Published: Tuesday, March 14, 2017
I’ve just returned from four days at Crufts where, as usual, I didn’t see any of the action.
There has been a great deal of froth about raw food diets and grain-free pet food in recent months but the Burns stand was busier than it has been for several years. We met up with lots of Burns users and also many pet owners interested in trying Burns. It was all very enthusiastic and uplifting; I’m still on a high.
Crufts and The Kennel Club are never far from controversy and this year was no exception. I saw lots of extremely overweight dogs waddling past the stand, dogs which must either be competing in the show ring or displayed in the Discover Dogs area as "ideal" examples of their breed. This weekend’s Sunday Times featured Jemima Harrison, the scourge of The Kennel Club and maker of the film, Pedigree Dogs Exposed which led to the BBC dropping coverage of Crufts after 43 years. Ms Harrison runs the Campaign for the Responsible Use of Flat-faced Animals (catchy title). She has been displaying photographs taken at Crufts of flat-faced breeds and, as always the Kennel Club is bullish about the whole affair. Having recently issued a warning about French Bulldogs being a “welfare hazard”, it still encourages them to be shown at Crufts and its restrictions are not on the dogs but on the photographing of them.
The New Statesman in its Vintage England slot quotes an article from the Daily Mirror from this week in 1937. The committee of a golf club debated for 2 hours over whether women might be allowed to wear trousers on the golf links. The decision was made that “they could wear trousers on the course but must take them off when entering the clubhouse.” Makes me think of me, changing out of my kilt in the hotel car park before driving back to Wales. (Do they have CCTV in the car park, I ask myself?)
Muirfield Golf Club in East Lothian has just voted to allow women members to join the club. Muirfield, which is run by the Edinburgh Company of Honourable Golfers (HCEG) lost the right to stage the British Open after an earlier decision to retain the ban on women but will now be back on the Open list. It may be a while before any women actually get to join the club as there is a lengthy waiting list.
Henry Fairweather, the HCEG captain, said: “This is a significant decision for a club which was founded in 1744 and retains many of the values and aspirations of its founding members.
“Good on you, Sir”, say I, “Perhaps the Muirfield members would like to return to the days of slavery which was still legal in Britain in 1744
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