Tales from the Old Continent

The Pied Piper’s story

Tales from the Old Continent.

Many are familiar with the work of Ed Reid at his Stockquest Kennels in Boston, Lincolnshire, who is said to be the first breeder to officially import American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) dogs to the United Kingdom. 
There are several books written by Ed Reid and his wife Noreen about the Staffordshire Bull Terrier (SBT) and the American Pit Bull Terrier, documentaries and other archives, his work is well known and his literature vast.

In this article, our protagonist is a breeder of equal importance to the history of the American Pit Bull Terrier in the UK and who also contributed to the development and preservation of other breeds in the country.

Maurice Dann “The Pied Piper”

Maurice Dann was born in Plymouth, England on June 15, 1949.
He started with dogs around 1974, breeding Lakeland Terriers, Patterdale Terriers, Border Terriers and later English Bull Terriers.

His outgoing manner and the typical hat he wore throughout his life earned him the nickname “the Pied Piper”, but among his friends in dogs he was affectionately called Big Mo.

He bought his first Staffordshire Bull Terrier in 1976, a red bitch he named Goldie but the blood chosen for his foundation stock came from dogs bred by the Lee’s family in Ireland, Tony Lee was one of the greatest Stafford breeder in Ireland, known for his “Irish Staffords” from the famous Dublin Red Strain of Willie Delaney, names well-known in the SBT community.

The first two dogs imported by Maurice from Ireland were Diddyicye’ Boomerang and Diddycye’ Ruby
Boomerang was a male bred by McLoughlin off of Tony Lee’s stock and Ruby a bitch bred by Tony Lee and result of a pure “Dublin Red” breeding.
Diddyice was the prefix of Bert Lee’s Kennel in Ireland (Tony Lee’s son), Bert owned and worked Boomerang and Ruby, along with his father and his late brother Tony Lee Jr.
Maurice changed their names to Dann’s Frazer of Ireland and Dann’s Mandy.

Boomerang was sent to Maurice in 1977 and the deal was that he would return him to Bert, what he did in December, 1978. Shortly after returned to Ireland, he won best Staffordshire Bull Terrier in an event held by the old Lurgan Terrier Club in Ireland, sadly just 4 weeks after the event he suddenly died.
Mandy was sent to England in 1978 and later sold to Pinky Fleville who lived in North Ireland, where it said that she was poisoned by the British Army.

In 1976, before Frazer and Mandy were sent to Maurice, Bert breed them producing a male pup that was sold to Timmy Delaney, who named him Delaney’s Starsky, later he was sold to Maurice, changing his name to Dann’s Red Warrior AKA Dann’s Choice, becoming a very good producer in Great Britain.

CH Delaney’s Starsky also known as CH Dann’s Red Warrior AKA Dann’s Choice

In Ireland, in the hands of his first owner Timmy Delaney, Starsky (Dann’s Red Warrior) established a successful family of dogs, among the names that left their mark on the history of the “Irish Stafford” is his son CH Russell’s Red Joe, who when bred to his half-sister Dann’s Ginger bred by Maurice, produced CH Grakan’s Jim, who when bred to Springview’s Ruby (another tight Starsky bitch) produced CH Springview’s Jess and so forth.
Many of these dogs can still be found in the pedigrees of Staffordshire Bull Terriers today.

Dann’s Mandy (Lee’s Diddycye Ruby) was bred to her son Lee’s Juckels also known as Diddycye Rambler, this inbreeding produced Dann’s Tasha, Dann’s Young Mandy of Dublin and Bonzo’s (Dann’s) Big Red Bitch.
Maurice bred Dann’s Tasha to her half-brother Dann’s Red Warior (Delaney’s Starsky), producing Brown’s (Dann’s) Rocky, who is said to be first Staffordshire Bull Terrier to have won against a Pit Bull dog in the UK.
Maurice become a successful and recognized Stafford breeder in the UK.

In the early 80’s with the Pit Bull showing exponential growth in the country, Maurice became interested in the breed and decided to travel to the United States to meet Don Mayfield at his place in Sunnyvale, Texas and they became good friends.
He returned from that trip with Dann’s (Mayfield’s) Jessie, the first Pit Bull dog from Mayfield’s bloodline imported to the UK.

Before Jessie was sold and sent to UK, she had already being bred to Mayfield’s Vogan in the United States, from this breeding came another of his imports, Dann’s Gar; It is important to mention that this litter also produced Keystone’s Jaap who was one of the foundations for the Keystone blood in Holland.

Jessie was imported expecting a litter sired by Mayfield’s Vogan but sadly many of the puppies did not survive, however this breeding produced Dann’s Jocko and his brother Coco.

Maurice visited his friend Don Mayfield many times in the following years and in 1983 a beautiful black bitch called Sugar (sired by Mayfield’s Waco off of West’s Cricket) arrived at Dann’s yard.

Over time he imported General and Lena, both sired by Mayfield’s Vogan off of Dann’s (Mayfield’s) Susie (another of his imports) and Jewel sired by Mayfield’s Vogan off of Mayfield’s Zeebee.
Dann’s General became a Champion after being sold to Cristy McCarthy.

Dann’s Lena was bred to Dann’s General producing Dann’s Cagney later sold to the Farmer Boys, Dann’s Lacey, Lisa, Frank and Murphy’s Baxter; She was also bred to Dann’s Gar producing CH Phantom’s Max.
A breeding between Murphy’s Baxter and Murphy’s Tess sired by Reid’s Skipper ROM off of Reid’s Lady, produced GR CH Bo Daly’s Shelly.

His pride was Dann’s Cinnamon sired by Mayfield’s Nicholas off of Mayfield’s Goldie, who he called “The Devil in Dogs clothing”. Reports indicate that she may have won from 1 up to 9 times, but there are disagreements whitin the APBT community and her official record is yet to be found.

For Maurice Pit Bulls were more intense and a Pit Bull against a Stafford, both in their best conditions, a Pit Bull would have the advantage.

Searching for other bloodlines to work, he bought CH Dann’s B.J. sired by Patrick’s Bolio Jr. (son of Indian Bolio ROM and Patrick’s Red Baby ROM) off of Boyles’ Towles (daughter of CH Anderson’s Tonka ROM).

His imports continued until the late 80’s.
Dann’s (Riggs’) Two Toes was sired by Riggs’ Red Boy (son of Patrick’s Golden Boy and Patrick’s Red Baby ROM) off of Riggs’ Red Pepper (a tight Tonka blood).

Dann’s Jenny was bred by Ronnie Anderson sired by CH Anderson’s Tonka ROM off of Anderson’s Auburn.
Maurice always said that a good Tonka/Bolio dog was hard to beat.

Dann’s (Anderson’s) Jenny in Oklahoma, USA 1989

Dann’s Billy also known as Shadyhills’ Devil Zack was a two time winner, sired by one of the best that ever lived, CH Crenshaw’s (Garrett’s) Jeep ROM off of Shadyhills’ Cricket (daughter of CH Crenshaw’s Rascal Jr).

Maurice’s friend Peter Parker from Holland bred his CH Parker’s Willy Booger to Dann’s Angel (later sold to Frits Jansen), both sired by CH Anderson’s Tonka ROM, producing Dann’s Pacman also known as Parker’s Red Danger, who when bred to Lee’s Jody sired by CH Dann’s B.J. off of Dann’s Jenny, produced Lee’s Shadow POR.

He speaks highly of Dann’s (Rigg’s) Two Toes and Dann’s B.J. but for him none came close to his bitch GR CH Dann’s Cinnamon.

During his career some of his dogs were successfully crossed with different breeds, something that many wouldn’t dare try and those who did rarely got good results out of it, a practice that was not uncommon at the time but which rarely produced high quality dogs.
The offspring of Dann’s Gar and Hill’s (Dann’s) Nelson crossed with SBT and English Bull Terrier (EBT) became well-known at the time, two notable examples are CH Phantom’s Amber (APBT x SBT) and CH Charlie’s Pirate (APBT x EBT).

Maurice was never a fan of crossing different breeds and by observing the results of his pure breedings between his Mayfield dogs, he devoted himself to the pure American Pit Bull Terrier.

His contribution to different Terrier type breeds but especially for the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the American Pit Bull Terrier is admirable and his efforts will be always remembered and used as an example for future generations, a true dogman.

Unfortunately since 1991 the American Pit Bull Terrier and other breeds has been banned in the United Kingdom and persecuted by the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and the BSL (Breed Specific Legislation), resulting in the sacrifice of thousands of animals over the decades.
We can just pray and hope for better days.

A special thanks to C. Dann, B. Lee and J. Delaney for all the support to this article.

I hope you have enjoyed this article, my goal is to promote the study and research of the American Pitbull Terrier, feel free to contact me, we can both learn and discover new pieces of history together.

*The content of this article is part of the history of the American Pit Bull Terrier and other breeds and used for educational and historical purposes only.

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