Wednesday, 16 October 2013 23:16

Every Picture Tells A Story: The Sting

In 1977, Ch Scottandra’s The Sting, owned and handled here by the late Jim Downey won Best Of Breed at the St Bernard Club of Ontario specialty under American judge, Herm Peabody.


In those heady days, the SBCO would attract thirty to fifty entries including a number of American dogs from New York, Ohio, and Michigan. Herm was one of the “senior judges” of the breed at that time. He came to this show from his retirement home in Florida and always had a pocketful of his brochures promoting the welfare and improvement of the breed in the Southern United States. And they needed help! Most of the dogs down South were then of very sad quality. 


Ever the Southern gentleman, Mr Peabody greeted every exhibitor in his ring enthusiastically with a warm smile and firm handshake. We were very pleased when he awarded our  girl, Ch Bedette Sugar Brandy 3rd, Brood Bitch at that specialty (although in truth we would never exhibit those dogs today!).


Our friend, Jim, was a big farm boy out of the plains of Saskatchewan who owned the Scottandra Kennels located near Trenton, Ontario. Jim had his veterinary practice in that town which sits prettily on the shores of Lake Ontario, a couple hours East of Toronto. Jim was one of the first of the modern era Canadian breeders to seek out and incorporate American bloodlines for his breeding program. He helped train us how to read pedigrees correctly.


Goliath Von Mallen was the sire of The Sting. Goliath was also the sire of the Vogel’s Ch High Chateau’s Tobi. The Sting’s mother was a Canadian girl who also went back to American lines. Interestingly, there is some Sanctuary Woods behind The Sting on both sides but he himself looked more like a Mallen dog. The Sting had quite a massive body and placed in a large Open Longhair class at a National.


Jim admired both Mallen and Sanctuary Woods and for many years kept dogs from both lines in his kennel in the hope that he could combine them and get the best of both. It never really worked out for him. I suppose it was like trying to go in two different genetic directions at once.


Herm is gone. Jim and Scottandra are gone. The St Bernard Club of Ontario independent specialty is gone. Such is the way of all these things. But for one wonderful spring day in 1977, all was grand and joyful for Jim, Herm and The Sting.

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