Documented Early Imports from the UK - c1960’s

In 1991, JRTs were accepted across from the Jack Russell Terrier Club of Australia inc. to the Australian National Kennel Council ANKC -
at the time, they were to have had a record of at least a 3 generation pedigree.
I cannot remember any having only a 3 generation registered my old CH Casmara/JR Lipstick JR 12405 born 15.02.89,
and Jiky Jike Ninja JR 6930, her dam, born 1986 - most Jack Russells of the day had miles of registered pedigree.

There was no need for ANKC assessment (as it is currently in some countries) the factual history was all there, beautifully & extensively recorded by the whom we owe a huge debt of gratitude, in particular to researcher extraordinaire Dr Julie Edwards (Tilbrook/Pratt.)

The JRTC of A inc. had and still has an excellent reputation as keepers of stud book records..
I have received extended pedigrees from them for old Lippy and Ninja - and for this old mother and daughter, I now have pedigrees recorded as far back as these original imports of the 1960‘s:-

Shandy JR-8 (imp UK)
Kiss me Kate *JR-6 (imp UK)
Hardy *JR-5(imp UK)
Squeak JR-101 (imp UK)
Bubbles JR-2 (imp UK)
Nipper A JR-3 (imp UK)
Becketts Bitch JR-4 (imp UK)
Skipper Saville JR-9 (imp UK)
Judy *JR-7(imp UK)
Hutch JR-20 (imp UK)
Bim JR-19 (imp UK)
Peter Piper JR-16 (imp UK)
Caesar di Roma JR-12 (imp UK)
Melton Penny JR-15 (imp UK)
Louis of Brighthelm JR-28 (imp UK by Sarah Gaffikin)
Kate of Northmanor (imp UK)
Topper (imp UK)

And also back to these Jacks which seem to have remained in the UK, no "imp" noted:-

Jerry 30001 (UK) Tina 30002 (UK) Sam 30003 (UK)
Jane 30004 (UK) Beau 30005 (UK) Heather 30006 (UK) 

Regarding three of the early imports.
In 1964, “Hardy” (*JRI-5) was a gift from the Duke of Beaufort ( Beaufort Hunt Club in the UK)
to Australians Bill and Mavis Roycroft of Olympic equestrian fame, as was “Kiss me Kate” (*JRI-6)
from the Duchess of Bedford (Bedford Hunt Club in the UK).
Then came “Judy”(*JR-7) from the Eastleigh Hunt.
(*Hardy, Judy & Kiss Me Kate were allocated references numbers by the JRTC of Australia.)

 I have now bred down to my eleventh generation of Casmara JRTs, having recorded pedigrees of 19 generations.
I'm sure many other "older" Aussie breeder's would have similar records. History is so interesting and important....
I love it and hope that it is continued to be recorded by younger breeders.

Fran Kinnear
Casmara JRTS since 1986.,,,,,,,,,


JRT History – from England to Australia

Thanks to the Jack Russell Terrier Club of Australia and the ongoing, tireless hard work of Dr Julie Tilbrook,, the history of our Jack Russells in Australia is very well documented. The JRTC of Australia was founded in 1972. It is the original keeper of Stud Books and registrations and has a very large membership throughout Australia.
It continues it’s Stud Book today.

In January 1991, the Australian National Kennel Council recognised the Jack Russell and the transfer of JRTC of A dogs was accepted until June 1994. After 30th June 1994 the JRTC of A continued to register dogs and conduct it’s own Stud Book, Shows, Events etc. but those dogs not already registered with the Kennel Club were not able to be to be transferred across to ANKC registration. You should be aware before buying a JRT that if you wish to take part in Official All Breeds Shows, Royal Shows etc. and/or gain Challenge Certificates and Australian Champion Titles which are recognised in many parts of the world, then your dog should be registered with the ANKC affiliated body in your state.

The following was written by Dr Julie Tilbrook in 1992. It covers some very interesting facts about the history of the Jack Russell Terrier which I’m sure you will enjoy........Fran Kinnear

Julie writes.....

"The JRT is not a native Australian Breed, the country of origin is Britain, (or more specifically, the county of Devon in the UK.) Obviously, the breed in Australia has developed from British imports. At the time of our first import (1964) and the formation of our Australian “Breed” Register (1975), no other Jack Russell Terrier organisation or register existed anywhere in the world.

A club had existed in Britain between the two World Wars, to try to organise the remaining few dogs carrying the Parson’s blood, especially those coming down through the kennels of Arthur Heinemann - these dogs were all the original Parson type - 14 inches height, 14 pounds weight and adhering to the famous “ one to one” standard - this being one pound in weight for each one inch in height at the withers....almost exclusively broken or rough coats, and nearly pure white.. All were, compulsorily, den workers with hounds.
It is a pity that this club faded into oblivion, for at this time, the dogs in this club were “pure”breed in almost every sense of the word...all could claim descent from the Parson’s stock, identical in type, all were developed and used for a common purpose i.e. work standardised and proven.

During and after WorldWar11, the remnants of this club and other surviving Parson lines became disseminated throughout the UK. They were either owned privately and singly by members of a hunting club, or owned en masse in kennels maintained either by the MFH (Master of Foxhounds) or Terrier Man of the Hunt concerned.
They were bred the best to the best (workwise). Non-performers in the progeny were culled. The result was a dog that was genetically standardised for work, but not necessarily standardised for conformation. Where the environmental pressure on the workers was identical (i.e. they were subject to the same type of terrain) then conformation and type rapidly became standardised in parallel but where dog packs became geographically isolated in areas of varying terrain (i.e. each Hunt Club has it’s own territory, and the terrain differed from Hunt Club to Hunt Club) then the situation arose where dog packs within each terrain (i.e. within each Hunt Club) became similar in type. But between terrains (i.e between Hunt Clubs, especially widely separated Hunt Clubs too far apart to easily exchange genetic material) the type differed markedly.

These dogs were standardised genetically, but it was the working genes that were genotypically similar (“homozygotes“), and the conformational genes that were dissimilar (“hyterozygotes”).
This is in contrast to the situation with show ring breeds where the conformational genes have been and “purified” (“homozygotes”) but the working genes remain or degenerate into a state of disarray (“hyterozygotes”). Which of the two you believe is a pure breed is determined by whether you are a KC or Hunt Club enthusiast. From a geneticist’s point of view, both can be regarded as pure breed, as both contain dogs with genes that have been selected and concentrated (purified) into a commonly shared gene pool for whatever specialist purpose. In the case of the KCs, great emphasis is placed on pedigree, a dog of great pedigree will be revered even if it is an ordinary specimen itself. With Hunt Clubs even a great pedigree will not save an ordinary performer from being culled. Some Hunt Clubs keep pedigrees religiously, while some have no long term records at all. Most have partial records or records steeped in tradition i.e. ...each dog in each generation would be named the same going back to the “old” dog of the same name 100 years before. The genetic connection exists, even though no written pedigree may have been kept.

So, after World War 11, we had the situation where the remaining few genetically genuine Parson type terriers had been disseminated to Hunt Clubs across the UK, and due to the varying terrains now encountered in work in each of these Hunt Clubs (and no doubt some judicious cross-breeding within each Hunt Club to Hunt Terrier of a type already developed as most suitable for that terrain) we have a JRT of widely varying type from region to region, but remarkably identical den skills, and retaining genetic consanguinity.
Such was the state of the Jack Russell Terrier in the UK at the time of the early imports to Australia in 1964.

For instance, in 1964, “Hardy” (*JRI-5) was a gift from the Duke of Beaufort ( Beaufort Hunt Club in the UK) to Australians Bill and Mavis Roycroft of Olympic equestrian fame, as was “Kiss me Kate” (*JRI-16) from the Duchess of Bedford (Bedford Hunt Club in the UK).
Than came “Judy” (*JRI-7) from the Eastleigh Hunt. Note that dogs were given as coveted gifts...they were not commercially sold or exchanged, and this was characteristic of the time; the dogs remained specialist Hunt Terriers interchanged between hunting and equestrian enthusiasts.

Pedigrees were not given and to ask for such would be poor taste in the light of such gifts. After all, if the Queen gives you a Corgi, you do not ask for proof of it’s legitimacy! These Hunt Clubs bred the creme de la creme of Hunt Terriers, with a reputation second to none. Breeding records were kept, but not traded.

Yet another early import to Australia “Skipper Saville”(JRI-9) from the Cowdray Hunt, did in fact come with a three generation pedigree, albeit a small gap or two in it. His ability to supply this pedigree may have been more due to his being a descendent of the Sire/JRT of the moment namely the legendary Essex Union Rhino (Essex Union Hunt) than to any desire on the part of his importer to confirm his legitimacy.

Thus our early JRT imports , on which the breed in this country was founded, may have come out as “breeding unknown”, but you can take it for certain, that they were “bred in the purple.”

Australia is fortunate that the breed developed in this country from former genuine Hunt Club imports. By the time the popularity surge overseas resulted in the breed’s virtual genetic extinction by out-crossing in it’s homeland, we here had an expanding pool of dogs of reasonably similar type, all thoroughly documented, catalogued and monitored by the Jack Russell Terrier Club of Australia inc. and virtually all descended from a defined group of genuine foundation dogs. Australia was the first country anywhere in the world to form a club dedicated to the JRT register.(in post-war years). The task of registration of Jack Russells and verification of pedigrees was made much easier because cataloguing was started soon after the introduction of the JRT to Australia, allowing us to follow the breed out from it’s few foundation dogs, rather than, as in England, having to trace the family tree from it’s leaves back to it’s roots, there being large numbers in the UK of dogs of totally unknown ancestry to try and track back.

- The registration system as developed in Australia was far superior to any of the registration systems later implemented overseas. Pioneers in Australia kept impeccable records of both pedigrees and purchases of pups, and made these readily available to the JRTC of Australia inc.
- Although the purity of the JRT in the UK today is open to question, the early foundation imports on which our Australian breed was developed, although coming out without any pedigree background at all, were in fact purebreds and the result of a century of deliberate genetic selection.
- Several decades now of “progeny testing” in Australia of these “pedigree unknown”early imports have proven them to breed true. The relative “inbreeding” resulting from establishing the breed here from a only handful of imports rapidly led to a reasonable similarity of type."

Re-printed with kind permission of the author, Julie Tilbrook. Thanks and Acknowledgement to Julie, without her and people like her, the JRT in Australia would not be where it is today.

Fran Kinnear
Casmara JRTs since 1986


History....Don't you love it?