Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text SWINDON NEWS to 80360 or email us
Dog groomer wins the right to compete in the World Championships
Dog groomer Lesley Harpham has won the right to compete in the World Championships.
And, after taking her clients’ dogs to competitions around the country, she has gathered enough recognition to join the exclusive national team of four to represent the country on a global stage.
“I have been showing and breeding dogs for almost three years now,” said Lesley. “I decided four years ago on a complete career change.
“I did a training course on all of the aspects of grooming I had not covered before, and I have now got my City and Guilds level 3, which means I am competent in all disciplines.”
Lesley has been competing in the four national competitions for two years, and is surprised at how quickly she gathered momentum.
“My clients have been very generous in letting me borrow their dogs throughout,” she said. “I have now earned enough points to be included in the Groom Team England, which starts next year.
It is a two-year process leading up to the championships, which will be held in 2015.
“There are only four competitors in each team, so it isn’t easy to get in. Of the people I will be competing with, some have been grooming for all their adult lives.
“I do not think anybody who has been in the team has done it as quickly as I have.
“The first time I competed I was terrified and shook like a leaf. I had a client’s dog with me, but I won my class and thoroughly enjoyed it. I just love that at the time you are totally focused.
“Once I was made redundant, it was a case that I would rather earn a living by looking after my dogs at the same time, so this seemed like an easy choice to make.
“I am now starting to look at the dogs I might be able to compete with. The difficulty in my class is that you can time everything out, but things like the weather and the dog’s hormones can all have an effect on it.
“It can be one of the hardest disciplines to prepare for. I need to make sure I have two or three dogs so I can pick the best one on the day.
“I am hoping one of my customers whose dog I have been using as a show dog will allow me to borrow theirs, as I have competed with him twice this year and won best in show both times.”
Lesley’s partner Peter Hulance, 50, said: “I was over the moon when she won.
“There were a few people who could have beaten her but she fended them off.
“She will now be competing in the World Championships, which has 100 contestants from around the world.”
Comments are closed on this article.