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Dickie Austin on CH Ben Hur

This is my account of how I aquierd my first Staffordshire Bull Terrier and was introduced into the world of showing dogís. My son Paul arrived home after visiting his cousin Angela and informed us that Angela had just been given a Stafford pup as a present. His next sentence was, can we get one. My reply to this was, they are viscious dogs and deffently not. I was ignorent of the facts and did not know anything about the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

CH Ben Hur

Sire CH Mokens Cyclone

Dam Spartanís Glory

Date of birth 26.10.80.

I was troubeld with after thought for a while and one day while looking at the situations vacant column in the local paper,( Iwas out of work at the time) I was drawn to the section on petís for sale. and Low and behold there was a litter of Staffy pups for sale in Darlington. I descided to give the number a call to see how much a Stafford pup would cost. The phone was answerd by Mr Watson who informed me that there were eight puppies in total of which four were spoken for and the price would be £85, if I was interested in buying. I said thank you and was just about to put the phone down when Mr Watson said,You will be back in touch if you if you want one. I thought that ws a funny thing to say at the time, not knowing it would prove to be a lucky omen. The next day I was thinking of the puppies and how much they were. There was no way I could afford the price of a pup being out of work. I had always liked a flutter on the horses and decided to give it a go with the little money I had in my pocket. Not much use studying the form the oddís of the horse had to be around 20/1 at least to give me a return big enough to meet the price of a pup. Anyway I mad my descion and paid the stake and to my utter disbelief the horse won at 25/1. This gave me just enough return to pay for a pup and the petrol money for a lift as I did not drive and Darlington is around 35 mile from our home. Paul arrived home that evening and I said leave your coat on, to which he replied, why, we are going to get a pup, the arrangements were all ready in place for us to see the litter, his face lit up at the news and of we went

We arrived at Mr Watsonís house and after a breif conversation the four remaining puppies were brought to use to view. I had no idea of what to look for in a puppy and Ben was chosen from the others because he was chewing my son Paulís shoe lace. Paul said can I choose this one to which I replied of course you can and that was that of we went with Ben back to our home in Newcastle.

Moving on a bit I was playing with Ben in the garden he would be about 12 weeks old when a white van pulled up along side the gate. The driver had seen Ben in the garden and stopped to have a better look and said; how nice a pup he was and asked me if I would like to join the N.E.S.B.T.C. and come along to the handeling classes on Tuesday. I thought about it breifly and decsided that I would. I did join the club and attended the handleing classes and when Ben was around 8 months of age I showed him for the first time. He did not show a great deal of promise in the early days but as he grew he started to develop well around 16 month. As a novice myself Ben and I were learning all the time and I was asked by some of the members of the club if I would be interested in showing Ben further a feild. I dcecided that I would like to give it a go, (I was back in work by this time and things were going well).Ben was by now two and a half years of age when I entered him at the N.E.S.B.T.C. show under Mr Alan Mitchell I had him in the maiden class as he had never won a first before, and that day he won his class. After the show was over I asked Mr Mitchell his opinion of Ben his reply was that I should show him in the Midlands as he thought he looked the midland type of dog. I decsided to go for it with Ben and enterd him in his first championship show at Manchester at Belle view.I did not do him any favors as I had enterd him in the novice class and by May of the same year I moved him up to Post Graduate at the S.K.C. show were he won his class which qualified him for Crufts the following year.