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It is the greatest ambition of every dog fancier to own an animal which does well in the show ring and has the ability to sire champions.CH Black Tusker was such an animal.He was born on the 8th of October 1975 from a mating between Black King and Lady Bella Madonna arranged by the late Bob Salisbury. At six weeks of age this black brindle pup made his first journey down the M1 to his new home with his owners Brian and Margaret Bates.

Tusker won his first red card at the Potteries open show in 1976 under Bob Hill.
His first win at a Championship show was in 1977 at Birmingham National under
Len Pearce. Tusker was slow to mature but developed strongly between 18-24
months.The year 1978was really the year Tusker made his mark on the show scene.
He started of with his first win in limit and a second in open under Ken Bailey at Crufts.His first CC came at the Scottish S.B.T Club under Joan Bywater, his second
at the North West S.B.T. Club under Norman Berry and his third at the S.K.C. under Jesse Dunn.

He went on to win CCs at the Three Counties under Norman Wooton, Leeds under Albert Ainly, Blackpool under Bill Bennett, Paigton under Frank Burford,
Darlington under Abe Harkness, plus RCCs at Bath, Driffeild and the Western SBTC.

Tusker competed at 19 Championship shows in 1978 and was never out of the cards. He was top Stafford for the year with eight CC’s and three RCC’s plus one Res group. The year 1979 started again with Crufts with a win from open dog and the RCC. Tusker competed at thirteen Championship shows winning eight first’s and five second’s. CC’s were won at the Scottish SBTC under Nap Cairns, Manchester under Pat Brooks, North West under Lewis Barnett, Border Union underTom Horner, Darlington underMrs Hesketh Williams,Western S.B.T.C.underAlan Mitchell, plus RCCs at Crufts, Welks,Welsh National, Northern Counties and Driffield. Again he was top Stafford for the year with six CCs and five RCC’s.

At the age off 4 years Tusker was retired from the showring. This suprised many who thought that he
could have broken the breed record for the number of CC.s won had he been given the chance. What would that have proved he had already proven himself to be TOPshow Stafford of his time and made his mark in the show ring

The next step was to find out what he could achieve as a stud dog. Being a multi CC winner is of little use to the breed if he could not pass on his attributes to his offspring for the future progeny of the breed.Has Tusker done this? a good question. Let us examine his stud record. He is to date the sire of fourteen UK Champions, a breed record so we are told,and many more quality winners. The question we must be asked,has any dog in the breed had a better record than that of Tusker’s combined show and stud record. Many of the older knowledgeable breed enthusiasts say not. I am often asked do I think he is the best dog I have ever handeld?-again a good question. Being associated with a number of champion dogs in my time my answer is “how can you compare dogs from a different era?”. You cant one could only do so if both dogs were in front of you and then it would only be one persons opinion.

Brian and I are very proud of his achievements, between 1978 and 1979 twenty two individual Championship show judges saw fit to award Tusker either the CC or the RCC at thirty two Championship shows. One of the happiest memories we have was his appearance at the combined clubs Golden Jubilee show. The reception he received in the parade of Champions was fantastic; ask those who were at the show. Was he perfect certainly not , but he had more admirers than critics. Our motto is “Let the dog speak for himself”, few could argue he’s not done that,both in the ring and as a studforce.

At home Tusker is a family pet of Brian and Margaret Bates.Margaret is his number one fan and has looked after all his needs since he was a puppy. She has fed him exercised him and kept him happy which plays a big part in the show preparation of a dog . Keeping him fit, content and raring to go dosent happen overnight, it’s a lifetime job.

We feel Tusker has written his own part in the history of the breed. In the words of that well known song, I DID IT MY WAY.