Tough nut to crack

12 October 2010
Sporting fans may have noticed that a supply shortage was threatening an annual world championship event in the UK earlier this month. That’s right – the World Conker Championships, which are held in Ashton, Northamptonshire, were beset with equipment issues this year after horse chestnut trees near the club produced a poor crop. Force majeure incidents included attacks by the leaf miner moth, a canker that kills horse chestnuts – as well as some trees “having a year off”. The problem prompted organisersto appeal for people to donate the nuts. The event requires a least 1,000 high-quality specimens for the 450 people who travel the globe to take part. The report in the Telegraph quoted a spokesman as saying: “Every year a new threat rears its ugly head.” Given that, shouldn’t they have mitigated against such risks, as well as developing other markets by looking elsewhere to ensure a more sustainable supply? After all, if such troubles prevent the event from taking place, how is the Conker King to be crowned on the Conker Throne (the culminating ceremony of the championships)?
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