From my ‘Crossing the headlines’ column in Dog World (24th February 2016).
Thousands of words and column inches have been spent in this paper bemoaning the state of our open shows. Undeniably there are far less of these shows than previously which is a shame as it is widely acknowledged that these shows are where the majority of fledgling exhibitors first step into the ring and ‘find their feet’ and of course, they also provide wonderful opportunities for the up and coming judges of the future to ‘get their hands on some good (and not so good) dogs’. Continue reading
A feature article written for Dog World (14th April 2015) looking at how the media portrays dogs and dog ownership.
Years ago, when still at college, I briefly toyed with the idea of becoming a journalist. Then, in the autumn of 1991, by a series of strange coincidences, I met a lady that would completely turn that idea on its head.
She was an American soul singing megastar and we were to be friends for the next ten or so years. Whenever she came to the UK I would hang out with her, go backstage at her shows, go to dinner, to rehearsals and travel to swanky hotels in the shiniest of stretch limousines. A pretty fantastic experience for an impressionable youth and from the outside it did indeed look like the perfect lifestyle however one only had to dig not too very far beneath the beautiful veneer to uncover a world rife with paranoia and the irritant of constantly being watched, the bane of this woman’s life were journalists and the media – especially the British media who, back then, were notoriously brutal. Continue reading
My coverage of Crufts 2015 in Dog World (11th March 2015).
This year’s Crufts started with the usual ‘silly season’ stories mushrooming all over our national press. For once, however, the focus wasn’t upon ‘the parade of genetically compromised mutants’, no, this time the spotlight was fixed firmly upon us, the exhibitors.
One story seemed to suggest that the Crufts ringside was a fertile recruitment ground for the likes of UKIP (Nigel Farage obviously missed an opportunity here) with (it reported) growing resentment of the foreign contingent ‘coming over here and stealing our CCs’. Continue reading
From my Dog World column ‘Crossing the headlines’ on 10th September 2014.
Like most of the writers for Dog World, I write because I have a passion for pedigree dogs and nothing thrills me more than having an article engender debate and argument. Recently I wrote an article about my first year’s experience of showing, written off the back of two excellent articles by Sheila Atter and Andrew Brace tackling the thorny issues of bullying and the integrity of judges. Continue reading
From the letters page of Dog World (5th April 2013)
In the spring of 1991 (aged seventeen) I ‘bunked off’ from a long and boring day of A-Level Economic History lectures and caught the train to Earls Court to the very last Crufts to be held in London. This year (twenty-two years later) I made my belated return to Crufts and, although vastly different to the show I remembered all those years ago (now with its myriad of trade stalls and all its associated glitz and razzmatazz), one thing clearly hadn’t changed and that was the sheer dedication and passion of those people supporting their respective breeds.