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updated 19/10/01
2001 World Groom Team Championships

THREE HARDY Scots travelled the thousands of miles across the world from Scotland to Calgary in Canada attend the biggest event in this year's grooming calendar.

Margaret Simpson, Tricia McGuire and Agnes Murphy were three of eight Scottish groomers invited to join Groom Team Scotland. Margaret McLeod, who won the Best Debutante at the Northern Groomers' competition in February, came along to cheer on the team. Although she did not intend to compete, in the end she bravely entered one of the individual classes. After six hours de-matting and bathing and Old English Sheepdog she courageously scissored her way through the class with a very sore and swollen wrist. Not being able prepare your competition dog weeks in advance and take it with you was one of the disadvantages of being foreign competitors.

many countries were invited to the World Groom Team Championships, but by the time the final entry date came only three countries, Canada, USA and Scotland had entered. We know that teams from England and Ireland had planned to attend the event but unfortunately could not raise the finances. This was a problem that the Scottish Team also had but managed to some funds by Tricia doing a sponsored parachute jump and Technogroom holding a seminar with proceeds going towards the team. Donations were also given by other groomers who had saved their tips and many thanks go to those generous individuals. Thanks also go to Pets at home who donated 100. It was disappointing not to receive any financial sponsorship from grooming supply or manufacturing companies. Had such sponsorship been available - to the people who keep these companies going by buying their products - then many more countries may have been able to attend this prestigious event. In the end , the Scottish Team financed itself but at the last minute Wahl Europe Ltd offered to sponsor the team with outfits, scissors, blades, holdalls and their new Stinger mini Micro clippers. These gifts were much appreciated and a very smart looking bunch of Scots turned up at the Welcome Reception on the Thursday evening before the Groom Team Competition. At the reception it was announced that a last minute team of two, Umberto Lehrmann (Italy) and vero Da Sylva (France) had been put together to form Groom Team Europe.

So Friday morning came and at 6.30 am (!) the classes began and the battle was on for the four teams. Who would win the prestigious title World Groom Team Champions of 2001? That was going to be up to the panel of International Judges - Anita Bax (England), Colin Taylor (USA), Tracy Jamison Savoy (Canada), Denys Lorrain (France), Elizabeth Paul (USA), Serfino Ripamonti (Italy), Ronald Hanepen (Holland) and Scott Wasserman (USA).

The results for the World Groom Team Championships in Calgary, Alberta, Canada on Friday August 24 2001 are as follows: Small Non-Sporting (Sponsored by Alberta Dog Groomers' Assoc) Judge: E Paul, R Hanepen. 1 Vero Da Sylva, Bichon Frise (Europe); 2 Karen Tucker, Poodle (USA); 3 Jackie Boulton, Poodle (Canada). Sporting (Sponsored by Andis Co.) Judges: S Ripamonti, T Jameson-Savoy. 1 Umberto Lehmann, American Cocker (Europe); Theresa Plishka, American Cocker (Canada); 3 Sue Zecco, Cocker (USA). Mixed Misc (Sponsored by Lange Apparel) Judges: A Bax, C Taylor. 1 Carol Kokkeler (USA); 2 Sandy Potter (Canada); 3 Tricia McGuire (Scotland). Handstripped (Sponsored by Classic Products) Judges: S Wasserman, D Lorrain. 1 Margaret Simpson, Airedale (Scotland); 2 Lorraine Stewart, Norwich Terrier (Canada); 3 Umberto Lehrmann, Bouvier (Europe). Purebreds (Sponsored by Andis Co) Judges: C Taylor, T Jameson-Savoy. 1 Julie Ostoki, Wheaten Terrier (USA); 2 Barbara Prueckel, Wheaten Terrier (Canada); 3 Vero Da Sylva, Giant Schnauzer (Europe). Large Non-Sporting (Sponsored by Geib Shears) Judges: D Lorrain, A Bax. 1 Jay Scruggs, Std Poodle (USA); 2 Umberto Lehmann, Std Poodle (Europe); 3 Shaunna Bernardin, Std Poodle (Canada).

Disappointing

Generous sponsorship was provided for the classes and the overall winners by a variety of different companies. Best in Show was won by Jay Scruggs with Std poodle, which was judged by S Ripamonti, D Lorrain and C Taylor.

The first place team champions were the USA, in second place Europe and in third place Canada. After a disappointing first two classes the Scottish team were beginning to wonder if their trip to Canada had been a bit ambitious. After all, the other competitors had so much more experience, their finished dogs seemed like perfection. But in the third class a very surprised Tricia received third place with a scissored mixed breed. And the highlight of the day came when Margaret was awarded first in the hand stripped class with a beautiful Airedale Terrier. There were floods of tears all round (especially from Wullie) and no matter what happened next the Bravehearts were going home happy. The final two classes finished with no placings for Scotland, despite Agnes' great scissor work on an extremely hairy, white Standard Poodle (not the class she really wanted to participate in, but Margaret and Tricia were too feert!). However she did not go home empty handed as, the next day, she was awarded second place with a Scottie in the International Division of the Handstripped class of the individuals competition. Agnes was the only team member with enough or guts to compete two days in a row!

As well as the grooming competitions there were plenty of seminars. Interesting topics such as How to impress your Judge, Handstripping, Colouring Dogs, Living with cats and demonstrations on Bichons, Poodles, Lakelands, Bedlingtons and more were presented by the judges when they were not busy with the competitions. Two of these very amusing and informative speakers, Colin Taylor and Scott Wasserman will be attending the NorthernGroomers' Seminar/Competition next March. So if you couldn't get Canada, don't miss Carlisle, these guys are worth the trip.

Unforgettable

As if the competitions and seminars weren't enough, there were also many trade stands to go round. Wahl had a stand where they demonstrated their new nifty little Arco clipper, even smaller than the Mini Micro. There were one or two other new ideas such as holdalls especially designed for grooming equipment and fatigue mats (to relieve the stress groomers put on their bodies), but on the whole, the UK is not far behind Canada and the USA when it comes to equipment.

The trip to Canada and the World Groom Team Championships was an unforgettable experience. The Alberta Dog Groomers' Association were great hosts and did a very good job in organising such a big event. It has not yet been decided which country will host the next World Championships in 2003 but lets hope, with a bit of co-operation, negotiation and organisation the United Kingdom will be able to send teams from all corners of the country.