I Recently received the press release for the all-important annual event of the British Dog Grooming Championship. This is a definite for the calendar of groomers everywhere. Having previously judged at this spectacular competition I would advise anyone interested in grooming to go along and watch some of the most talented groomers anywhere doing their stuff. Novice or professional, new to grooming or an old hand this is a wonderful way to spend a day.
For this year’s 32nd prestigious competition judges for the Grooming Championship at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, on October 28 include:
Joanne Botwood LCGI – Handstrip and Clipped gundogs, Pot Pourri Scissor.
Jo has been grooming for 23 years, and has run her Classy Cuts grooming business for 18 years. City & Guilds qualified, she is a holder of the LCGI qualification and a member of the Guild of Master Groomers. Jo has held numerous placing in leading competitions including winning at Eurogroom in 2008 and Mastergroom in 2011. She is also an invigilator and examiner for City & Guilds and judged at Premier Groom in 2010. Jo specialises in grooming the American Cocker Spaniel.
Bill Browne-Cole – Handstrip and Clipped (other than gundog), Purebred Scissor.
Bill is the owner of Travella, one of the most successful Wire Fox Terrier kennels over the last 20 years. Careful and intelligent breeding throughout the years has established Travella as one of the world leaders and the kennel has produced 21 English champions in as many years. Bill awarded his first CC nearly 40 years ago and has judged the terrier breeds at Crufts on many occasions.
Corina Verschuren – Clipped Terriers & Schnauzers, Poodle Scissor.
Corina, our top international judge, started her own grooming salon ’t Trimmertje in 1996. She has competed in competitions all over Europe and America, taking a best in show title seven times. Her particular expertise is Poodles. In 2005 Corina founded Groomteam Belgium. In 2008 she was invited to participate at Les Pooches Challenge in New York, along with eight of the best Poodle groomers in the world. She was nominated for the Cardinal Crystal Achievement Award for International Groomer of the Year 2009. She is a renowned European grooming judge and is regularly requested to conduct seminars and workshops on grooming throughout Europe.
This year for the first time ever, a suite of winner’s logos will be granted to those reaching the top in the competition using a ‘Proud to be British’ theme, in the light of the Olympics and the royal diamond jubilee. Class winners, group winners, the Groomer of the Year and the runner-up will be able to use these on their marketing, website and adverts.
Also new for 2012 is a ‘Team Student’ event – open to students from colleges and satellite centres that have studied in the last 12 months and have entered the Student and Newcomer category. The winning team will win the British Dog Groomers Association (BDGA) Memorial Award for a year, as well as a trophy for the training centre and certificates for all members of the team who are placed first, second or third.
Janet Nunn, chief executive of the BDGA and Pet Care Trust, said: "We’re delighted to provide the opportunity for colleges and satellites to demonstrate the efforts of their students and to celebrate the next generation of groomers, at what will be another fantastic event. The British Dog Grooming Championship showcases the best of British grooming to the dog-owning public.”
The Kennel Club Building’s bespoke seminar room will be host to an excellent programme of seminars and demonstrations offering opportunities to gain Continuous Professional Development (CPD) points.
A vibrant trade show will take place alongside the excitement of the competition. Businesses who are interested in promoting their products and services to a captive audience of top groomers should contact the Pet Care Trust Association (PCTA) on 01234 27393. Fantastic sponsorship opportunities are also available, and packs may be downloaded from www.petcare.org.uk.
Further details, including competitor forms, are available from the website, or contact one of the communication managers below:
Rosie Loft – email email@example.com or phone 01234 273933, direct line 01234 224509.
Alexandra Baker – email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01234 273933, direct line 01234 224509.
The competition covers a range of dog grooming qualifications that the BDGA offer from Level 2 Certificate, right through to Higher Level and the coveted LCGI. Courses, which include full, or part time, are available to help groomers with their training at all levels. A list of Accredited Grooming Training Centres, situated throughout the UK and Ireland can be obtained from the BDGA. All listed collages are members of the Pet Care Trust Association. The full details of the Levels can be obtained from the Pet Care Trust.
The British Dog Groomers’ Association is part of the Pet Care Trade Association and represents groomer members by providing education, training and support. Groomer members of the PCTA automatically become members of the British Dog Groomers’ Association, and can display the BDGA’s sticker in their workplace, showing their customers that they can expect the highest standards of customer care and animal welfare from them. Other benefits of membership can be found under the member benefits section.
The PCTA works closely with external publications like ProGroomer (to which the members receive a discount on subscription) and Grooming News to ensure that news and information about the grooming world are communicated to its members.
The Pet Care Trade Association is a membership body for pet specialist businesses. Their members number around 1,500 businesses, mostly small, medium-sized enterprises ranging from pet retailers, dog groomers, kennels and catteries, manufacturers, wholesalers and professional services, which included colleges, publishers, dog walkers and pet sitters.
The PCTA provides a quality assurance of businesses in the pet care sector: all members agree to adhere to our charters, representing best practice for the different sectors of the pet trade on joining the Association.
The PCTA supports its members through a great range of services including:
A prestigious portfolio of nationally recognised qualifications for groomers, retailers and kennels and catteries.
Discounts on stand space at influential trade shows, Petindex and PetEx, Dublin.
Access to a variety of help lines and animal welfare insurance.
Preferential rates on credit card transactions.
Reduced entry rates to our events.
Free copies of our annual Handbook and quarterly PS newsletter.
Competitions are not for everybody, but many groomers say that competing has made them more professional in their approach to their job, and the company of other groomers is always great. As with grooming seminars these events bring groomers together to form a stronger voice and united front. We also learn something, or are reminded about things we may have forgotten. So even for those of us who do not compete any longer it is still worth a day out to chat to other groomers and watch the amazing skills you don’t see anywhere else.
Eileen Geeson is the author of The Poodle, (now reprinted) The Complete Standard Poodle, and Ultimate Grooming – The Guide to 170 Dog Breeds.