DOG groomer Sue Davidson is aiming for best in show at the world’s most prestigious dog show, Crufts.
The 50-year-old is taking not one but five of her six Bichon Frise to the event in Birmingham next weekend.
Twinkle, Kitty, Echo, Marylin and Alright Dave will strut their stuff in the arena on Friday.
Sue said: ‘It is terribly exciting.
‘I’ve been showing dogs at Crufts since 1978. I began with rottweilers but now I take my beautiful Bichon Frise.
‘I have won competitions but the Best in Show has remained elusive.
‘I’m hoping to change that with my Marylin or Kitty this year.’
There will be competition from across the world as owners fly their pooches in from America, Russia and Eastern Europe to compete at the event.
‘There is just nothing like it,’ said Sue.
‘From the moment you walk in, the atmosphere is electric.
‘The first thing you do is pick up the catalogue to see who else is going to be there, to check out the competition.
‘It’s very interesting to see dogs from Croatia, America and Russia.
‘With Bichon Frise there is a lot of trimming and you need to exercise the dogs after they’ve been in the car two or three hours. You need to let them stretch their legs.
‘And you’re constantly looking around at everybody else while you’re grooming and thinking, “I’ve got to get mine looking better!”’
Sue, from Castle Road, Rowlands Castle, has one more dog at home but he is a puppy and too young to show.
She can travel thousands of miles each week taking the animals to dog shows around the country.
She said: ‘We could have a show in Leeds, then Paignton, then Scotland.’
She even travels as far afield as Northern Ireland for shows.
It’s at these events that dogs win coveted places at Crufts.
She said: ‘I do travel a long way for the shows but I don’t get tired because it’s so exciting.
‘There is a great competitive spirit and it’s a really social hobby.
‘The fun begins getting the dogs ready and getting to the venue, and trying to keep yourself and the dogs calm.’