The R-Line Lives!
Long ago in a land far, far away, I met my first Stafford, named Tinkinswood Imperial (Fred) -- it was love at first sight! My original bitch was a 1/2 brother - sister product based on him; she was M-Line bred.
The first time she was bred, in accordance with the agreement with her breeder, she was bred to a dog of the breeder's choice.
The second time was my choice. By that time, I had met another Stafford that affected me as much as Fred had - this was Piltdown Bill of Truestaff (Bruce). The breeding was arranged and done and all went well.
In the course of time, I decided I wanted a male and a breeding had been done between Bruce and a daughter of his. I purchased pick male (my choice at 8 weeks of age) from this breeding. This was Bullseye Abominog (J. R.).
As I waited for J. R. to grow up, I dabbled with the information I had on Lines and Families in the breed and was told by some that those dogs were so far back that it didn't matter.
Then came the computer age! Utilizing information I was given and accumulated myself, I built a data base of nearly 10,000 names of Staffords going back as far as possible (some back to the later 20s). After getting on line, as I learned more about computers, I got on the e-mail chat list for the breed and fell into a discussion of lines. Someone made the statement that all the Staffords in the U.S. were M-Line, which I didn't argue with, but just started playing on the old computer that had my database stored in its memory.
Then, a bit later, Steve Stone reiterated that there being only M-Line Staffords in the U.S. By then, I had pulled up enough on my Staffords pedigrees to e-mail Steve privately and tell him that I not only had R-Line bred Staffords in my household (7 at that time), but that 6 of them were R-Line bred via both sire and dam.
Steve, always being the gentleman, but also having been a doubting Thomas in another life, asked for the pedigrees. After he had received them and looked them over, he was beaming through the phone lines when he posted this information to the e-mail chat list. Somehow, through dumb luck as much as anything else, I had managed to line breed and, in one accidental breeding, in-breed a concentration of double R-Line bred Staffords.
The R-Line Staffords that are in the U.S. today (and I'm speaking of those I'm aware of), go back through Reetuns Red Tornado and his litter brother Reetuns Iron Duke, both of whom were imported (together with a litter sister) by Zane Smith, and Piltdown Bill of Truestaff and Truestaff Orchid Challenger imported by Lilian Rant.
While I have no way of being absolutely certain because of imports happening almost daily, some of which are by people who are just bringing their pets into the country, it would appear that these 4 dogs were the source of R-Line Staffords in the U.S. Their progeny now extend coast-to-coast and border-to-border. Some of these Staffords tail back only on the top side of the pedigree, but a good number of them tail back on both sides.
My Staffords in particular trace back on both sides of the pedigree. A litter I have right now goes back to the R-Line in 10 of the 16 males at the end of a 5 generation pedigree, all 10 via Bandits Brintiga, and 9 of those ties are through 2 full brothers.
I will have to outcross in the future, but the resources are there to come back to the R-Lines after that.
Based on Staffords that I know of personally, the R-Line is alive and available in the U.S.