Best of friends Emma Case-Peters  (left) with Monty the prize-winning poodle.

Best In Show(s)

15.02.2018

Aylesbury’s Sheila Morris is almost eighty years old and has been involved with showing dogs since she was seventeen. Sheila began her dog showing career with Rough Coated Collies, then Smooth Fox Terriers, Afghan Hounds, American and English Cockers, Pugs and Griffons, but for 35 years has concentrated mainly on Poodles.

“I have bred around 200 Champions, Grand Champions and specialty Poodle Champions,” Sheila explained.   “We moved to Aylesbury in the early 1970’s, and constructed purpose-built Kennels on the Main West Coast Road that are now under the ownership of David and Michelle.

“After the recent death of my husband, dog groomer extraordinaire Emma Case-Peters and her husband Ash moved in with me to assist. Emma is quote ‘my legs and lungs’ as I cannot run like the wind anymore, but still enjoy dog grooming, running the Groomers Association and being involved in Club activities.”

Recently Monty, Miniature Poodle (Supreme Grand and Specialty Grand Champion “I had a Dream of Taff”) flew up to Auckland  along with Sheila and groomer/handler Emma to compete for the Royal Canin Top New Zealand Show Dog along with Mannix the Giant Schnauzer, who is co-owned by Emma and Leanne McTear to complete for top puppy.

After presentation to three international judges Monty, who reportedly performed like a champion (“with a bit of clown thrown in,” Sheila added) won the award and was named as Top NZ Show Dog. While Giant Schnauzer Mannix went on to win Best NZ puppy.

“There were four All Breed Championship shows as well, two each day,” Sheila said, “and Monty amazed us all, possibly setting a new record by winning all four Best in Shows!”

Sheila’s involvement in dog grooming began in 1991 when she visited America and the biggest grooming contest in the World. Returning from this trip she was determined that New Zealand would be recognised worldwide in grooming and to this aim she formed the National Dog Groomers Association of New Zealand. On subsequent trips overseas Sheila gained further grooming qualifications and competed in numerous competitions to emerge as a Master Groomer, having gained the extremely high marks required to make the cut. With the assistance of American groomers associations she developed an examination and workshop programme for New Zealand groomers which has not only been a great success, but has also produced many very fine groomers.

Over the years Sheila has been the recipient of numerous awards both in New Zealand and overseas including entry into the New Zealand Kennel Club’s newly introduced ‘Breeders Hall of Fame’. Taff Kennels (Sheila’s Kennel) is the first NZ founded kennel to be given this, the highest award ever in this country.

Emma is also a talented Master Groomer with incredible skills in precision grooming and show dog handling.

“I first met her when she was four years old hanging around dog shows with her Mum, who had Afghan hounds. When she was a teenager I gave her a Poodle to show and she won top Junior handler in New Zealand and won a trip to Crufts dog  show in England, she was in the top ten finalists in the world.  She has since won many contests for grooming in Australia and New Zealand  and has been New Zealand’s number one groomer for many years.