Cockney Charlie Lloyds Pilot VS Kriegers Crib
Modern day dog fighting in America may be said to date from the great battle in 1881 between Cockney Charlies Pilot and Kriegers Crib, though plenty of dogs were fought in this country before that, and we find that Cockney Charlie had been importing dogs since as early as 1854.
In 1881 Krieger send out a challenge saying that he had a 28 pound dog that he would match against any dog in the world for $1,000.00 a side. This challenge was send out through the columns of the Police Gazette, and it was immediately taken up by Cockney Charlie Lloyd for his dog Pilot. Krieger was to allow Cockney Charlie $100.00 expense money to come from New York to Louisville, Kentucky where the fight was to be held.
It was agreed that the Police Gazette would be the stakeholder and that Richard K. Fox, the owner and publisher of the Gazette, would select the referee. Forfeits of $500.00 each were posted with the Police Gazette on October 12, 1881, and Mr. Fox notified both Lloyd and Krieger that he had selected William E. Hadding, sporting editor of the Gazette to act as referee.
Arriving in Louisville the day before the battle, all arrangements were gone over carefully, and the stage was set for the battle the next day.
At 5:00am. The following morning, October 19, 1881, the road leading to Garrs farm was lined with vehicles, people on horseback and some walking.
At 7:15am. The dogs were weighed in, Crib weighing 27 ½ and Pilot weighing 27 ¾ . The dogs were washed and rinsed off in warm milk. Frank Stephenson was the judge for Pilot and John McDermott was watcher for Crib.
The dogs were released from their handlers hands at 9:20am, and as they came together, Crib caught Pilot by the nose, Pilot shook him off and then both took leg holds, Pilot turning loose his leg hold to go for the throat, but Crib took Pilot by the ear and threw him hard. While down, Pilot secured a breast hold, then exchanged back to a leg hold, and bit down hard. This seemed only to make Crib fight harder and some account say that Crib threw Pilot as many as 5 times in quick succession, right after that, finally securing another leg hold. Crib began to look like a sure winner, and plenty of money was offered on him. Cockney Charlie advised his backers to take these bets, and it seems that all were taken up. Pilot, after this, got another leg hold and set in to punish Crib severely. For 42 minutes it was a nip and tuck battle, with both dogs still gong strong and both on their feet. Soon Crib was seen to hover one foot and Pilot downed him, but Crib got up and again threw Pilot hard. Crib seemed to have all the best of the wrestling, but evidently, he could not bite as hard as Pilot. The going got steadily worse for Crib because whether Pilot was up or down seemed to make little difference. He took his hold no matter what position he was in. Pilot now seemed to be stronger and threw Crib twice in quick succession. When Crib stood up the last time he wasnt so anxious to return to the war and made a quick turn to the side of the pit, but Pilot was on him so hard that no handle could be made, and Pilot himself dragged him back to the field of the battle. The next time Crib turned, he tried to make sure that the fight would end and jumped clear right out of the pit, but Pilot jumped out right behind him and caught him by the nose again. Both dogs had to be picked up and returned to the pit.
Pilot was on top from now on and held Crib down and began to shake him. At 1 hour and 25 minutes Pilot was declared the winner, and the stakeholder paid over the money.
Pilot was acclaimed the best dog in the world, and many breeders bred their bitches to him. The foundation stock of most bloodlines in America today trace back to this great little dog who was imported from England, as was Crib.
The claims about Pilot being unbeatable, like Mark Twains death, must have been highly exaggerated.