Dog trainers make Owlerton proud

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Four greyhound trainers from our region are looking to bring even more trophy success to the region in 2014.

Barrie Draper, from Rotherham, Elaine Parker, Ken Perrin and Norman Melbourne were all part of the Owlerton Greyhound Stadium team which won the 2013 BAGS Track Championship - one of the most prestigious events in the greyhound racing calendar.

In a bumper year, Elaine Parker also won the 2013 Steel City Cup, which is the oldest running Owlerton competition dating back to 1970, and Rotherham’s Barrie Draper enjoyed success outside of Sheffield winning the Scottish Derby.

Ken Perrin, from Mansfield, qualified for the 2013 Steel City Cup final with greyhound, Jolly Angelo, while Corkish Mick, trained by Norman Melbourne, was one of the stars of the 2013 Track Championship winning team, recording the fastest time on finals day.

Norman, 66, from Kiveton Park, Sheffield, who has been a trainer for more than 20 years, said: “I grew up loving the sport and greyhounds have been a big part of my life ever since I can remember. It’s a great time to be a trainer and I’m very proud to be part of such a successful Sheffield team. 2013 was a great year and we are hoping to be even more successful at competitions in 2014 and bring plenty of silverware back to South Yorkshire.

“Our success wouldn’t be possible without the superb support from and set up at Owlerton Stadium.”

All four trainers finished 2013 with an above-average win rate with Elaine Parker leading the pack with 345 first place finishes.

John Gilburn, managing director of Owlerton Greyhound Stadium, said: “We’re very proud of our trainers. Last year proved to be a truly fantastic year for the stadium but I am confident that our talented and dedicated team of trainers can deliver us even more success this time around. It has already been a great start to the year with two wins for Barrie Draper at the recent Betfred Festival. We may even have a runner in the English Greyhound Derby this year in the form of Norman Melbourne’s Corkish Mick.”

In recognition of the success of the Stadium it has been chosen to host the Greyhound Trainers Association Trainers’ Championship on March 25.