The Gossip Column: June 2, 2023
Last Wednesday afternoon, more than 2,000 dog lovers gathered at BUCKINGHAM PALACE for a GARDEN PARTY to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the ENGLISH KENNEL CLUB, newly named THE ROYAL KENNEL CLUB. All its members were invited to attend with one guest. Also invited were the entire staff and other special guests. As you may know, the ROYAL KENNEL CLUB is a club of individuals, unlike the AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB, which is a club of member clubs. So it won’t surprise you to learn that are very few members from the United States. Walking the gardens of BUCKINGHAM PALACE consists of 40 walled acres of formal and natural gardens with the fragrant air of roses and other blooming flowers. Around the four-acre lake are assorted waterfowl and a large assortment of different breeds of birds. The grounds as you can imagine are well kept and maintained by the head gardener and her staff of nine. Among the Kennel Club members from the States in attendance were this writer, JAN RITCHIE GLADSTONE, PETER GREEN and BETH SWEIGART with guests AMY & ANDREW GREEN, BRUCE SCHWARTZ with guest LINDA CLARK mingling with other invited guests from the States: American Kennel Club president DENNIS SPRUNG & DAWN SEARS, American Kennel Club director DOMINIC CAROTA with his niece KATHERINE CAROTA, pet-insurance executives DAVID KETTIG and LANE KENT with their wives SUE & MELISSA, respectively. Hard to find people when there are that many gathered, but we did see the Crufts president PRINCE MICHAEL OF KENT; kennel club vice presidents SIR JOHN SPURLING KCVO OBE and THE LORD GRAHAM KIRKHAM CVO and their respective wives LADY GWYNETH and LADY PAULINE; current kennel club chairman TONY ALLCOCK; three former chairmen, RONNIE IRVING, STEVE DEAN and SIMON LUXMOORE; Crufts show committee chairman NICK BROOKS-WARD, whose voice will be familiar to anyone who has attended Crufts, as NICK does some of the announcing; Crufts show committee member TOM MATHER, PAUL EARDLEY, LIZ CARTLEDGE, Dog News columnist GEOFF CORISH, ANDREAS SCHEMEL, DIANE JERKINS, IAN GABRIEL, BARRY BRACKNER, MARK COCOZZA, VANESSA MCALPINE, everyone’s favorite SUE SAMPSON, HELEN FOX, YIANNIS VLACHOS, FRANK KANE, AOIBHEANN GREENE, FIZ SHAPUR and of course camera bug VINCE HOGAN for Our Dogs, who’s also a Dog News contributor. Most of all, ALEX MUGHINA, the master mixologist at THE ROYAL KENNEL CLUB. All it all, it was a once-in-lifetime experience, as THE ROYAL KENNEL CLUB can be 150 years old only just one time.