The Stafford in South Australia
written by Mr. Ted Kirk
first Published in 1985
In a little over a decade in south Australia there has been a gradual rise in the number of Staffords being bred and shown. From a small start, when there were times when only one Stafford would be entered in a show the number of enthusiasts has grown to such an extend that numerically the Staffordshire Bull Terrier tops the Terrier Group entries on many occasions. In the winning list the Staffords figure more prominently than any other Terrier.
A major break through for the breed happened in 1975 when Ch. Crossguns Oliver did what was thought to be the impossible and he won Best Terrier Exhibit at a Championship Show. The outstanding quality, soundness and incredible personality for this dog fired the imagination of the judges and the viewing public alike. Because of him, Staffords began to gain the recognition they so richly deserved. Ch. Crossguns Oliver went on winning at Group and in-show level until his retirement in 1978. Today it is a regular occurrence for Staffords to win top awards, shared by many dogs and bitches in this State. Over the years with the gradual rise in popularity of the breed the idea of forming a breed club was discussed many times. It was not until 1982 that a positive move was made by Mrs. Lyn McKittrick and Mrs. Vicky Menzies when a meeting was held at Lyn's home and on that night the nucleous was formed for the present club.
Later a more formal meeting was held and this was attended by most enthusiasts and a committee was elected. This was in September 1982 during the Adelaide Royal and it was fortunate that Mrs. Linda Szirer, secretary of the Victoria Stafford Club was in Adelaide and was able to contribute much valuable information on the workings of a breed club. It was with complete approval of the gathering that Mrs. Linda Szirer and Mrs. Marion Forester were made the clubs Patrons.
Today (1985) the breed is alive and well, whilst breeding stays along the lines of correct balance between bull and terrier, the correct type will be maintained. Breeders can make or break a breed and whilst people bear in mind a sound, balanced bold dog, the Stafford will always have admirers.