Game Bess was my first Stafford bred by my uncle Terry and registered in my name when I was just turned 15 years old. The photo of her on the Home page shows her at 10 years old. She was born in July of 1967 out of Edgeworth Bess by Ch. Rapparee Renegade. Edgeworth was the name I later took my affix from. ‘Renegade’ was a really well put together Stafford (see his picture in this site) and who I considered the best Stafford of the Rapparee line. Her dam Edgeworth Bess was very typey and powerful for a smallish bitch with great spirit.
At this time many breeders placed great importance on the foundation dogs and bitches their Staffords went back to. The Lines (the sire, sire etc) and Families (the dams, dam, etc) were considered very important and Edgeworth Bess was a J Line bitch, whose line went back to ‘Joe’, Fearless Joe the Stafford from which this line was founded.
Getting back to Game Bess; she was black brindle and white, as many of the Staffords were from this strain and was 15 and a half inches and 32lb approx. She carried her ears half pricked and her eyes were a dark amber brown, which was seen in some Staffords from this lineage and gave Staffords with these features a hard look. She had good balance/confirmation and a nice true front once she was mature.
She took a second place in her first breed show at the SCSBTS under a young Alec Waters, beaten by Bulvan Baroness, as I remember. Sid Davis (Bulvan) was actually one of her admirers and would pull over to look at her when he lived in my area. Sid has remained a friend since, although we don’t always agree on Staffords, but that’s never got in the way of friendship.
When Bess was exercised she would pull very hard, warm days were not a problem for her, and I liked this because she would get through so much work and this would show in her condition and muscularity. She was a fiery type and not easy around other animals, but very affectionate with the family, but not with strangers and would not allow them to pull her about.
When she was 3 years old she produced 7 bitch puppies when mated to Print of Wyncole. My father and I took her to the Black Country by train, where ‘Prints’ owner Alf Pyne lived. I had been corresponding with Arthur Baxter the original owner of Game Flash and Game Pete and he had recommended Print of Wyncole. Arthur was also the owner at the time of the pied Game Sir Ivor.
The stud fee was 8 gns. ‘Print’ was in the garden and was one of the biggest Staffords I had seen at that time - must have been 17 to 18 inches and very musculine thick set type, big head, shoulders, etc.
The puppies were whelped easily and we could not believe that they were all bitches. My brother Mike had one that he called Lucy, who developed into a really good bitch, her photo on this site does not do her justice.
I did intend to mate Bess again and the Stafford I was keen to use was Buckhill Black Bomber, but circumstances and the shock death of my father stalled me and she was never mated again.
Bess had some peculiarities and became animated around engine noise and would foolishly try to attack revved up motorbikes and would strain towards passing buses. On one occasion she took off towards a harvesting machine cutting hay and luckily the driver saw her and stopped so I could leash her.
Cancer in her back leg got too much when she was 13 years old after steroids had delayed the inevitable. She was the only dog of the household in her lifetime and I like to think she had a good one.