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Discussion in 'History Pictures & Reports' started by Vicki, Nov 25, 2007.

  1. Vicki

    Vicki Administrator Administrator

    l begin the true story of the dog named "Zebo" by going straight to his most famous match. This match was against a dog called Yuebank’s "Champion Greaser". In this match Zebo went uphill almost four pounds and won in one hour and fifty seven minutes. Greaser was renounced to be "unbeatable" at 44 pounds.

    "That black dog is a cur!" came the yell from the top of the stands. The noise in the barn dropped so quickly it was scary. It got so quiet the sound of the dogs feet scraping on the tarp could be heard, as every eye in the barn looked up to see who had labeled a dog that had never turned or hesitated in his life a "cur". I thought big trouble lay only seconds away, as a slur like that cannot be ignored. The "Black Dog’s" handler looked up to the top row where the voice had come from and said, "I don’t appreciate you calling my dog a cur!" The words, though soft spoken, carried a message of seriousness, and then the handler’s wife said, "After this match is over, you climb in the pit with my husband and we’ll see who’s the cur." This happened during one of the best matches and biggest upsets I’ve seen since I started in the sport. Both sides thought they had trapped the other side by running in an "ace" on their opponent’s "average" dog. How wrong they both were. Champion Zebo was the "Black Dog" and Champion Greaser was the brindle. How they came to meet on a cool night in a barn in Ohio, is a complicated but interesting story. Champion Greaser was being campaigned at 44 pounds in and around Oklahoma and Champion Zebo was being matched around North Carolina at 40 pounds. "Greaser" was an extremely smart defensive type of dog that could really bite. He’d gained his deserved reputation by proving this in his first four matches against dogs that were not pushovers.

    Likewise, so had "Zebo". The difference being "Zebo’s" matches were short ones, lasting only 22,26,17 and 33 minutes, all kills. After his fourth win, a man named Adams bought "Zebo" and took him back up north to Ohio. Adams had a friend named Hudson who had matched a dog at 44 pounds into a father and son team from St. Louis. Hudson’s dog was from Maurice Carver, and was a two time winner at 44 pounds named "Hudson’s Tex". Hudson was a nice fellow but, could really get on your nerves bragging so much on his dog, because it was "Tex" this and "Tex" that, for as long as you would listen. I guess the team from St. Louis got tired of listening and just figured they would whip old "Tex" and shut Hudson up. Now, when you matched into this father and son team, you had better do three things, get a good dog, have the dog in good shape, and say your favorite prayer. As luck, or fate, or whatever you desire to call it goes, Tex got hurt in a chain fight and Hudson was going to have to pay the forfeit. Rather than give away money, he called Adams and offered Adams a deal. If Adams would take over the match with Zebo and win, Hudson would split the winnings with him and, if he lost Hudson would pay the whole bet. Adams had been walking Zebo and cutting his weight, for at that time there was a big convention in Mexico being matched up and Adams had turned Zebo’s weight in. The Mexican Convention was supposed to be the biggest and best ever put on but, the law intervened and it never did come about. Adams didn’t know the convention would fall apart, but he thought that as he had almost three months until the Mexican convention and Tex’s match was only three weeks away, that he could take over Tex’s match and win without getting hurt too much and still be healthy and set Zebo down in the Mexican convention. So, he agreed to take over the match, but told his backer that if Zebo wasn’t way ahead at 30 minutes he was going to pick him up, because he wanted to match him in the Big Convention. Hudson agreed to this as with Zebo’s kill record…he would rather gamble and give up a few pounds to make it number 5 than give up the forfeit. Meanwhile, out in St. Louis, the "team" had a dog that was considered to be the best 44 pounder of his time. This Greaser had started out being called Yuebanks’ Greaser. If my information is correct, Yuebanks’ campaigned Greaser in his first four matches. All wins over some highly regarded opponents. Greaser had given his fans real reason to call him the best 44 pounder alive, as his opponents were good caliber dogs like Moloney’s Alligator and Mayfield’s Go Devils. The "Team" purchased Greaser especially for the Tex match since old Tex was a good dog in his own rights and the "team" knew they had to have an above average dog in order to beat Tex (how and why the "team" got Greaser is only hearsay on my part, the point is Greaser was the best 44 pounder alive. And he was the dog they had to use on Tex.) So we have the stage set. The Ohio boys have an "Ace" named Zebo, which the "team" doesn’t know about. And the "team" has an "ace" named Greaser tuning up that the Ohio boys don’t know about. Before we tell this story of the "Battle of Champions", let’s go back and find out how Zebo got here.

    "Zebo" began his life in the yard of a fancier named "Lonzo". Zebo won several "off the chain" matches while owned by "Lonzo", but as Lonzo had too many dogs at the time; he sold Zebo to a man named Hughes. There were four males in Zebo’s litter, Lonzo told me that all four were game but two were above average in ability. Zebo, and his brother "Vindicator". Lonzo personally liked Vindicator and his sister "Rosie" had been born red; he kept them because they stood out in the litter of all black pups.

    Zebo had been called "Zero" until Mr. Hughes bought him. When the papers came back from U.K.C. they read "Hughes’ Zebo". I guess the gods of war intervened and named him, because after he started being called Zebo his fame started to grow. As stated before, Mr. Hughes killed four in a row with Zebo winning two "Best in Show’s" with him while doing so. The last at a convention in Alabama. When Mr. Hughes purchased Zebo, he had been rolled uphill into a catchweight dog that had destroyed the muscle tissue in Zebo’s left shoulder. Mr. Hughes’ good friend, a man named Cable, took Zebo to his Vet and had the shoulder reconstructed. Zebo carried that scar with him to the grave, but you could only see it good when he shed his winter coat. You could see it at other times but not really get the idea of how bad he’d been hurt. An interesting side note is that Zebo was almost matched to go into "Davis’ Grand Champion Boomerang" but the match fell through when Davis took on an easier opponent. As Mr. Hughes puts it, "We were seriously trying to agree on matching Zebo and Boomerang. When I found out it was Boomerang, I was going into, I knew Zebo had a real job ahead of him, and I know Davis felt the same way. When I learned that Davis had went ahead and contracted to match into a different dog on the same slate we were negotiating for, I sure didn’t call him up and complain, for I feel for sure one of us would have lost a damn good dog. Naturally, I believe it would have been Davis’." Mr. Hughes matched Zebo in Alabama for his fourth win, where Mr. Adams saw Zebo for the first time. During this match, Zebo had his opponent down and was working his favorite hold, the brisket. The down dog’s handler asked Mr. Hughes if Zebo had really killed three dogs in three matches. Mr. Hughes replied, "Yes, he did and son, if you don’t get yours up off the floor, he’ll kill this one too." Mr. Hughes proved to be a prophet that night as in 23 minutes his prediction became true. Mr. Adams asked Mr. Hughes what he’d take for Zebo. Mr. Hughes said, "If I was to sell this dog, I’d have to have…" and he named a price that was totally unheard of in those days, even for a bulldog of Zebo’s caliber. Adams returned to Ohio, but the thought of owning a dog like Zebo was too much for him. He called Mr. Hughes and told him he had decided owning Zebo was worth the price Mr. Hughes had named. Adams would tell later that it was like carrying one of Mr. Hughes’ kids away when he picked Zebo up, for Mr. Hughes really didn’t want to sell him. Mr. Hughes is a tough man, but I imagine those Carolina mountains seemed pretty empty the night Zebo left. The old dog had become as one of the family and would protect his owner with his life. Mr. Hughes said Zebo wouldn’t bother anyone unless they went to shake hands or slap him on the shoulder or something like that, then he would have to grab Zebo quick or someone would get bit. They tell the story of how Mr. Hughes was driving back from a trip and got road weary and sleepy. He pulled over and laid down in the seat of the car to rest, knowing Zebo would protect him while he slept.

    He forgot that Zebo hadn’t been fed, and when he woke up his leather belt was gone. Zebo had eaten his leather belt right off of him while he was asleep. A new belt didn’t cost that much, but trying to explain where the old one went can get a man in trouble. They claim Zebo sided with the wife this time.

    When Zebo arrived in Ohio, he caused a sensation among local fanciers. But, his win record and short matches made people wonder about his heart. No one knew of the catchweight roll and men like the famous Harry Clark, who was still living then, started telling stories of dogs they had known that could really bite, but wouldn’t stay. So, a cloud started to block the sun on Zebo’s reputation. Everyone stood in awe of his record, but many had secret doubts of his courage, because of the old timer’s stories of "hardmouth, no heart" dogs from the past. Mr. Adams had more visitors wanting to see Zebo than if he’d been giving away 10 dollar bills. All you could hear locally was Zebo.

    Then it became time to put up or shut up for old Zebo, for Adams announced he was taking over Hudson’s match. The night of the battle of Champions arrived, with only Greaser’s side knowing now that they were going into Zebo. When they arrived, they wanted to see this "killer dog" they were matched into and laughingly said, "He don’t look like no killer to us." Adams, nor any of his backers, knew Zebo was going into a 4 x winner. They should have suspected something for fanciers from out west had driven all the way to Ohio to see Greaser knock off this killer dog. Jimmy Jobe, the editor of Pit Dog Report – a Mayfield magazine for bulldogs, drove all the way and didn’t even mention the match in his magazine. This match was one of the best kept secrets in the dog world and when the story of it taking place did start to circulate, the match was down played. The first report of it anywhere (that I am or was aware of) was in Richard Stratton’s book. When you read the account, it tends to make you believe Zebo "got lucky" and hurt Greaser bad at the beginning of the match. This is false as, Greaser was on all fours late in the fight. When the dogs were weighed, Zebo weighed just over 40 pounds. Greaser hit the scales at exactly 44 pounds.

    As Adams circulated among his backers before the match, he reminded everyone that he was giving up 4 pounds and was going to pick Zebo up at 30 minutes because he’d only worked him for three weeks and 4 pounds was too much to spot. As they released the two champions, you could bet all you wanted on Zebo and get odds of 3 to 1 or three hundred against your one hundred. As bets were laid and odds were taken, the name Greaser started to finally slip out. Zebo’s backers were aware finally that this was not going to be a walk over. People started to worry about their bet because Adams had warned that he was gone at 30 if Zebo wasn’t way ahead. Adams said later, "When Dogman and Johnson called me to the side of the pit at about the five minute mark, and told me they recognized the brindle dog as CH. Greaser, any thought of picking Zebo up at thirty minutes was gone. I knew I would let him battle as long as he had any chance to win. I realized that I didn’t have to go to Mexico to prove that Zebo was a great dog, the chance had come to me." As the match progressed, it could be basically reported in two sentences…."Greaser is extremely smart on defense and punishes Zebo bad about the head. Zebo is extremely smart on getting to the brisket and punishes Greaser bad in the chest." That is how close the match was. You would think that the four pounds would tip the scales in Greaser’s favor, but Zebo was ever so gradually getting a little bit deeper in the chest and even though Greaser was as smart as ever relying on defense, he was forced to allow Zebo in more often as the match grew older. The following is an accurate account of the match as can be made but, remember as you read this excerpt from Mr. Stratton’s book, that in this writer’s opinion ( and I was there), Zebo took Greaser down a notch at a time over the entire match, where here it tends to make you think that Greaser was destroyed early.

    Another Story written about Zebo:

    In the early 1970's, in North Carolina, there was a young fancier named Lonzo Pratt who was just starting in the dog game and was breeding well bred dogs from known dog men. He had purchased a young tested gyp from J. Loposay by the name of Faye, who was sold because she turned cold and then wouldn't start for Jack Kelly and was left on Loposay's yard by Pete Sparks. After numerous breedings Lonzo struck fame from one breeding that contained three males and two females. The two females were Lena and Rosie and the males were Crush, Vindicator, and Zero. Of the three males Zero and Vindicator would distinguish themselves as great match dogs. The better of the two was Zero, as Zebo was originally named, who gained his fame as a match dog and a producer. In all this black 40-44 pound dog won a total of seven contracted matches, thus, becoming a registered grand champion, register of merit sire, and a member of the bulldog hall of fame, the only dog to be recognized by these three honors.

    Zebo's career began on the yard of lester hughes,"The Mountain Man", where he won four times all quick kills. After his fourth he was shipped to the yard of Grady Cummings and while there, Cummings' Red Fox made the mistake of getting off his leash and ran into Zebo and was killed. Grady then made Lester get Zebo off his yard. Zebo was then sold to Dave Adams of Ohio, of whom Zebo is best associated with. At first Mr. Hughes did not intend on selling Zebo but Mr. Adams came up with enough money to change his mind. Unfortunately Zebo attacked Mr. Adams son and nearly took his son's ear off. After the request of Mr. Adams wife, Zebo was then sold again, this time to Mr. Johnson who fought him two more times. The last time to a son of his littermate brother, Vindicator. Mr. Johnson hoped to get another match in, but was unable to find any takers, despite the fact that Zebo was past seven years old at this point. Thus, Zebo was retired to stud, and lived to the age of 13,siring his last litter just days before his death.He had lost his sight at the end, due to damage that he had sustained, for no dog was ever to get to his rear.

    Zebo produced Stepp's CH Willie and Adams' CH Katy when bred to Tomsic's Spider ROM. CH Willie was, as said by some, to have the destructive ability as his sire, by killing each his opponents in times of :27, :54, and :29 minutes. Others produced by Zebo were CH Ruby, CH Abuelita, CH Diamond Jim, Clemmon's 2XW Z-Boy, Nigger Toby, Super Gnat's 2XW Blackie and Hughes' Gator just to name a few of the good dogs he sired.He is the grand sire to some great ones like Doc's CH Moe who was a grand champion until he ran into Red B's CH Charlie. Many said that Moe went to the well one too many times in his loss to CH Charlie.After his victories ove CH Fargo and his brother Basket, too much was taken out of him to go into a much younger dog like Charlie.

    The breeding that produced Zebo and his littermates was one of those outstanding litters that only come once in a great while. Basically this breeding was a Dibo/Old Family Red Nose/Colby cross which explains why allof Zebo's littermates were red or red/red nosed. But where did this one black dog come from??? Many speculate Zebo wasn't bred as represented. For one Mr. Hughes purchased Zebo from Lonzo without any papers. Some claim that Mr. Hughes sold many different Zebos.Alot claim Zebo to be half brother to another famous pair, Eli jr. and Bullyson. Although, Lonzo's Andy was a black dog himself and Zebo threw nothing but black dogs, even when bred to various females of different colors, it still remains a question in alot of people's minds.
  2. tat2stuff

    tat2stuff Good Dog

  3. Tiffseagles

    Tiffseagles GRCH Dog Premium Member

  4. Vicki

    Vicki Administrator Administrator

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