CLAY pigeon hot shot Huw Stephens is preparing to compete in a European Championships from June 13 to 16.

Mr Stephens, who is the owner of Barbury Shooting School, near Marlborough, will travel to Greece as part of a team of three.

He is sponsored by Dick Lovett’s Land Rover and will have the full support of his partner Victoria Craig and the 11 staff he employs as a director of the shooting school based on the Marlborough Downs.

Mr Stephens, who has been shooting since he was about 12 in Mid Wales where he grew up beating with his grandfather.

But his memories of that first shot are not the best as he missed hitting a brick which was the target.

He took up the sport professionally about 12 years ago when his family took over Barbury Shooting School and he became a director.

He comes from a farming family and originally shot game and still enjoys pheasant shoots when he gets the time.

He likes to keep his competition shooting routine simple. He said: “I think it is the best way to succeed at competitions.

“Don’t blame anything other than your own shooting otherwise you make excuses and you don’t work on your faults.

The Compak Sporting European Championships is for teams of three and Mr Stephens is one of two new caps in the team.

His advice for newcomers to the sport is to have a calm and relaxed state of mind and not to rush the shot.

He said: “It is also important to enjoy it. We all want to win but most importantly we shoot for the pleasure and the fun of it.”

His shooting school has gone from strength to strength and is open seven days a week for everything from practice sessions to corporate events.

As well as clay shooting it also offers archery, air rifles and simulated game days. It is used by hen and stag groups.