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updated 2/11/01
UK Field Trial handler makes history in Belgium

GUNDOG HANDLER Graham Stephenson has become the first ever British trainer and handler to win a top field trial in Belgium.

Graham from Allerston, nr Pickering is sponsored by Burgess Supa Dog and made history when taking his Field Trial Champion Rhypyker Phantom to compete in the trials.

The five-year-old black Labrador, known as Ellie, was bred by Graham who has been training gundogs for many years, and is a well known competitior and judge.

The Belgian Field Trials saw Graham and Ellie win one and claim second place in another event, beaten only by one of Ellie's sons who was exported onto the continent last year.

Graham Stephenson with Field Trial champion Rhypyker Phantom

It is the first time a British handler has taken part in the trials and the win qualified them for the Belgian championships which are held in December.

Said Graham "I was absolutely delighted to win the field trial, the competition was a very high standard and to come home with four trophies was excellent.

"It was wonderful to be given the opportunity to compete over there, and a real bonus to win one of the trials and come second in the other.

"We have more than twenty dogs at home at the moment and I am fortunate to receive assistance from Burgess Supa Dog, who support the kennel with their excellent dog food."

Burgess Supa Dog Marketing Manager Sarah Riddolls said "We have been feeding Graham's dogs on Supa Dog for many years and it is wonderful to support the team. The win in Belgium was a great achievement."

Graham is also keen on assisting and helping to train future Field Trial judges and is one of the key forces behind judging seminars in the country.