CHAMPION dog groomer Alison Rogers is heading for the bright lights of Las Vegas.
But the Huddersfield woman is not going to the gambling capital of the world to go walkies on the famous strip with her prize-winning pooches Pogie and Ceasar.
She is making the 10,000 mile trip to attend an international awards ceremony after being nominated by her fellow grooming professionals.
Alison, 37, who is the reigning UK Groomer of the Year, is up for International Groomer of the Year at a top American award ceremony at the famous Mandalay Bay Casino and Hotel.
She is nominated alongside two Canadians, a Brazilian and an Australian at the Cardinal Crystal Grooming Achievement Awards – one of the highest honours in the dog grooming world.
Alison, who has won a host of trophies in the UK and around Europe, said she was “overwhelmed” to be nominated.
“I’m really really shocked,” she said.
“The fact I’ve been nominated is like winning an Oscar itself.
“Even if I don’t win, just being nominated and going to Las Vegas is a major achievement.
“Not many British or European dog groomers get this opportunity so I feel really really honoured.
“Only three English groomers have ever won this award before.
“I wanted to leave a bit of a mark on the industry and I couldn’t have left much more of a mark than being nominated for this award.”
While Alison is excited to be heading Stateside for the prestigious awards, she is nervously waiting to find out if her champion dogs can travel with her.
She said: “When I compete in Europe we always drive.
“But I can’t put them in with the baggage because it’s so hot in Las Vegas in July.
“But you can take them as hand luggage if you fly from France so I’m waiting to find out if either of them meet the criteria.”
The Cardinal Crystal Grooming Achievement Awards are on July 23.
To vote for Alison go online to www.cardinalcrystalawards.com
Alison, who runs Thongsbridge based Pretty Paws Dog Grooming and Training Centre, began grooming when she was a teenager and launched her business aged just 19
She has now been grooming for more than 20 years and has won numerous titles, most recently, Groomer of the Year 2012 and previously in 2007, UK Groomer of the Year Liz Paul Achievement Award 2013
She has represented England twice in the World Championships with Groom Team England, for which she is one of the founder members.