SATURDAY 11th December 2010


Dr. A Bryden – Gantocks SBT UK



I would like to thank the Club for inviting me to judge its Championship Show and for the hospitality I received. Thank you too to the sporting exhibitors for a tidy entry. Quality was variable as is usually the case. Type was on the whole quite good and most exhibits had ample spring of rib and substance. In fact some had too much substance and this excess weight was such that not only were they lacking a defined waist but their overall balance was compromised by briskets appearing to be too low; I am not a fitness fanatic but I do like to see some covering and a defined body shape. Some heads were very nice but others left much to be desired lacking the necessary depth of skull, underjaw and strength of muzzle. Taking these to extreme plus a lack of fill-in under the eye can seriously affect eye placement and expression. Front movement was on the whole OK but breeders need to look at rear movement, even in some of the top winners.

One point of concern is height. Some degree of tolerance is permissible but breeders must try to breed to the Standard. Some, including some main winners, were top size and would have been penalised severely had they been any taller. If dogs are allowed to get too big they will become coarse and lose the most important virtue, ‘type’. Of course some become light and leggy, lacking bone and substance and this in my opinion is even worse. Staffords are not ‘running’ dogs and it must be remembered that their ‘sporting’ forbears had to have substance and bone if they were to survive.

I was very pleased with the array of colours on display; such diversity was always regarded as one of the appeals of the Stafford but in the UK such variation has frequently not been seen in recent times although things are probably improving. I am pleased that Australia in keeping with some other countries has avoided this.

I hope these comments do not sound negative as there is much to be admired in the dogs on display and there is a sound basis for progress, but I feel it only right and proper to highlight points of concern so that breeders may try to address them, leading hopefully to improvement overall within the breed.

When I was judging best in show, some kookaburras in the trees were laughing their heads off – what were they trying to say?



Baby Puppy Dog (11 entries, 2 absent).

1. Carroll’s Dreamcatcher Aleague Ofhisown. Promising 4 month black brindle with all the basic attributes, nice head shape, god underjaw, good rib, short coupled, not overdone for its age, could be one to watch.

2. Abela’s Joydivision Shadow Play. Another black brindle of the same type but preferred the rear end of winner, also one of promise.

3. Caroll and Darragh’s Dreamcatcher Hes Contagious. Of similar mould as 1&2 but felt they scored in head but time will tell for all of them.


Minor Puppy Dog (8,1)

1. Smid and Hughes’ Warmaster Take a Shot (NZ Imp). White with black brindle patches, decent head with pronounced stop, good rib, well made all round, correct bend of stifle, could develop nicely with time.

2. Roebig’s Bxact Smooth Operator. Typey black brindle, perhaps slightly stronger in the head than winner but not as well constructed overall, did not hold topline on the move and preferred winner fore and aft, could tighten up with maturity.

3 Thompson and Shaw’s Belleden the Vikings Valor.  Attractive brindle and white, no outstanding faults but could do with being a bit stronger all round.


Puppy Dog (7,1)

1. Beagle and Wolsgrove’s Runvs Atavar Chopper. All white, decent head, good underjaw, well balanced, ample bone, moved OK.

2. Hudson’s Hudford Alpha Nomad. Dark brindle also with good head, ample bone, tidy feet, could not match winner in movement.

3. Davis’ Toplace High Voltage. Well balanced dog but could not compete with the greater overall strength of 1&2.


Junior Dog (13,1)

1.McFadzean and Abbott’s Gemra Hard Wired. Very well-pigmented red, nice head and expression, dark eye, good rib, short coupled, well made all round, moved well.

2. Middleton’s Wiltshire Straight Nightmare. Had many of the attributes of winner but not quite as strong and let down by rather untidy ears.

3. Abbott’s Gemra Jokers Rum. Brindle and white with decent head and tidy ears but could not match the quality of winners.


Intermediate Dog (8, 0)

1. Sharpe and Poelstra’s Awstruk Valiant Digger (AI). Black brindle with nice strong head, ample rib, short coupled, moved OK.

2. Ross’ Swanky Robert De Brus. Very typey, good head, like winner in dib and coupling, let down by front movement but OK behind.

3. Douglas’ Wollowra Hugo Boss. White with brindle, decent enough specimen but again could not match 1&2 in overall quality.


State Bred Dog (10,2)

1. Drury’s Beaurite Optimus Maximus. Brindle of decent type, pleasing expression, standard size, tended to scuttle on the move and handler should work on this,

2. Davis’ Bkool Space Cadet. 6y old red in good condition for his age, strong head, straight front, moved well but just preferred the winner on type.

3. Stanley’s Ch Belleden Wheres Pedro. Nice enough head, short muzzle, dark eye but lacked a bit in underjaw, well enough made bodily.


Australian Bred Dog (15,1)

1. Lee’s Ch Powerpaws Just Do It. Very attractive tiger brindle and white, decent head with tidy ears and good bite but would have benefited from a little extra strength, ample bone and basically quite sound, moved well.

2. Heselden’s Ch Wiltshire Just Cruzin. Black brindle, stronger all round than winner with good rib and bone, did not move as well as winner which also scored in expression.

3. Sommerville’s Sommoy Black Thunder. Black brindle, strong all round, nice head and good bone, carrying a bit excess weight which spoiled his chances.


Open Dog (13,5)

1. Bawden’s Gr Ch Castlebar Crown Jester (AI). Striking quality white with brindle patches, nice strong head with tidy ears, well boned, straight front, tidy feet, well ribbed, correct bend of stifle, moved well. DCC & BIS

2. Frazer’s Ch Highbourne Dancing Brave (AI). Another strong headed quality dog, black brindle with many of the same attributes of winner but preferred rear movement of winner which was also a little cleaner in muzzle, like winner could be considered top size and would not have liked either to be any taller but a nice pair all the same. RDCC.

3. O’Brien’s UK Ch Tillcar Pyroteknic JW (Imp UK). Nice headed brindle with pleasant expression, nice ear carriage, strong underjaw, well enough made with good bend of stifle but was a bit stuffy through carrying some excess weigh which spoiled his chances.


Baby Puppy Bitch (15,1)

1. Payne’s Ashahara Fools Gold. I was interested to see the first three in this class were litter sisters so breeder can be well pleased. Red with nice dark muzzle and good underjaw, strongest head in the class, developing nicely for her age and time will tell.  

2. Payne’s Ashahara Love a Lil’ Foolery. Black brindle and white, also promising and nice to see varying colours in the litter and again it is down to time.

3. Hebberd’s Ashahara Fools Potion. Same comments apply but felt she did not have the bone of her sisters but one can judge better in six months time.


Minor Puppy Bitch (5,0)

1. Bartley’s Hapustaff Black Sorceress. Strong black brindle of promise, good head but ears need to settle, well boned, good spring of rib, well bent stifle, moved OK, was carrying a little extra weight but this is not something to be punished at this level.

2. Coetzer’s Brookshire Black Opal. Another of promise with many of the sought attributes, did not match winner’s strength in head but could come in time.

3. Arnold and Eversteyn’s Hellfaleatha Kiata. Tiger brindle also with potential and with maturity could change places with the others.


Puppy Bitch (9,0)

1. Sinnott’s Lotastaff Miss Mischief. Tigerish brindle with nice head, strong underjaw, good bite but ears need to settle, developing OK bodily and moved well.

2. Wall’s Costalot Your So Vain. Another brindle with pleasing head also with strong underjaw, was carrying a little extra weight and did not match winner in movement.

3. Amos’ Verysharp a Real Deal. Heavier more mature type, good strength of head, good underjaw and depth of skull, tidy ears, I hope she does not go too coarse but could fine down a bit in time.


Junior Bitch (18,2)

1. Frazer’s Highbourne Magic of Sydney (AI). Balanced standard sized black brindle and white, nice head, deep skull, strong underjaw, well made all round, ample bend of stifle moved well in front.

2. Smid and Hughes’ Blackshot Itza Kinda Magic. Another pleasing bitch of similar style to winner but not so tidy in her ears and preferred movement of winner.

3. Clewley’s Highbourne Triscay (AI) Litter sister of winner, also black brindle but a heavier type, nice deep through head, just did not have the overall class of 1&2.


Intermediate Bitch (17,3)

1. Darragh’s Usherin Pania of the Reef. Mahogany brindle and white, strong head, strong underjaw straight front, well ribbed but would not like her to be any taller.

2. Wall’s Moostaffy’s Panda. Brindle pied, nice bitch all round but could perhaps do with a fraction more bone and needs to tighten up a bit.

3. Baker’s Roaida Too Hot to Handle. Brindle and white, nice enough head with strong underjaw, did not have the same fill-in under the eye as 1&2 and would have benefited were she a little fitter.


State Bred Bitch (14,4)

1. Shaw’s Ch Belleden Galliano Kisses. Balanced red with white flash, good deep skull, strong underjaw, dark eye, good bite, nice straight front, moved OK.

2. Tozer’s Axlstaff Dragstaff Girl. Well enough made all round, decent head, dark eye, ample bone, well ribbed.

3. Spiller’s Wazlinstaff Littlredbutn. Another red with good head, bodily short coupled and moved OK.


Australian Bred Bitch (9,2)

1. Shaw’s Belleden Arabesque. Brindle with white flash and feet, nice head, correct bite, short coupled, ample spring of rib, moved well.

2. Lacey’s Toplace Nomads Ooh Lah Lah. Brindle of similar type to winner but ears a bit untidy and did not move as well.

3. Carroll’s Dreamcatcher Its Not About Him. A slightly heavier type, good head, ample rib, straight front, short coupled, moved OK.


Open Bitch (14,2)

1. Frazer’s Gr Ch Rayonnoire Canny Bairn. When I went over her, her head reminded me of the UK bitch CC record holder the outstanding Ch Crossguns Memphis Belle, deep through skull, pronounced stop, dark eye, good underjaw, top size but well made all round, well ribbed, straight front, in the challenge for best in show she could not match the dog in rear movement. BCC & RBIS

2. Bartley’s Ch Hapustaff Wicked Witch. Another strong headed brindle bitch of similar type to winner, and with the same attributes, not much between them. RBCC.

3. Roebig’s Ch Joden Temptress. Another decent brindle put down in very fit condition with nice head, another one that is top size and like the others would personally have preferred them to be a little smaller all round.


Archie Bryden.


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