Dog groomers overwhelmed thanks to latest success

Dog groomers from Ely and Littleport shine on national stage

Victoria Harwin (right) with Cheryl Cross (centre) and their mentor Hannah. - Credit: Victoria Harwin

Two dog groomers believe their latest success on the national and international stage has put Ely and Littleport firmly on the map. 

Victoria Harwin and Cheryl Cross took part in the virtual UK Mastergroom competition over the weekend of March 27-28, just two of around 400 entrants for the event. 

“I’m pretty made up about it; I’m still shocked!” Victoria, who runs The Dog Bathing Company in Ely, said. 

Victoria competed in the mini & toy poodle class with poodle Tia, where she had to perform a trim with only the face and feet being clipped. 

Having finished third in that competition, Victoria then topped the hand strip category with dachshund Alfie, where she removed excess hair from the dog’s coat by hand. 

Ely dog groomer wins international competition

Victoria won the hand strip category at the UK Mastergroom competition with dachshund Alfie (pictured). - Credit: Victoria Harwin

“This is my second international competition and I just couldn’t believe I placed in my two hardest disciplines,” she said. 

“I thought I would enter the hand strip class, too, and I got really good feedback.” 

Ely dog groomer places third in second international event

Victoria Harwin entered Tia (pictured) for the mini & toy poodle category at the UK Mastergroom competition. - Credit: Victoria Harwin

Victoria also competed in the ‘best in show’ category after winning top spot. 

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Meanwhile, Cheryl who runs Cheryl’s Clip & Cut in Littleport, entered the seasoned groomer event for those who have been in the dog grooming industry for a certain number of years but never competed in competition. 

It turned out to be an event to remember for the right reasons for Cheryl, who placed first with cavapoo Finley against challengers from across the country. 

“I saw Victoria has been pushing herself in competitions and I thought why not give it a go,” she said.  

“Especially in lockdown, I thought it would give me a boost to try and prove myself.” 

Littleport dog groomer wins at UK competition

Cheryl Cross won first place in the seasoned groomer category at the UK Mastergroom competition with cavapoo Finley (pictured). - Credit: Cheryl Cross

Cheryl took around one hour and 45 minutes to bath, dry and prepare Finley’s coat, who has had “lots of trims” during the pandemic. 

Despite not thinking she would have much chance of winning, it was a welcome surprise for the business owner. 

“Watching the results, I thought I’ve not got much chance, so I was gobsmacked,” she said. 

“I would say this win is definitely a highlight of my career.  

“I don’t always believe in myself, but this has given me more faith in my dog grooming.”   

Victoria and Cheryl now hope the competition, judged by dog grooming expert and star of BBC One show Pooch Perfect Colin Taylor, will help shine the spotlight on the local area. 

“Ely and Littleport are definitely places to look out for (in dog grooming industry) in future,” Victoria added. 

“Hopefully we can continue to develop and grow as competitors on the international stage.”