Following Stuart Broad's act of non-sportsmanship yesterday, the Telegraph today has a truly shocking story about dirty tricks at the Great Yorkshire Show. For 155 yrs, the finest cattle breeders from across Britain have entered their finest in the battle for rosettes. A 'first' or 'champion' rosette can put thousands on the value of a beast and more importantly 'bragging rights' in the livestock market bar. Its a matter of honour, and cheating is unthinkable. But it seems not at this yr's Great Yorkshire.
I used to be a judge of dairy cattle, and in my YFC days represented Wales at the Dairy Show in London. First time I visited the great city, and learned about things I didn't know existed. Key to the best dairy animal is the udder, its general shape, its firm atachment at the escutcheon preventing any tendancy to by pendulous, the neat positioning of the teats, and being nicely pushed forward along the underbelly. Rarely would one see a perfect udder, there always being some minor fault. But it seems these may have been corrected by using superglue. In order to give more firmness and shape to the udder, air may have been pumped in before the judging and the teat blocked with superglue. Now I've glued the odd petal into head of a Chrysanthemum or a Dahlia immediately before judging, but I do think to glue up a teat is going too far.
Its not that I'm claiming sharp practise is unheard of at agricultural shows. Dental work, bit of false colouring, and there was even glueing false hair to tidy up the top line not unheard of. Telegraph reports that a false tail has been glued on, though this is new one on me. But I really do draw the line at superglueing teats. I dread to thing what might be happening in the Bulls competition.