By Jayne Pavely, Paddie Paws
After much searching and preparation I eventually found my perfect Westie, living in a lovely seaside town on the west coast of Ireland. She was owned by a very eccentric old lady who, as usual, was a bit reluctant to let me take her precious bundle off to the Championship in Dublin. But, after much persuasion her daughter talked her into it and as she lives in Dublin took Holly home for the weekend. All I had to do was prepare her the night before the competition.
Well, on the Friday night I arrived in good time in Tallaght, where the championships were being held. I booked into my Bed & Breakfast and then set off into the night in search for a little house in the middle of Dublin city, where a little Westie was awaiting to be washed and fluff dried .Two hours later, in absolute desperation I eventually found this little house and proceeded to prepare my dog for the competition. All going to plan so far (another two hours to find my way back to the B & B).
I was up early the next morning and at the venue in good time. The competition was held at the Roadstone Club in Tallaght, Dublin, the same as last year. It was a superb Sports Centre, spacious and clean. (plus the lunches were unbelievable).
After morning registration and coffee, Anita Bax and Peter Young arrived and carried out the first demonstration of the day. They demonstrated on a blue roan Cocker which, as usual, hated its feet being touched. Peter and Anita gave us a few hints on keeping that fidgety dog still!!
Next came the Cairn Terrier and they gave a good demonstration on the shape of the face, etc. I wish at these seminars they would attempt the matted, smelly dog and show us how they, as top professionals attempt to groom one. It would be nice to see what products or equipment they would use to make an easier job of a solid matted coat. At present, I am experiencing a lot of that!
The competition started in the afternoon. My class was the Newcomers and I entered the clipped Terrier section. My nerves by now were in tatters. I wondered if I could ever do a good enough job to impress the judges. Once I switched on my loyal Oster clippers, I was away. I pretended I was grooming a customers dog during a normal working day. I immediately relaxed and so did Holly. She seemed to be loving the limelight and was as good as gold. The judges (Anita Bax and Peter Young) wandered between the competitors taking notes and watching our every move, daunting but necessary). After two hours it was down scissors and the judges then announced the prizes there and then, awarding rosettes and trophies to the first three. I was thrilled to be awarded the second prize. A Toy Poodle won and another Westie came third.
Well, that was that, but I must say that I cant wait to enter another competition. I enjoyed every minute of it. The nerves and the excitement. Roll on the Northern Groomers competition in February!!
The Sunday was the competition for the actual Irish Groomer of the Year. Because I was finished, I could relax and enjoy watching all the experts at work. I watched with interest the hand stripped class and saw a wiry coat of a Jack Russell transformed into a beautiful smooth coat. There was and Old English Sheepdog, Lakeland, Irish Terrier, Standard Poodles, Kerry Blue, etc, etc.
In the morning there was a sheepdog obedience demonstration and again Anita and Peter carried out some more grooming demonstrations. There was also a very informative talk on Health and Safety in the Salon. There was a well stocked raffle and a lot of prizes were donated by Christies Grooming Supplies in Northern Ireland. All participants at the seminar were given goodie bags with free samples, grooming mitt, rubber ball, etc and that was greatly appreciated.
Overall the competition in its third year was a great success and I applaud the IPDGA for all their hard work and dedication. It really was a memorable weekend. I thoroughly recommend having a go a competing. As my 8 year old daughter will tell you "its not the winning, its the taking part!!!"
GROOMER OF THE YEAR IRISH CHAMPION
Courtesy of Mary Toland, Irish Professional Dog Groomers Association
Single entrant overall winner - Suzanne OSullivan, reserve - Gwen Byrne.
IRISH GROOMER OF THE YEAR 2000
Two dogs must be prepared, one scissored or handstripped and one clipped
Reserve Karen Flynn
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