|The World Grooming Championships 2017
The World Grooming Championships
Photos courtesy of Peter Hulance Dog Photography
The World Grooming Championships took place in Kortrijk, Belgium on 1st October 2017 with 20 countries taking part, ranging from all over Europe and from as far away as China and Australia.
The atmosphere was electric; the room filled with vibrant colour from all the teams' flags and uniforms and the noise of cheering supporters resembling that of a football game rather than a grooming competition!
The team members - Peter Ensell, Amy Manser, Lesley Harpham and Denise Westbrook along with our fantastic photographer Peter Hulance - had left the UK on Thursday to make the journey by car with their dogs and support team. Having visited the Groomania competition in Kortrijk as part of their team commitments previously, they were well prepared for their stay in the lovely Park Hotel.
Friday and Saturday were taken up with the Groomania competition with more competitors from England taking part than ever; English grooming had many successes in the ring. Julie Lalou Simpson achieved a 2nd place in both Champion Hand Strip and Clippers only classes with beautiful Welsh Terriers; Sue Pratt gained 2nd Place in the Workshop class with her lovely Labradoodle and Becki Ensell received the Best Makeover award of the show with her Lakeland.
The ultimate prize of Best in Show and the Richard Barker award were taken by Groom Team's very own Amy Manser who absolutely stole the show with her stunning American Cocker, Twist. This was the highest entry ever for a grooming show with almost 400 entries over the 2 days with groomers from all over the world competing for the title. The English support team were delighted to say the least!
Friday evening was spent at the gala dinner where all the teams could socialise in a relaxed atmosphere, with a buffet dinner and wine flowing freely and the most amazing live band, a great night was had by all.
Sunday morning arrived with an early start and preparations for the presentation of each countries competitors at 8.00am. Joanne Angus as Team Captain headed the English team carrying the St. Georges Flag high and they took their place with the other 19 teams for official photos. The red and white Groom Team England uniforms, sponsored and made by Top to Tail clothing, really stood out amongst the crowd. With the dogs having coordinated handmade collars and leads, courtesy of
Jo Silk - Smith, the team and dogs looked more than impressive.
The parade of teams waving their country's flags was an amazing spectacle filling the room with colour, and the enthusiasm of the cheering crowds was infectious motivating the teams all the more and encouraging them into fight mode and ready for battle. The competition was on!
Lesley and Pete were up first with Bisto the Norwich Terrier and V the Kerry Blue. The floor was awash with a variety of Terriers and Pure Breed Scissor dogs and after an incredibly quick two and a half hours the first stage of the competition was finished. Lesley and Pete had done their bit for the team and could now only wait.
The afternoon session began with Amy and Denise taking centre stage with Boris, the American Cocker and Gandalf, the Standard Poodle. There were Setters, Spaniels and Poodles of all 3 sizes to keep everyone engrossed with the sculpting and shaping taking place on the competition floor in front of them. Two hours 45 minutes later and it was all over. The competition was finished and the fate of the team was in the hands of the judges.
The judging took place and the judge's scores were given to the jury to calculate the points awarded for each individual and the combined total for the team.
All 20 teams lined up on the grooming tables so the audience could capture the photos of the expertly groomed dogs on show. The atmosphere was amazing with music playing, whistles and horns blowing and flags waving. The dogs were fantastic and coped brilliantly with all the noise.
Finally the results were ready - would we be in the top 6?? We all held our breath as the teams were announced in no particular order and to our delight the English team were placed!
The teams were announced in reverse order with France coming in 6th, Belgium in 5th and then England were announced in 4th place; we proudly took our place on the stage for the trophy and medal presentation and official photos. Having previously gained 5th, 3rd, and 6th places in World Championships, this was undoubtedly the best result in the 10 years we have competed due to the amount of countries entered.
After a long and emotional day we made our way back to the hotel to celebrate. We organised a dinner for us all in a local restaurant where we all raised our glasses together to a great weekend.
The team spirit was fantastic all weekend with everyone looking out for each other and supporting each other's ups and downs.
Thanks must go to all the sponsors of Groom Team England: Red Cape Grooming Supplies, Aesculap, Maude and Eddies Grooming, Wet Pets Conversions, Animology, English Groomers Group, PATS and Look North Grooming & Training Centre for their financial support as without them the trip would not have been possible. Thanks must also go to Peter Hulance who took the amazing photos and also all the groomers and public who support Groom Team events throughout the year. Contributions from these events are vital and go towards the cost of the World Championships.
The supporters who made the journey were phenomenal making the atmosphere a very patriotic one. Everyone dressed in red and white and with the England chants it made the whole event a memorable experience for all.
1st USA: 215 points
2nd Italy: 205
3rd Russia: 196
4th England: 192
5th Belgium: 175
6th France : 165
7th Netherlands: 144
8th Brazil : 142
9th Australia: 131
10th Spain : 127
11th Germany: 123
12th Switzerland: 117
13th Canada: 102
14th Greece: 94
16th Ukraine: 91
17th China: 82
18th Sweden: 56
19th Portugal: 39
20th Mexico: 28