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Springview Article

Discussion in 'Staffordshire Bull Terriers' started by UpTheFoyle, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. Don Mayfieldand great dogs by Springview bulldogs (uk)

    It’s afact that don Mayfield, regardless of whether you like him or dislike him,understand his stories or don't understand them was a major player in the gameback in the good old days of the sixties/seventies. His record of wins againstquality opposition at the major shows of that period were to say the least exceptionalwith dogs such as ch gomer, ch 400, ch alligator, pit general, ch ranger(littermate to jimmy boots) tombstone, with him beating the likes of ch chivo,grch pool hall red, ch Bullyson jr, plus many more it was with interest that Iplanned a visit to as jerry Clemmons once called him the Dallas guru.

    I firstcorresponded with don Mayfield in the early eighties when I was looking topurchase dogs from him but with one thing or another we never got round todealing for any dogs much to my dismay. It was in the late eighties that Ibegan to deal with him more often and we talked mainly about conditioning, Ialways had an understanding of how to exercise a dog having had coursing dogsall my life but though I was able to bring my dogs to the pit very fine theystill lacked that little something extra.

    In nearlyevery match I have fought I’ve given weight away yet at the same time my dogswere always bigger than my opponents were, my dogs were always shown in topshape had very good wind or stamina but still I couldn't put my finger on whatwas missing. I spoke with don about this and he started to explain to me how tofeed my dogs for a match, now I already knew what to feed but ti-ie problem Iwas having was I wasn't feeding enough.

    I beganto experiment with the feed pan and by simply feeding more feed in a keep, tomy dogs with certain feeds being fed at certain parts of the keep. The firstdog I worked using this different feeding schedule I matched at 34lb and gaveaway two pounds with my bitch coming of the bottom to win in over two hours, onher peak work day this bitch was doing over six hours of work and eat near fourpounds of feed. The feed that I was feeding consisted of a lot of lean mincedbeef with some cereals and mixed grains, lots of fresh vegetables with aquality minerals and vitamin supplement with plain natural carbohydrates.

    When thebitch was eating she would blow up like she was ready to whelp with her bellynear to bursting point, at times shed lift her head and belch real loud inorder to make more room for the feed. With the conditioning knowledge I alreadyhad along with a lot of help from don Mayfield I began to work dogs using a newsystem and fought twelve matches in a row working dogs for myself and other well-knownkennels in England, in each match I gave weight traveled away and my dogscratched to win. When don Mayfield told me about the Texas redneck hickbarbecue that he was putting together I knew that id have to get myselfinvited, then as soon as id made my mind up to go, don sent me a letterinviting me to the reunion.

    Over theyears I’ve had dozens of invites to the usa from well-known dogmen and beeninvited to big shows/conventions but due to a hole in my pocket its always beenout of my league as I have to work for a living im not a drug dealer orcriminal or bank robber and have a mortgage with three children to feed andclothe, still I was determined to get to Texas for this so called redneck hickreunion. Well I started working two jobs, one paid the bills the other went inmy money box to pay for the trip to Texas, at one time during this period I wasworking eighteen hours each day in order to get the cash together. Well now tosome of you hardened chappies from the big cities the prospect of flying mightnot be to intimidating but to me a country boy from this red rose county of Lancashirethe nearest id gotten to flying was falling from a tree trying to collect birdseggs, to be honest the prospect of a ten hour flight 30,000 feet above godsearth had my ass up around my ears, I get vertigo if I’ve got to go up astairway of more than six steps but hey if the southern softie cockneys couldgo international then I certainly could.

    The dayof the flight came and to be honest I sat as close to the door as possible butthey never mentioned paracifutes, so I sat the first few hours with my eyes closed ready to putmy head between my legs and kiss my ass goodbye. We got into Dallas aboutteatime or 4pm and I was quickly moved through customs and I moved towards theairport lounge were I seen what could only be described as possibly the onlytwo Texans in the airport, right in the middle of the busiest airport in theworld were two real Texas redneck hicks standing out like the lone star flag ina sea of mixed races, the first people I saw out of about a hundred people wasa couple of guys wearing high dollar cowboy boots and Stetsons, I walked overto them and don Mayfield held out his hand and told me, welcome to Texas Trevor.We then journeyed from Dallas airport in one of those dodge pickups everyone inTexas seems to drive as the driver crazy Larry who was a real talentedsongwriter sang a song as we drove through the hot Texas sun.

    Wearrived at dons place and the first thing we did was sit out under the shadetree to escape from the hot Texas heat, as they introduced me to a lady from Mexicocalled honey that simply blew my mind. We sat and talked well on into the earlyhours most evenings with the conversations being about everything from gamedogs to god or conditioning to cherry pie. My self and don were to sleep undercanvass for the duration of the reunion and we got to our cots around 2am werewe lay awake talking about dogs and don was telling me about such dogmen as Leokinard, Maurice carver, frank Fitzwater and the big shows they put together inthe past throughout the Texas area.

    Iremember asking him one evening as we sat out under the shade tree what hethought of the ch butcher boy dog, he told me that he was responsible for NormanHooten getting butcher boy of frank Fitzwater as a puppy, how frank had phonedhim to ask about Norman, then how Norman never paid frank for the puppy. Thenevery time don would see frank at the shows or hear from him frank would alwaystell don that Norman still owed him for the dog, don thought very highly offrank having conditioned his Goldie dog for him and winning. Later Weldonstocton bought big Liz the dam of butcher boy from frank, don matched her onone of Leo kinards shows in Mississippi winning with her, the butcher boy dogwas a belly mate to ed weaver mike dog.be told me many times that butcher boywas a real good dog and that his last and hardest match was against the Samsondog that was out of nigger, I then asked him what he thought the outcome of ach alligator/ch butcher boy match would have been and without hesitation hetold me ch alligator would have won but that butcher boy was still a great dog,the reunion came around and I met many of the old original families from the Sunnyvalearea, we eat food that was fit for kings from hog, deer, steaks as big as a tengallon hat, chili hotter than the fires of bell, and those banana puddings andpeach cobbler, strawberry cakes all homemade, those Texas girls sure know howto cook.

    I wassitting on the porch at dons one morning when a cowboy came strolling in and itwas plain to see that he was an outlaw, this guy was an ex bull rider thatplayed a mean swinette he went by the name of tricky Ricky. He was telling meabout the shows back in the seventies and how one time he travelled to a bigshow with don and he had two matches on the same show and how after they hadarrived at the show all they had was the stake money, if they had lost theywere walking back home to Texas. Well they weighed in the dogs and don wasmatched into don devine with males and devine came in over so don collected theforfeit told him the match was still on and he'd give him the weight, theyagreed to let don match a bitch first and whilst don was in the pit with thebitch match, tricky Ricky called over to don from the bleaci-iers and pointedto don devine who was hightailing it out of the show having paid the forfeitand not wanting the match even after being given weight.

    The matchthat don had that day he won easily making his bitch a two time winner and from"at I can gather them Texans partied long into the night with tricky Rickyentertaining everyone by playing his swinnete. One evening as myself and donwere sat out in his yard overlooking the creek listening to the sound of thecrickets and frogs calling, sharing some of mother nature’s best we got totalking about the ch alligator dog, and don was telling me how he conditionedand handled him in a match with some rich folk out of Dallas, the match wasmade at catch weight and ch alligator came in at 63lb with his opponent comingin at 75lb, this was a big money match that alligator won, be also told meabout when he matched into alligator using his half-brother a dog sired bynigger, for this match alligator was conditioned and handled by Danny burton,ch alligator won this match with dons dog losing deep game, he also told methat this was alligators hardest match and that he'd made the mistake ofmatching his dog to young but that it was a standout match and you just can’tmatch into Danny burton unless your dog is ready as he told me many timeswhilst I was at his place that Danny is a good conditioner and one of the fewdogmen around today that really understands the true history of the game.

    We weretalking one evening from around 4pm till gone 4am in the morning about the dogsthat don saw matched and matched himself, he told me about the match with chchivo owned by baker Davies how chivo was a great dog having won three timeseach time getting best in show and of the amount of work he put into ch gomerfor this match, the conditioning he had on his dogs was and is superior toanyone I’ve dealt with before and even today I know of no dogman that puts asmuch work into a dog for a show. For the second week of my visit don arrangedfor me to have my own personnel tour guide and this was the same guy that hadpicked me up at the airport with don, this guy was a guitar playing cowboy thathad spent a while in Vietnam he went by the name of crazy Larry. The week that Ispent with Larry was one of the most interesting times of my life, the storiesbe told me about nam were fascinating and when he and his brother slick hicklen got to playing them guitars sat under the shade tree at don & Phyllisplace then it made my trip, I was present when crazy Larry and slick hick lenplayed first ever live show at the reunion and this is the day we gave them thename "the Sunnyvale hick pickers".

    I was sattalking with dons wife Phyllis at the reunion, I was eating my third bowl ofpeach cobbler she was smoking a cigarette whilst telling me how the reunion remindedher of the big shows don and ed weaver used to put on back in the seventiesalong with George Gilman, I could tell Phyllis really enjoyed those good olddays, I was amazed at the memory don Mayfield has for the old matches and showsor the true breeding of dogs, his collection of gamedog material is the best I’veever seen . He has thousands of quality photos of the great dogs of the pastalong with those who owned or matched ti-iese dogs.

    What Ifound amazing was his collection of letters that go back to the late fiftieswith letters from earl Tudor, Leo kinard, George saddler, Pete sparks and otherlegends of the game. He also has hundreds of audio's made from phoneconversations with such as Maurice carver, earl Tudor, plus audio's made rightat pit side that are fascinating to I-]ear with famous dog men giving theirviews on the matches they were watching and the videos of various yards goingback to the late fifties are rare precious jewels that every dog man shouldsee.

    It’s hardwhen your sat out under the shade tree in 100 degree heat to remember all thequestions you wanted to ask even more so when you've eaten to much peachcobbler or fried chicken but I asked hundreds of questions about American gamedogs and don answered each one, taking the time to explain certain things aboutfeeding dogs and how certain dogs were bred. I found it amazing that some socalled dog men talk about don being no longer in the game when he's talkingdaily on the phone with dog men from Africa to Australia or japan, his phonejust never stops ringing from sun up to sun down.

    When youadd to this ti-fe dozens of letters he gets each week and now having a web pagethen I would say that far from being finished in the game that hick has noteven got his second wind. One subject we did discuss at length in great detailwas the use of shots in conditioning, my knowledge of them was minor as far asusing them in a keep was concerned but I had corresponded with top sportsnutritionist from around the world as well as many top conditioners in bothdogs roosters and horses for over a decade. I was told by don how he had triedthem back in the late sixties early seventies with success but he found that hepersonally could put his dogs in better shape without ti-iem, this he proved inthe matches he won against some of ti-ie all-time great conditioners that wereusing shots to condition. Many of those who became great conditioners spent notjust days but weeks working their own dogs at dons place learning all ti-ieycould about conditioning with shots, some later matched into him then werebeaten with dogs conditioned naturally. I was surprised to learn that thepistol dog that made grch going light Barney quit cold was conditioned at don’splace by Willie brown with don doing most of the conditioning.

    Thepistol/grch Barney match took place the same show that bullyson quit to his sonbenny bob, don conditioned benny bob had most of the stake ti-ien after theshow rick Halliburton became ti-ie owner of bennybob. As I told yawl earlierthe talks we had sometimes lasted long into the night with a few lasting intothe next day , id be sat listening to don talking about ch alligator or Mauricecarver and bobby hall working bullyson and the thing I found most pleasingabout these long talks was that he always told the truth even when talkingabout his losses. It was very hot under the Texas sun but I was treated like aking and everyone I met was going out of there way to make me feel welcome, Iwent catfish fishing caught a mess of cats, then don sk d and cleaned them, wecoated them in some herbs/spices then Phyllis daddy who many claimed to be thebest fish fryer in Texas cooked them for us with some fresh okra and frieswhilst don told me tales about Maurice carver and earl Tudor, now pray tell mewhat more could a man want than to be talking game dogs eating good home cookedfood sat under a shade tree in Texas.

    The visitseemed to last forever yet was over in no time at all, my time in Texas wasamazing, the pace of life there I found real slow but soon adapted to it. Ishall be visiting Texas again in the future and plan to catch one of them big60lb catfish on Lake Ray Hubbard. I’ve been around dogs all my life and havemet and corresponded with some of the best of them but by far when it comes toconditioning/breeding and facts don Mayfield is way ahead of anyone I’ve met inthe game and I for one feel that we should pay a little more attention to whathe writes about the game as unlike most he certainly has been involved at thevery core as, he likes to call it, the very fact that he tells you the truthabout the dogs that quit about the dogs that had false papers ought to be somethingwe admire.

    I willclose by wishing everyone I know around the world the very best for the future,may the lord bless you all and your loved ones. OPEN TO THE WORLD

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 19, 2012
    oakgrove likes this.
  2. DaksGT

    DaksGT Pup

    This is nearly impossible to read in this format.
  3. jt ellison

    jt ellison Big Dog

    Its written in Ehglish in block capitals and if its so difficult to read why bother putting it up this storys years old and is easy to follow and understand , also what has this story got to do with staffordshire bull terriers and why not put up something YOU have written about YOUR gamedog writings or dealings im sure everyone would be intrested to read it
  4. OnTheRocks

    OnTheRocks Moderator

    I have edited it to make it easier to read... At your service!

  5. cromsboss

    cromsboss Big Dog

    enjoyed reading it, thanks
  6. No need to get defensive about it, your username sparked my memory of a few articles i had read on the internet by you. I posted it here as you and those who know of you frequent this section. Not everyones out to question or get at you, ask nicely and i am sure a moderator will remove it on your request.Good Day.
  7. jt ellison

    jt ellison Big Dog

    Ididnt post hem or give my permission for anyone to use them or put up pictures of my dogs past or present thats all
  8. Google your springview name , you can see whats been put on the internet with your name attatched.
  9. DaksGT

    DaksGT Pup

    Thank you, I will read it now.
  10. LOL,, ol' dibo sure don't look too happy in that pic lol
  11. jt ellison

    jt ellison Big Dog

    NO problem UP THE FOYLE have enjoyed mamy walks along the Foyle down the years hope you enjoyed the stories
  12. Cheers, its a nice place.
  13. Jacob

    Jacob Top Dog

    bump bump bump
  14. reids skipper

    reids skipper Top Dog

    RIP springview

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