there were the men of the 'Blackcountry', tough men, who lived in a
harsh environment. Miners, chain makers and iron workers, hard
working, hard living men. Men who escaped their miserable hard
lives by participating in cruel blood thirsty brawls to make an
extra shilling. These men bred, developed and worked a breed
of dog to be proud of, a dog who loved the Blackcountry life, a
companion at home or in the pit, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
In 1935, some of these men realised that the future of their beloved
breed was in the show ring, blood sports were illegal and to ensure
the survival of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, they formed a club,
wrote a breed standard, registered the dogs and went to a dog show.
When Bill and Eve Stevens emigrated to Australia in 1951 little did
they know that the two companions they brought with them, a dog
Tinkers China (Proud Brin X Hals Wish) and a bitch Bill's Hope (Stokerrow
Tiger X Trixie Twister), would be the first Staffords registered in
the eastern states and through their progeny would emerge an empire
of breeders and enthusiasts all over Australia.
Beginning with Westaff (Stevens) prefix many others were attracted
to this versatile dog. Raijoh (Johnson) bred the first
Stafford in Australia to win Best In Show in 1959. Raijoh
Rhino (Aberdein)(Westaff Game Lad X Westaff Gainas Lady), notably
this dog's son Rettondon Max (Lamb)(Raijoh Rhino X Brindle Babs Of
Bandits (Imp UK) was reserve in show at the same show. Kumbari
(Knight) campaigned the first Australian Champion in 1959, Ch
Westaff Red Devil (tinkers China X Bills Hope). Many others
were responsible for great achievements within the breed and many
founded todays most well know staffords, including Rettondon (Lamb),
Holdfast (NSW, first prefix) (Crawford), Ribrasta(Gower), Nipro (Orpin),
Olmoday (Davidson) and Allstaff (Thomas) to name a few.
The mid 60's saw a pet dog (Constones Cadet Again) (Bakhead Benjamin
X Constones Comette) come to Queensland with his family from the UK
and gave Queensland breeders a much needed outcross. Dr. Lois
Davidson (Olmoday) and Dr. Chris and Ida Lamb (Rettondon), imported
dogs from the UK and New Zealand in the mid 60's. Ch Lydes
Jaguar of Linksbury (UK) (Eng Ch Rellim Ferryvale Victor X Linksbury
Derry Dhu), Ch Linksbury Isola of Olmoday(UK) (Rossile Hobson X
Linksbury Laura) and Redheads Gigi (NZ) (Loggerheads Blunderbus X
Loggerheads Tilleyvalley). All of which contributed to
extending Queenslands breeding gene pool. Ch Lydes Jaguar of
Linksbury (Imp UK) was used extensively throughout the eastern
states and can be found behind most Borstaff, Laundulad, Kombari,
Ourgang, Linkman and Drogheda dogs, to name a few.
As interest in Staffords grew it became apparent that owners should
band together to form a club. In 1966, The Staffordshire and
Bull Terrier Club of Qld was formed. Over the next twenty years the
club grew and prospered. Bringing international breed specialists to
judge championship shows. But in 1985 it was obvious that this
two breed club was no longer able to fulfil the needs of its
members. It was disbanded to make way for The Staffordshire
Bull Terrier Club of Queensland, formed in 1986, and body for the
representation of the unique Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
The members went on a promotional campaign, leaping at every
opportunity to promote the breed. The club initiated a
coloured monthly magazine, BBQ's and spit roasts, every dog show
usually saw stafford exhibitors band together and the ladies put on
a great spread of food, usually trying out new recipes on their
unsuspecting friends. In 1987, a new sport was developed--Lure
Racing. Two dogs are matching the clock, with prizes given in the
age groups. Up to ninety dogs would regularly attend race meetings.
Demonstration races were held at regular greyhound and harness
Such was the club's growth that in 1989 Norman Berry (UK) (Rendorn)
judged the club's Championship Show. An Australian record
entry of 211 took the committee by surprise. 1991 and Bill McKnight
(Ireland)(Belnite) again received an Australian record entry of 246,
then in 1995 Trevor Rowe (UK) had an entry of 267, another
Australian record entry. The clubs championship show continues to be
the highlight of the year.
Several members have been honoured for their work and support of our
club by being given life membership. The late Dr Lois Davidson (Olmoday)
1986, the late Bill Stevens (Westaff) 1988, Mrs Audrey Knight
(Kumbari) 1989, Miss Dell Cossart (Wynstaff) 1990, John Hebbard
(Constaff) 1994, and Mrs Annetta Bainbridge (Kumbari) 1995.
Obedience competitions have not been forgotten. In 1990,
Bellabarn Barkley Bob AD AOC, owned and trained by Glynn Brynt of
Bundaberg, became the first Stafford in Australia to be awarded the
highest obedience award, Australia Obedience Champion. In 1991 the
club initiated an obedience course and conducted several
demonstrations at shows, shopping centres and school fetes. The club
conducts a yearly pointscore competition for all levels of
The club continues to be stable and now the Queensland club is
looking to new horizons, with so much for people to do with their
time it seems that dogs would be on the back burner. But the
Stafford is such a dog that it continues to top the list of wanted
breeds. In the early 90's the club fought against the anti-dog lobby
to ensure that our beloved breed was not coupled with the Pit bull.
The club developed a code of ethics that was another first for the
Queensland dog world, this code was later adopted by our controlling
body. Now adays it's the Pit Bull that wants to be a stafford.
Europe, England and America have been besieged by the anti-dog
lobby, at present the European stafford fights for its very own
survival. Perhaps Australia will see some trouble but I know that
the breed will continue to fight on.
The future of the Stafford in Queensland is reliant on the breeders
and owner of the present, remembering the past, their actions and
achievements, their dedication, education and attitudes will ensure
the breed will proudly progress.
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