Would not compare FDSB wins to production of FC's. Rusty's rating is based on production of FC's, at least that is the way I understand it. An FDSB "win" is different from the use of that terminology in AKC. In AKC we tend to say that the first place dog has the "win."
John, both Rusty and Dude ran under the same system. As Rusty's 70+ FCs racked up those placements, they would have counted towards his FDSB record as well. Rusty was great at producing AKF half-hour dogs, but when you look at his record producing regional, species and national champions you see a different picture.
If I had to guess, I'd say Rusty was bred twice as much as Dude. Rusty produced 1 AA NFC (Koonas), who is the only Rusty offspring in the Hall of Fame. Dude produced at least 5 AA NFCs, 4 HoF offspring and 2 HoF grandget.
Other than Rexx, what other Rusty offspring do you feel are HoF quality? Blitz is the only other one that comes to mind for me, and he's a grandson.
Brown L gets to play because he is Rusty's grandsire.
Really? Being Jig's Whitesmoke's Grandsire doesn't count for much? Lots of Brown-L stuff out there separate of Rusty. Take a look at most of the Gulledge stuff.
But does not change your point, which is that "prepotency" really means impact on the breed - part quantity and part quality.
To me, prepotency is simply the ability of a dog to throw his qualities to his offspring at a rate greater than 50%. A prepotent dog is one that "leaves his mark" on his offspring, much more than the dam, regardless of her breeding.
We hope the prepotent dogs are the good ones, unfortunately this isn't true. There is a very popular (40+ litters) sire in one of the non-trial dog games who is well known to consistently throw weak point. He is incredibly prepotent; even when bred to a female with an exceptionally intense natural point the pups still have intensity issues.
Now, IMO the prolific dogs (the ones with the greatest impacts) are a mix of the great performers and great producers. They are not always the same. So much of it has to do with what dogs are marketed the best, what areas of the country they reside and how interested the owners are in seeing their dogs get bred; some don't care very much.
Clown gets lots of attention for winning 3 NFCs. Many forget that Baron von Blitzkrieg was 1 dog short of the same feat, having won the AA at Booneville twice and taking RU a third time. Clown has yet to produce an AA NFC where Blitz has; the first DC NFC we've had in the breed in 15 years.
In any event, you and I have been talking about dog's of the past. Rusty, Boss Man, Brown L, Dude, Slick had their impact, but show up in most pedigrees as grandsires or more nowadays.
They may be the dogs of the past, but often they are the dogs being linebred to create the sires of today.
So the question no one has addressed is who is that dog today? (creek, creek, creek)
Well, that's an interesting question. It gets back to my comment about Rusty being "the right dog at the right time". When I talk to the guys who were active in the sport (whose opinion I trust), they talk about how Rusty came along at just the right time.
Rusty showed up at a time where trial breeders were looking for something new. Rusty brought a lot of run and power, and good looks at a time where we were struggling in that area. He was also clear of the crossbreeding rumors. He proved early on that he crossed well the popular lines that preceded him, especially the Dude, Boss Man and all of the dogs that came from the Dee Dee's Jackson x Big Oaks Bumper litters.
Rusty also came along at a time where pros were willing to breed to each others dogs, and pros tended to work together more than today.
IMO, I think the quality of breeding has slipped a bit since the days of Rusty and Dude. Too may people (both pros and amateurs) are breeding paper. I think we have way too may niches of dogs being bred amongst themselves but not to each other.
We've lost some professionalism and showmanship. Far too many dogs being run at the national championships who are not ready to be there. We've got pros who either are entering dogs to impress the owner, or who don't have any shame in running dogs they know will blow up on their first bird. I've been going to Eureka for 4 years. There are three pros who I've watched run probably a combined 35 runs. I've yet to see them get a single dog past their first bird contact.
We've had some nice growth in the sport, but it has resulted in a lot of "regionalization". Pros and Amateur who almost never leave their region; never see other dogs from other breeders/handlers. It's disappointing and surprising to see how few people at a national championship actually go out to watch dogs other than their own and the handful of "superstars".
I guess what I'm trying to say is that we are very scattered right now. Everyone is looking for the next Rusty, but are focused on finding him on their own string. I think we have too many males being bred; out of the 96 dogs run in the Open Gun at Eureka last year, there were at least 54 different sires. How as a breeder are you supposed to evaluate dogs with so many being bred?
The question I ask the most often among the top breeders/trainers/handlers is:
"If you had to start over, and couldn't use the lines/dogs you've got today, where would you start?"
Now, you have to know the biases of some of the people out there. Certain people won't recommend a dog or a pro due to personal issues. But, ask that question enough and you'll get a good idea of who's got what. Look at the breeder like Rabidou; the ones who take chances and have bred out to a lot of different stuff. Look at who they've bred to and who they've stayed away from.
Due to may factors, I don't think we'll ever see a dominant sire ever again. Because so many males are being bred, so few ever get enough pups on the ground to gain enough attention. The ability to use the frozen stuff has virtually ended the "most in-demand sire" like Rusty was because the owners of the frozen stuff generally want to keep it for themselves.
If I had a few extra bucks to spend, I'd start buying frozen stuff from a bunch of the hot males; dogs like Spekk, Ben, Moon, etc. I'd sit on it until those males breeding careers are over; by then I'd have a good idea of what they throw. Then I could make an educated decision on who to use, and probably sell the rest. Just an idea I've been kicking around.
I guess the best thing I can tell you is to get in the saddle at some national events and watch a ton of dogs. I've spent hours putting together a pedigree database, and reading through the American Field. The more data I collect, the less I find it meaningful.
Sorry for rambling on.