Hatfield dog groomer gets top national grooming prize
PUBLISHED: 11:45 15 September 2017 | UPDATED: 12:00 15 September 2017
A Hatfield businesswoman took home one of the UK's top dog grooming accolades this summer.
Linda Stone, who runs Hair of the Dog grooming centre at Hatfield House, was named UK Premier Groomer of the Year at the PremierGroom 2017 competition in Warwickshire on August 13.
She and her canine competitors took home £2,000 and a haul of doggy treats.
Her very own miniature schnauzer Fabio and Russian black terrier Roman were top dogs at the competition, which had 180 entrants from all over the country.
She told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “It feels absolutely amazing. It was even more special because it was my boys.”
Roman and Fabio are well known on the competition circuit, particularly Roman who wags his tail throughout the entire process.
“He’s known as the happiest dog at a grooming competition,” said Linda, 49.
Now the dogs are even more overjoyed. “They were happy because I was happy,” said Linda. “Roman can’t walk past a grooming table without jumping on it.”
It was the 10th anniversary of the contest, which is run by Groom Team England and Red Cape Grooming Suppliers, and was awarded by leading UK and international judges.
Zoe Duffy of Groom Team England sang Linda’s praises to the WHT. “She’s keen to strive in the grooming world, to better her skills, and to help other people, she’s lovely.”
As well as grooming the dog to breed standard in a gruelling two hour and 15 minute session, entrants must keep their dogs perfectly coiffed and healthy in the weeks before the big day.
The win means that Linda gains points towards being considered for the national team.
Linda, who lives in Stevenage, has been grooming dogs for 12 years and runs a groomers’ training school and dog salon on the grounds of Hatfield House.
“Hatfield’s a great place to have a dog,” said Linda. “There’s acres of ground at Hatfield House for walks so it’s a brilliant place to have a grooming business.”
Before moving to Hatfield, Linda ran a City & Guilds level two and three dog grooming course at Oaklands College at St Albans.
Then Hatfield House approached her to open an independent training centre seven years ago.
Business for Linda and her pooches has been booming.
“I haven’t looked back since I opened - thank you Hatfield House, is all I can say!”