More than 250 groomers attended the first weekend-long event for Northern Groomers group organised by Shane Boniface and Shaun Leach from Scruffy Pups Grooming, held in Durham at the end of August.

The weekend kicked off with a competition on the Saturday which included junior, newcomers/student, poodle, clip & scissor, handstrip, scissor classes as well as the people’s choice and a creative class.

The largest class was the newcomers with many new groomers making their debut as competitors, including 12-year-old Melissa Saunders who made a huge impression on the judges in the junior class. Some of the UK’s top groomers, including Julie Lalou and Denise Westbrook, made the long journey up north to compete. Judges for the day were Alison Rogers, Mike Wildman, Colin Taylor, Shaun Leach, Angela Caley, Su Eld-Weaver and Pammie Carmichael-Hogg. Fiona Brook won best in show with a Standard Poodle; reserve went to Cara-Marie Shephard with a Cocker Spaniel.

On the Sunday Colin Taylor, Shaun Leach, Mike Wildman, Pammie Carmichael-Hogg, Alison Rogers and Su Eld-Weaver filled the hall with over 200 groomers who came to watch the experts in action during a series of demos and seminars. Angela Caley also gave a seminar on the international groomers qualification recently launched in the UK.

Organiser, Shane Boniface from Scruffy Pups Grooming and Training School said: “We are delighted with the weekend. There was such a great atmosphere. We try to encourage groomers to have a go at competing and to see so many in the newcomers class and some new faces generally was great. We also appreciate the support of our sponsors, in particular Groomers, Aesculap and the Scissor Boutique. We are already planning next year’s event so watch this space!”

The full list of winners is a follows:

Junior class: 1st Melissa Saunders
Newcomer/Student class:
1st Claire Hay,
 2nd Julie Lauchlan,
 3rd Melanie Young,
 4th Wendy Payton,
Highly recommended Jacqueline Callaway
Poodle class: 1st Fiona Brook,
 2nd Julie Lalou, 
3rd Denise Westbrook
Clip & Scissor class: 1st Charlotte Pedlar,
 2nd Emma Smith, 
3rd Carol Miller
Handstrip class: 1st Cara-Marie Shephard,
 2nd Andrew Carr,
 3rd Sophie Fury
Scissor class: 1st Adrian Long, 
2nd Alison Burton
Creative class: 1st Denise Ower,
 2nd Tanya Stevens, 3rd Deborah Townsend
People’s choice winner: Melanie Young
Reserve Best-in-Show: Cara-Marie Shephard
Best-in-Show: Fiona Brook