Tag Archive: Crufts

Changed beyond all recognition?

Can you name them all? Add your answers in the comments.

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My Canine Chat column for Torbay Weekly on 24th September 2020 was about Paignton Zoo’s founder and his love of dogs, including a Crufts-winning Greyhound.

Read the online version and other articles on Torbay Weekly’s website here

Crufts: Why all the negativity?

My first feature for Edition Dog (issue 5, Feb 2019) was about demonstrating the best bits of Crufts and dog showing.

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Something that has got a lot of you talking (if my inbox is anything to go by) was Jemima Harrison’s recent threat to sabotage Crufts in all manner of inventive ways, from people dressed as French Bulldogs handing out leaflets, a projection of 40ft French Bulldog nostrils onto the NEC and even a plane flying over the building trailing her CRUFFA (Campaign for the Responsible Use of Flat Faced Animals) message.

Many were quite understandably worried about these shenanigans (especially the threat to disrupt the BIS with “an extra special surprise”) but worry not as Ms Harrison recently announced on her Facebook group that these announcements (in the manner of the infamous Bobby Ewin shower scene which was meant to delete a whole previous series from everyone’s mind) were…well, not quite a dream exactly…but simply all an elaborate “late night joke”. Continue reading

What did you think about the offerings on TV this Christmas? I think it was quite possibly one of the worst festive television I’ve ever seen. What would we have done without Morecambe and Wise, Only Fools and Horses and other seventies and eighties Christmas specials being broadcast? I suppose an added bonus of watching these re-runs from Christmases past was not having to endure seeing or hearing David Walliams, Miranda Hart or James ‘on everything’ Corden – a silver lining to every cloud. Continue reading

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

In my column ‘Crossing the headlines’ in this week’s Dog World (14th June 2013), I explore the benefits of puppy socialisation and ringcraft classes and how they could tackle the issue of dangerous dogs.

Sadly, once again, we see the all-too-familiar headlines featuring another death caused by an ‘out of control’ dog.
Pensioner Clifford Clarke, 79, was attacked and mauled in his own garden in Clubmoor, Liverpool, last month and this story bears all the familiar hallmarks of the other tragic deaths; the dog involved had been of concern to its neighbourhood – a large city council estate surrounded by similar developments, suffering all the usual deprivations and social and economic problems synonymous with such areas.
Throughout Britain in general, we are seeing just far too many of the wrong dogs in the wrong hands and while this Government wastes valuable time and resources ‘looking into pedigree dog breeding’ and not attacking the real nub of the dog problem, pointless deaths will continue.

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