessed it, off again.
With a quick flirt with Holland, boring - too flat, we moved onward and downward to the South of France, firstly to Aix en Provence, the first Staffie to do Ďa year in Provenceí, then on to Marseille for World Cup 1998.
Again my master ran an English pub on the beach and I took up my place behind the bar. If my master was in the cellar I would take pride in guarding the till from any undesirables until his return (for this I earned one piece of rump steak per day, not bad eh?). I made friends with the locals ĎNo Iím not a Pit Bullí and ĎYes there is such a thing as an English SBTí, and patiently answered all the questions demanded.
I saw the English fans arrive (warm welcome there) and leave, and basically did a fine P.R. job for the breed. Each morning I would swim in the Med and walk in the Calangues, our house had a balcony so when not on Ďdutyí I would sunbathe and reminisce.
After a couple of years we heard that quarantine was to be scrapped. ĎWell thank goodnessí, I thought, Ďmaybe I too can visit at Christmas and not have to stay with friendsí. Itís not the same. So, with paperwork, microchip, jabs and numerous phone calls we were ready, and as it turns out, just in time because France has just been gripped with the same anti-dog hysteria as we were in 1992. But with the French being French it has brought about a law which makes our own Dangerous Dogs Act seem quite tame.
Without detail Staffies must be insured, registered with the local council, tattooed, microchipped and moosselled Ďsans exceptioní! Well as this storm raged we said our goodbyes to our friends and slipped away quietly to a small farmhouse in Brittany, finalised the paperwork and at 10am on 28th February with my new doggy passport I became the first SBT to return to English soil, minus the quarantine.
Well itís been a
whirlwind six years, Iíll be glad to get my breath back, and get back to the
Downlands, and maybe meet up with some old friends.
Out of all the answers we received we had one which really stood out, a spectacular top mark from Linda McCulloch. She wins a lovely collar by AE Collars which will be posted to her in the near future. Congratulations to Linda.
Look out for another quiz
in this yearís Christmas edition of the Newsletter.
1. Name the bitch on the cover of The Stafford - Winter 1997/8 issue.?
Champion Spirestaff Avenging Angel of Tikkurilan
2. Who owns the affix "WILLOWSTAFF"?
Mick and Jenny Smith
3. Who is the secretary of the North Eastern Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club?
Miss J E McLauchlan
4. Who bred Champion HIGHLAND DREAM?
Mr Frank McCann
5. Name the dog on the front cover of the Photo Review - first issue.
Champion Domino Flashy Lad
6. Who won Best Puppy in Breed at Bath Canine Society in 1996?
Bethane Moonlight Madonna
7. Name the editor of the Photo Review.
Mrs Pauline Raymond
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.
Champion Sparstaff Dominator
10. Name the sire and dam of Champion Bellglen Braws Best.
Sire - Am Ch Chainmakers Samsung of Rikamia
Dam - Ch Clairwell Lady in Red
Mr Jim Beaufoy
12. Name the top SBT puppy of 1997.
13. Name the top Stafford of 1998.
Champion Bowtmans Double Trouble
14. Name the top stud dog of 1997 and 1998.
Eastaff Tallyís Man
15. How many SBT breed clubs are there?
16. Name the sire of Breathless Mahoney at Janastaff and Darley Arabia.
Janastaff the Untouchable
17. Name the dam of Champion Wyrefare Prince Naseem.
Fromestaff Extravaganza of Wyrefare
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?
Scottish SBTC 1998 - Judge Bob Blackley
The Internet. The World Wide Web. An insidious, big brother-type organisation run by sinister computer nerds with a plan for world domination. Used by governments and criminals alike to help control an unsuspecting population. A haven for the corrupt, the perverse and the socially challenged.... or is it?
Well, some people seem to think so, anyway. To me, and to countless others, the Internet and the World Wide Web are a useful means of communication and a huge repository of information accessible to anyone with the necessary equipment.
You could be forgiven, at this point, for wondering what possible relevance does this have to dogs, and specifically the Downlands?
Well, think about it this way. The Internet is available, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, fifty two weeks a year.... in other words all the time. And itís available to the whole world. This was really brought home to me a couple of months ago when I managed to log on to the (still under construction) Downlands web site from Canada. It would have been about three oíclock in the morning UK time when I did it, too. So anyone can get information, anywhere, at any time.
The only drawback to this is that the Internet and World Wide Web are so huge that, unavoidably, a lot of the information is potentially out of date or just inaccurate. No-one controls or owns the Internet, so no one checks or verifies what goes up there. Unless you know and trust your source, it is wise not to make any life-changing decisions based on what you learn there.
So, here we have not only a chance for some of us to combine our love of technology with our love of dogs, but we can put it to good use as well by establishing a global presence for the Downlands. Yes, we do operate primarily in the Southern coastal counties of England, but our aims to further the welfare of the breed can now reach out world wide. We do have a small number of overseas members, and with the recent changes to the quarantine laws what is there to stop a family from the north of France popping over for a dog show? France is a pretty huge place, and it would probably be easier and cheaper for them than getting to Paris.
So a web site for the Downlands became inevitable. Only one problem though - nobody knew anybody who knew anything about web sites. How do you get them "up there"? How do you create them? No-one knew, but it was a good opportunity for someone to find out!
Having been intending to explore this sort of thing for some time, yours truly volunteered. The question was, what software would be required? From reading Computer magazines it seemed that Microsoft Frontpage 2000 was the current standard. After searching around - ironically on the Internet - I found it for what seemed like a good price and ordered it online. The software arrived two days later, and, I installed it on my PC and promptly tried it out. Exhausting the limits of my patience quite quickly, I popped into a book shop and brought a "quick course" book Then, as is usual for me, I forgot all about it for five months.....
...until one day I thought Iíd have a quick poke around with it again. Having borrowed a book on web design I read through this, went through the course, and started work.
One of the first things the design book says is to look at other sites and see how theyíve been built. There are a tremendous amount of very technical, professionally built web sites out there that we couldnít possibly hope to emulate at this early stage. After all, weíre learning as we go. So I looked around these, not to rip-off their ideas, but to gain inspiration from them.
I found six of our fellow clubs on the world wide web - the Southern Counties, Morecambe Bay & Cumbria, East Anglia, The North of Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Scottish clubs. Rescue is also represented. Iím hoping that space will be found in the next Newsletter to allow me to review some of these for those of you who either donít have internet access or are considering it - who knows, it may help you to decide that it is all worth it!
Not wanting to be left out, you can find the (at the time of writing still under construction) Downlands web site at:
Please bear with us while we get it all up and running. The aim is to make the site as useful as possible and for it to be updated whenever there is anything of interest. Please also bear in mind that we are only enthusiastic amateurs so if you do discover problems with it, the chances are that we don't know about them yet and an e-mail would be very much appreciated. Below is a list of the URLís (web addresses) of the sites Iíve found thus far, and these are also on the "links" page on our web site. Doubtlessly this is not an exhaustive list, so if anyone finds any more please drop me an e-mail and Iíll rectify it.
As usual for the Downlands, it will be only as good or as bad as you want it to be, so remember that your input and feedback is critical to the success of the site! Keep in touch!
The dogs all had a meeting
But before they were
They all got nicely seated
They all jumped up together
This got their bottoms all
And thatís the reason why
Many of you will remember the letter sent by Ivor Keyes to our then secretary Steve Dickenson which was reporoduced in the last newsletter under the title ĎImportant Appealí on pages 28 and 29. This concerns research to be conducted by the Animal Health Trust (AHT) into Hereditary Cataracts in the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, to enable them to develop a DNA test available for breeders to determine if dogs or bitches are carriersprior to arranging matings. The target is £20000 - a quick bit of arithmetic shows that if the 18 breed clubs raise £1100 each then we will be almost there.
This was discussed at the Committee meeting on January 9th, and amongst a couple of fundraising ideas such as a charity Exemption show and a one-off lunchtime auction, Ben Kemp from the committee volunteered to go on a sponsored slim as he would be the first to admit he is larger than life in terms of physique rather than personality!
Ben is trying to lose FOUR STONE by the date of the Downlands October Show. His start weight was 16 Stone 12 pounds and progress to date has been fairly slow but consistent. Please help to motivate him to a healthier life style and raise money for an exceptionally good cause by sponsoring him for whatever you can - every little helps. He has had pledges from £30 for the lot to 25p per stone. The Downlands has opened a high interest savings account in which to deposit advance sponsorship or donations to ensure that the money is put to work while we wait with baited breath to see the results. We hope to unveil a new, slimline Ben on October 29th at the Bohunt Centre.
Ben told us, "Any help gratefully recieved. Preferably financial, but advice would also be welcome!"
We wish him good luck with his diet!
Most of our longer
standing members will know (and Iím sure the newer members among you will have
heard of) a lady called Mrs Muriel Masterman who until quite recently used to
attend most of the Downlandsí shows with her sister Miss Gwen Morris. They are
the owners of the very famous affix CAMDONIAN, their most famous dog being Ch
Camdonian Contender. Sadly they can no longer attend the shows as they have no
means of transport. However, Mrs Masterman has been taking a trip down memory
lane, and the result is a fascinating letter for the newsletter, which will be
serialised over two issues, so youíll have to be patient while awaiting part
I have been trying to think of things you might find of interest to insert as snippets in the Newsletter and once started these memories come flooding back.
I remember on various occasions my sister and I befriending people new to the breed and instructing them into the history and standards of our breed. We inculcated them with the wisdom and lore that we had absorbed from the folk who had been responsible for the breed being accepted by The Kennel Club in 1935, people such as Mrs J Russell, Marjorie Jordan, Nap Cairns and many others, like Bill Boylan and other members of Southern Counties at the time. One of the people we helped was Fred Southall, absorbing gallons of tea and kilos of bread and cheese in the process, because although Fred was a Black Countryman whose family grew up with Staffords, this was not the show world, and the pup he bought from a Georgecroft bitch who we had out on breeding terms was the first Staff he himself had ever owned. We had arranged a mating for her, but the dog had not performed, and when I was telephoned as to whether I would accept a mating with Int Ch Head Lad of Vilmar I was happy to agree, and the dog Georgecroft Mandumas later sired Ch Bandits Brintiga. We had viewed the litter and Gwen, who had by now earned a well deserved name for picking winners from litters had already told Fred this puppy was the tops. Sadly, we had no room for more dogs, but took a bitch who gave us plenty of fun showing, as she took to it and was a real stunner in the ring. One all rounder told me that my then young dog would never beat her, but he was wrong because it was Ch Camdonian Contender in his gangly days. We showed under the Georgecroft prefix until we realised we were missing out on Breeder/Exhibitor classes and then applied for CAMDONIAN. We were fortunate because these dogs were products of the first litter from our Georgecroft Lady and sire Crossguns Showboy. We had kept Georgecroft Golden Boy who did splendidly at Southern Counties, winning certificates for Best Junior, Best of Breed and Best in Show, not bad for our first ventures! Golden Boy later sired Southallís Ch Fiery Goddess and the dam of Ch Game Penny, which made us purchase Ch Camdonian Contender when she was mated to Ch Rellim Ferryvale Victor. I mention these names as stalwarts of the breed at the time, and the forerunners of kennels which line bred back to Ch Camdonian Contender, such as Alec Waters and several other successful breeders.
Another thing I think
might be of interest was the last tented show held on our Oval Exhibition
Ground, for which I was, as Hon Sec and Show Manager, responsible, because Gwen
had long been nagging Vic Pounds to become a judge, which he was very reluctant
to do. However he credits me, not Gwen, as the person who got him into judging,
since I was able to offer him the engagement to do so at this show, when we had
excellent entries in a good number of classes of Staffs. Having accepted, Vic
found it a very enjoyable day, and him having this change of mind has been a
very good thing for our breed. Unfortunately, the high cost of marquees,
benching etc. and all the paraphernalia required by The Kennel Club in those
days took a heavy toll of club finances, with the result we had to do what so
many clubs did, resort to Maidstone market as a venue, where we all met, but it
was difficult to stamp the Club identity on the proceedings.
There was almost a full turnout of delegates, with 5 observers.
1. The Stafford of the Year competition which is being held by the Western SBTC is going well and will be reported on again at the next meeting of the Breed Council
2. Correspondence a. There was an application from the Southern Cross SBTC (New South Wales) and the Netherlands SBTC for membership of the Breed Council. The motion was carried.
b. The East Anglian SBTC informed the Breed Council about a change of show dates. The new date is 16/09/2000.
c. There were a lot of
letters from breed clubs complaining about the appointment by The Kennel Club of
Vince Mitchell to judge a Championship show. The Secretary was asked to write to
The Kennel Club stating that there was a lot of disquiet in the breed clubs
about this appointment, and would the K.C. please consult the Breed Council in
future on matters such as this.
Alan Hedges was proposed as Secretary/Treasurer - elected.
Jenny Smith was proposed
as P.R. Officer - elected.
Our apologies and belated congratulations go to Mr and Mrs Halladey and their bitch Hallastaff Princess Warrior (see front cover) who should have been shown at the top of the bitch points table for 1999 with a total of 22 points. They are also the 1999 winners of the Oakshire Salver. Hereís the new look of the final table for 1999.
Points compiled by Vickie Kemp