Philippa Williams from Buttercrambe, North Yorkshire was presented at Crufts with her Kennel Club Accredited Instructors (KCAI) certificate for being the first person in the UK to achieve a prestigious teaching qualification for her work with both Working Gundogs and Field Trials.
Philippa was surprised by the KCAI Chairman, Paul Rawlings in the main arena at Crufts on Sunday 9th March with her certificate presentation shortly after her successful gundog display.
Philippa said: "I'm very passionate about the sport of field trials and think it is essential to continue your development in such an old, historic sport in order to understand all aspects of our discipline. My main priority is to keep the sport alive and encourage more people to get involved and be responsible in their training. The accreditation is a great achievement and it was no mean feat to complete."
Not only has Philippa become accredited in Working Gundogs and Field Trials, she is also one of just over 60 trainers in the UK to be accredited in companion dog training.
Philippa continued: "When they started calling my name, I thought they wanted me to hurry up and finish in the main arena. Although I was still in shock and couldn't take it all on board at the time, it was wonderful to be congratulated at such a prestigious event."
The specialist accreditations in the areas of Working Gundogs and Field Trials were created by the Kennel Club to raise standards and set a benchmark for those who specialise in field trials.
Philippa has owned and successfully worked a range of dogs which have included Castlemans Golden Retrievers and Labradors, Working Cocker Spaniels, German Shepherd Dogs, Boxers, a Collie and a Beagle, in agility, flyball and obedience. Philippa not only works her gundogs in the field but also competes with them and has competed in the International Gundog League Championship. Philippa is the first from her company, Dogs For Life to complete her accreditation and three of her students aim to follow in her footsteps.
Speaking about Philippa's achievement, Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: "Congratulations to Philippa. To become accredited in one specialist area shows dedication but to become accredited in three highlights her love of dogs and field trials. We thoroughly enjoyed her display in the main arena at Crufts and were delighted when she was presented with her certificate in front of a packed audience at the NEC in Birmingham."
Philippa will be holding workshops covering gundog working tests for Spaniels and Retrievers on 25th May at the KCAI's Try Out, Take In and Teach event in Stoneleigh.
For more information on KCAI please visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/training/kcai/ or alternatively contact the Kennel Club Office on 0844 463 3980 ext. 321.