We stayed in a gorgeous pet friendly Cottage (that looked like something from a fairy tale) for the night with Sabrina & David, we were all delighted with the comfy bed for the night.
We arrived at the Eikon Centre at 7:20am and made our way into the competition area to set up and get ready for pre judging at 8:30.
Although the centre was bustling with spectators, our area was quite calm which made it more pleasant for the dogs and all those competing.
The competition was 2hours for all classes, with a 10 minute break, I found this invaluable, it gave the little man a chance to stretch his legs, and for me to have a good look at what needed to be done in the remaining hour. I struggled a great deal with the light in the centre working on a black dog, as did several others, so this made all the difference to being indoors with them. Luckily the weather was super and there were no horror stories of poodles curling up! It also gave us a few minutes to enjoy a sugar fix to keep the concentration levels up…nice touch with the chocolate.
Judging was carried out by Suzanne O'Sullivan & Nichola Moore, and was approached in a very relaxed way, which put both myself and the dog at ease.
After a short while, the judges announced the winners for each class, and I was over the moon to place 2nd in the Newcomers Clipped Class, and also Reserve Newcomer Stylist. Thank you to the judges for placing me and a huge congratulations to, not only those who placed, but to all who competed, not everyone is brave enough to do so. A HUGE well done to Leonie Fahy who was awarded Best in Show.
After all the excitement, myself, Jenny & Karina packed up the dogs, and headed home, I finally got in the door at 8:30pm…into my jammies in a flash, and it's safe to say I slept like a baby that night!
The next day (Sunday) was spent making sure I had all of my equipment and supplies ready to go for monday. I also spent the evening prepping my dogs, and headed home to my bed shortly after 10pm.
4:50am….the alarm went off! It had NEVER sounded as loud!! I quickly got ready and off I went to Celbridge, where i was met by Jenny, who was clearly more alert than I was at that time of the morning…even after spending the night with a howling cocker spaniel. I quickly got to work getting my dogs coats fluffed out again, ready to rock…
I decided to run with the cocker first. Bosco you see thinks he's a fantastic singer (as Jenny had learned the night before), so I felt it best to have him finished and ready to go incase he fancied a little sing-song while he was getting settled, that of course could cause great upset in the salon. To my surprise, he was a superstar on the table, for the first time EVER… not only is he a wonderful singer, but you'd wanna see him dance, so this statue like impression was AMAZING.
After a short break, and a quick comb through, Kosmo, the miniature Schnauzer was up next, he was his usual serious self throughout the groom, full of attitude and stacked naturally for the entire process, which was exactly what I needed.
A quick cup of coffee and a snack later, Miss Poppy, a sweet little Cairn Terrier was on the table and ready to go. Poppy is a quiet little lady who needs the most gentle handling which she received in her pre exam check from the examiner. She abandoned all of her usual jitters and owned the table!
After each dog was finished, the examiner, Eve Somers, completed her checks of the dog, and all of my results were held until the end of the day for feedback. This was wonderful as there was nothing said early in the day that could impact the grooms later on that day.
The feedback from Eve was brilliant, I found her pointers really useful, and I was happy that many of them were on areas I was aware I could make improvement.
I am over the moon to say I am now City & Guilds qualified, and after a busy year, never mind the manic weekend, I am delighted to have dove in head first and completed them all on the same day, with oodles of encouragement and all the help in the world from Jenny, who's guidance was invaluable. A huge congratulations to everyone who completed modules on the day, super grooms all round and I think it's safe to say that everyone left for home more than happy that day, with great success.
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