Hyperbole notwithstanding, one professional pet grooming event is living up to its name. The of Groomer SuperShow, a key element of the SuperZoo trade show in Las Vegas Nevada, is attracting enthusiastic international attention with its impressive combination of competitions, celebrity speakers, educational opportunities, awards, entertainment and product exhibitions.
Pet professionals from around the world make the trip to Las Vegas every year to participate in the events many attractions and professional competitions. This year, theres plenty to see and compete for, with groomers from as far away as Italy, India and Japan vying for titles in contests that run the gamut from classic to high-fashion to philanthropic.
GroomTeam USA-sanctioned contests cover six purebred classes and award cash prizes in three skill divisions. The Creative Styling Competition takes cutting edge to the extreme with an entertaining mix of props, music, staging and imaginatively groomed dogs. Sponsored by Ryans Pet Supplies and Wahl Clipper Corporation, the Rescue Rodeo pits groomers against each other as they make over would-be pets from local rescue groups and ready them for adoption. Cash awards for the first five-place Rodeo is matched by the World Pet Association (WPA), producer of the Groomer SuperShow, and donated to the winning dogs rescue organization. This year, Rescue Rodeo will feature guest judge Mijo Klein, renowned French grooming expert and producer of the largest grooming competition in France.
Competition culminates with a first-place jackpot prize of ,000, the largest one-time purse in any competition. The contest was recently renamed the Tom McLaughlin Super Jackpot to honor the former WPA president, who passed away earlier this year. McLaughlin was a strong supporter of groomers and was instrumental in creating the Companion Animal Hygienist (CAH) groomer certification program.
With total prize money of ,000 and the recognition that comes with competing at the international level, these contests are considered serious business for those who compete. Theyre also a source of inspiration and how-to magic for trade show attendees who want to model themselves after the best in the business.
They certainly wont be disappointed, because theres no shortage of best in the business at the SuperShow. At the front of the pack: this years winners of the prestigious Crystal Grooming Achievement Awards, presented by Grooming Business magazine and WPA. Created to establish standards of grooming excellence and recognizing professional skills in the competitive grooming industry, this years awards will honor the industrys top groomers in eight grooming categories at an award ceremony Wednesday evening, September 12.
Skill improvement and career advancement is, in fact, a big part of the Groomer SuperShow. Along with the object lessons that can be taken away from the competitions and award winners, professional groomers can avail themselves of a full schedule of education and training sessions that include business seminars, advanced grooming instruction and animal health and wellness classes. The education program is, according to Judy Breton, director of Grooming and Special Services, top-notch and industry leading. We bring in the best to share their expertise and techniques, because we want to make sure our attendees take home what they need to become better, more successful groomers. Among the noteworthy presenters at this years conference are Animal Planet Network celebrities Sherri Shinsky and Lisa Leady, and Melissa Verplank, bestselling author of the groomers go-to guide Theory of 5.
To further advance their businesses and professional standing, groomers will have the opportunity to acquire official certifications from five different professional grooming associations. And when theyre not busy learning, competing or acquiring certifications, groomers can take a stroll through Groomers Court, where theyll be able to preview and compare the latest grooming products and meet directly with top grooming suppliers.
Members of WPA will want to take advantage of new pricing this year to save on day passes and seminar fees. Complete details are available at www.superzoo.org/groomersupershow. Some sessions fill up quickly, so participants are encouraged to register early online for the seminars they want to attend.