In the Main Hall we have all the shopping and the morning tea and coffee table. Browse all the stands, shop ‘til you drop. It is the best chance to try out scissors and clippers for weight and fit for your hands. The restaurant is back outside to the ground floor and then you will see the entrance in to it. You can’t miss the funky artwork. It will be open for us for lunch.
In the centre of the floor the competition classes will be taking place. You are welcome to sit and watch the classes or walk around the ring but please do not talk to or interrupt the competitors. They are working under a time limit and discussions with those outside the competition ring could be interpreted by the judges as ringside coaching and lead to a competitor being excused from the class. Our competition works through the main techniques of our trade Clipped, Scissor or Handstrip. To qualify for consideration for the top award of Irish Groomer of the Year you must have competed in two of the three techniques. It is not necessary to compete in all three and it doesn’t give you an advantage to do all three as only your best two efforts will be considered by the judges.
What are you looking at? The competitors situated on the outside of the ring are the most experienced then as the rows move towards the centre of the competition ring we have the more novice or first time competitors. We like to mind the more novice competitors and cocoon them with their peers. It’s not only the competitors that are new to the venue, we find their dogs settle better too being in the middle of the crowd. So if you were ever thinking of joining the competition be aware that we like to mind our competitors.
Halfway through the competition the competitors have the option to bring their dog for a quick comfort break, and often a quick smoke break for the stressed out groomer. The clock stops for the 15 minute break.
At the end of the classes the competitors clear off their tables and place a tablecloth on the table to present their dog to the judge. Those in the Asian Classes will often add embellishments to enhance the style of the dog, but they shouldn’t interfere with the coat checking process. The judges will look at the visual outline of the dog for style and balance and will then go through the coat with the groomers comb to check the groom technique. Before all the competitors are excused from the ring a shortlist is announced. These will come back to the ring later in the afternoon to find out where they placed
Satuday On the Saturday morning we have the most courageous groomers in the room…theHeiniger New to Grooming Class, these competitors have not been in a grooming competition before and are grooming less than 2 years ( normally 1 year but we added some grace for this year because of covid interruptions). These competitors are in the very centre of the competition arrangement being well minded.
Running alongside that class we have the Clipped Asian Class, there are 3 levels within this class. We have Novice which are those grooming less than 4 years (3 years normally but again a years grace due to covid), Open level these are grooming more than 4 years but have never won the Open level and finally the Champion level, these are the most experienced groomers and have previously won the open level of this class. Another technique you will see running at the same time is the Handstrip Class. Again this has 3 levels of Novice, Open and Champion.
On Saturday afternoon we have our Scissor Classes. There are potentially four different sections running at the same time.
We have the Poodle Class, as it states if it’s a poodle you enter here and you can do whatever trim you like as long as most of the dog is trimmed with scissors. There is two levels of expertise on show Open and Champion. With the poodles with the full fancy top knot these are given some extra time to set the style with spray. Some groomers fix the top knot during the competition time and then trim in their style others work around the top knot leaving just spray up for the last bit.
The Anything But Poodle Class, this can have a crossbreed, Kerry blue or bichon for example. Anything with a good scissor coat that isn’t a poodle! There is the two levels of expertise again Open and Champion.
Novice Scissor Class, these competitors are free to choose the scissor coat that suits them best for this technique as they continue learning the finer points of technique, style and balance.
Asian Scissor Class, this is a new to 2022 class to allow those competitors with Asian flair to expand their portfolio and grow their skills.
There is some prize giving at the end of Saturday . The days classes are announced along with our newest perpetual trophy, Best Asian Stylist. There will also be some awards for those the judges considered to either handle their dogs very sympathetically or showed great skill in their technique, on Sunday there will be an overall Best Handling and Technique award. Those in Open and Champion who placed well in the handstrip, scissor or Asian classes and are competing again tomorrow are in the running for Irish Groomer of the Year. Two out of the three techniques, clipped, scissored and handstrip, must be competed in to qualify for this award.
The Novice level groomers have their own award of Best Novice which is awarded at the end of Sunday. Only one dog needs to be entered, if there is multiple entries from one person it’s their best effort that they are judged on.
Those Open and Champion competitors who only competed in one class on the Saturday are also put forward for the Best Individual award on Sunday.
On Sunday morning we have the Clipped Classes. These can be full breeds or crossbreeds. Coats are clipped with varying lengths of blades or clip on combs to achieve the desired style. The bulk of the styling should be done with clippers with the finishing touches to legs and head done with a mix of scissors, thinners or chunkers. The already clipped area must not be re-dressed by scissors. There are three levels of expertise Novice, Open and Champion. This is one of our most popular classes as it relates a lot to our everyday work, just keeping it a little longer and flowing. The morning classes will have a shortlist called before they are dismissed from the ring. They are to return to the area for placements after the Creative classes.
Sunday afternoon is our bit of fun and relaxation after the serious work. We have the Creative Classes. Salon Creative is what you could possibly invent in your salon during a grooming session and send a dog home with. Colours used are pet safe, most are temporary but some come pre dyed and the style is scissored in. The pre dying is done as part of the wash and drying session of the dog in normal competition preparation. If there is a backdrop used and the groomer dresses up as part of the presentation then this is Extreme Creative the entire scene makes sense but the dog trotting along on their own wouldn’t tell all the story. There are also two Model Dog Classes. Model dogs are exactly that, dog mannequins that you can change the wigs on to practice over and over. The models can be terriers, poodles or bichons. Generally they are white in colour but the poodles can be red or black too.
We have a Breed Standard Class where the competitors trim in the best breed standard style they can. Some people will use coloured chalks to colour the white wigs to make it more correct looking for example the markings of a miniature schnauzer or wire haired fox terrier. The great thing about these is they stay still, don’t need a comfort break and you can pick them up to trim under their feet…no stooping required!! This can also be a great introduction into a grooming competition.
The Creative Model Dog is an outlet for those who like to explore the creative side of the grooming world but don’t wish to physically colour their own or their clients dog. Joe public can be a little reactive to seeing a creatively styled dog. It is a no holds barred type of class where the groomers can get as whacky as they like. It can be a stand alone where” the dog says it all creation” or be presented with a backdrop and dressed up groomer to bring the creation to life.
The Creative and Model dog Classes are awarded where they are at their tables as sometimes trotting up to the stage loses glitter, appliques and shape.
After all that fun we are back to our general awards and a roundup of the weekend. The placings for the shortlisted Clipped Classes are announced. The Best Novice is awarded. Best Individual, those who only competed in one technique (Scissor, Clipped or Handstrip) or class over the weekend There will also be some awards on Sunday for those the judges considered to either handle their dogs very sympathetically or showed great skill in their technique, the decision will be made as to whom receives the overall award of Best Handling and Technique .
Finally we get to the award of the weekend the Irish Groomer Of the Year. Those who have placed in two techniques in Open or Champion are qualified for this award……who will be taking home the main prize this year????