It began in 1975


Zane Smith judging at Dudley & District KA in 1984 and given Best of Breed to then unknown dog, Cradbury Flash Boyo, who later became a UK Champion and Top Stafford

Zane Smith started judging at dog shows back in the 1970's when most All Breed Clubs would hold A Matches, where anywhere from 100-300 dogs (mostly puppies and young show prospects) could be entered on average across the six groups.

His first time judging was at age 16 years old (1979) when he judged all Terriers and the Terrier Group at Superstition Kennel Club’s annual match show. “When it came to the my judging the Terrier Group that day, there were 12 breeds represented, and I awarded the group to a Smooth Fox Terrier shown by the then 12 year old owner-breeder-handler, Amy Rutherford, who is today, a very successful All Breed Handler”.


“After judging a lot of these matches over several years and doing a tremendous amount of ring stewarding at AKC shows, as well as having shown my dogs in hundreds of shows and breeding a number of Champions – I was 22 years old when I first applied for Staffordshire Bull Terriers as a fully licensed AKC Judge.

I remember my original interview was with the very well known and respected AKC Field Rep at that time, Mrs. Kay Radcliffe. I don’t think anyone was seeing me become a judge at the age of 22, and it honestly met with a lot of resistance because of my age.”

"According to the AKC at that time,I was the youngest person approved as a breed judge in the modern day in the entire U.S.

At that point, there were only two Staffordshire Bull Terrier breeder-judges in the U.S.: the now late Judi Daniels (Starzend)

and the late Dr. John "Doc" Martin from Indiana (Doc's Little Staffs).


I have judged Staffords now as a breeder-judge longer than in person in North America.

Judi of course, having had the first Champion in the breed in the U.S., the impressive dark brindle Australian import bitch from Jan Bruce, CH. Northwark Becky Sharpe (Aust Imp) as

well as other Staffords in the early years of the 1970's, including Bringarry Dangerman (UK Imp) Thank you to Lilian Rant (Silverlake) for imported Danny into the U.S. from Brian Blower in the UK. Dangerman (Danny), was one of the most impressive Staffords I have ever seen, and was a very prolific stud dog and influence in the breed. I always regretted not breeding my first bitch to him!


Dr. Martin had owned the first Stafford bitch to have ever placed in a Terrier Group in America, the beautiful red bitch, CH Kings blood Royal Val. What fascinated me about the judging process, having watched it, and of course, handling dogs in it, was how a judge could (or could not) intelligently access a group of dogs and apply the breed standard to each exhibit in only a few minutes time, and then make a good decision with each class. What bothered me was that in my youthful view, I did not think the judging was consistent nor very intelligent in many cases, and I wanted to be better than that if I ever became a judge. Furthermore, I had shown dogs to so many judges, who I felt were inattentive, rude and completely disinterested in the dogs and the breed they were judging. I swore to myself that if I ever became a judge that I would be friendly, courteous and attentive to every dog and handler that I would ever judge!


To further my education and exposure to the breed internationally, it was my good fortune to have spent almost my entire senior high school summer in England with the many friends I had made over through my teen years by the mail and phone. The first and foremost was my breed mentor, Albert Wood (Reetuns). Albert had exported Eng.CH Reetuns Lord Jim to us, who had been the Top Stafford in the UK in 1974.


The story of how Lord Jim came to be exported to America is quite a story by itself. I consider having learned from many mentors and friends who included that summer, and throughout the years, all of whom I either traveled with, lived with or visited, including: Alec Waters (Ashstock), Joyce Shorrock (Eastaff), Freddie Phillips (Cradbury), Brian & Joyce Grattidge (Karjobri), Trevor & Brenda Rowe (Rowenda), George Earle (Judael), Eddie Pringle, John & Joyce Hemsley (Parkstaff), Jim Parsons (Tinkinswood), Brian Owen (Brystaff), Terry Giles, Ken Bailey (Benext), Tony & Clare Lee (Constones), June Horsfall (Dennybeck), Harry & Mary Coble (Surestaff), Mike Homan (Evaradee), Roma Williams (who owned Eng.CH. Christopher of Geneva), Bert Emmett (Elvinor), Gerry & Joan Holmes (Holmstaff), Elaine & Tec Norton (Tikkurilan), Vic & Betty Pounds, Lionel & Jo Hemstock (Jolihem), Les & Kay Aspin (Scarthwaite), Dr. Ian Davidson (Rothersyke), Jim & Nancy Bolton (Rapparee), Norm & Dorothy Berry (Rendorn), Norman Entwistle (Vencristo), Bryn Cadogan (Dogan). Harry Robinson (Hamason), Roger & Doreen Pugh (Rocellio) and Danny Gilmour (Dumbriton), among others.


I even had the privilege to meet Gerald Dudley (Wychbury) , a master of the breed in the early years, as well as Bill Boylan – who was a true original. I visited

Bill Boylan in 1938 with Game Laddie & Emden Challenge

both of them in 1984. Both were Instrumental in our breed from the start. Boylan started judging the breed in 1936!

Both of them were elderly when I spent time with them, but

both were a delight and still remembered so much at their ages. I spent literally hundreds of hours with these knowledgeable, opinionated and experienced men and women – absolute hallmarks of the breed – and saw hundreds of Staffords that no other American has, or will ever see in the flesh, nor most present day UK breeders and owners either. It was an experience that cannot be duplicated, and one that launched my education and experience to an entirely different level.


Gerald Dudley (Wychbury) with UK CH. Widneyland Kim in 1946

First Stafford Brace to ever win a Terrier Group in the U.S. CH. Reetuns Iron Maiden (right) CH. Bullseye Forget Me Not (left) Scottsdale DFA Show 1978

In America, I was also able to spend time with Gwen Gallimore of Wystaff fame, once she moved from the UK to America following the passing of her husband in England. Gwen had taken the position of managing the famous Gamecock Kennels in Maryland owned by the late Claude Williams, who bred many worthy and influential Staffords in the early years in America, including CH. Gamecock Another Brinsley Lad, CH. Gamecock Collectors Item and CH. Gamecock The Great White Hope.


Brinsley Lad was actually the first Stafford to ever place in a Terrier Group (4th) in the U.S. once there was full breed recognition in 1975. Although I never met Mr. Williams, I admired his knowledge and experience and many of the dogs he had bred and owned.”


Zane has been involved in purebred dogs since 1973, having originally owned an AKC registered Bulldog and Keeshond as a young child. The first dog he ever exhibited was a Keeshond in 1973.

​Int.Ch. Reetuns Lord Jim Best In Show at the SBTCA Match in June 1977, defeating the largest entry of Staffords ever in the U.S. in Fountain Valley, California. Handled By Owner Zane Smith at 14 years old. In Mr. Servat's critique of Lord Jim he said "This is probably the closest Stafford to the breed standard in the world."

.Zane was approved by the AKC to judge Staffordshire Bull Terriers in 1985, at the age of 22.


And is one of only a handful breeder-judges in the U.S. He is now approved for eight (8) breeds in the Terrier Group including American Staffordshire Terriers, Australian Terriers, Border Terriers, Bull Terriers, ​

Miniature Bull Terriers, Miniature Schnauzers and Smooth Fox Terriers. Zane has also judged Championship shows throughout the world, including England, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Finland, Hungary, Austria, Sweden, Spain, Italy and France.

Zane has been involved in purebred dogs since 1973, having originally owned an AKC registered Bulldog and Keeshond as a young child. The first dog he ever exhibited was a Keeshond in 1973.

Zane Smith judging BIS at the Finland SBT National Show

In 1975, Zane became involved with the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the year the AKC granted full recognition to the breed in America. For over 45 years he has been involved in every aspect of the sport; from breeding and exhibiting to judging. His first Stafford Champion was Eng.CH Reetuns Lord Jim, who was #1 SBT in the U.S. in 1978 & 1979 and Top Stud Dog in 1980. He is the only SBT in history to have been the Top Stafford in the UK (1974) and exported to any country in the world. To date, Lord Jim remains the only Top Stafford in the UK to ever be exported.

​ Zane was approved by the AKC to judge Staffordshire Bull Terriers in 1985, at the age of 22, and is one of only a handful breeder-judges in the U.S. He is now approved for eight (8) breeds in the Terrier Group including American Staffordshire Terriers, Australian Terriers, Border Terriers, Bull Terriers, Miniature Bull Terriers, Miniature Schnauzers and Smooth Fox Terriers. Zane has also judged Championship shows throughout the world, including England, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Finland, Hungary, Austria, Sweden, Spain, Italy and France.


He has judged National Specialty shows in four countries as well, and is the only Staffordshire Bull Terrier breeder from the U.S. to ever judge at the World Show (2012).

Since the 1970's Zane's dogs have won more than 800 Groups & Group placements, including over 150 All Breed Best In Shows, as well as multiple National and Regional Specialties. In addition to his breed record holding Staffordshire Bull Terriers

Zane Smith awarding Bitch CC at the Manchester Ch. Show (UK)

& American Staffordshire Terriers, he has also owned many Top Winning dogs, including a Multiple Best In Show winning Irish Water Spaniel, the #1 Neapolitan Mastiff in the U.S. in 2007, the Top Winning Tibetan Mastiff of All Time, and the #1 Miniature Bull Terrier (CH. Jiltrain Give Me A Clue) in the U.S. (2006) and several Champion Black & Tan Coonhounds. He also owned and imported from Hungary the #1 Komondorok Bitch in the U.S. in 2015.