Who’ll be mopping up the medals in the 2018 season? Don Brunt highlights the top ten male shots to keep an eye on. Be sure to look out for the women’s list, coming soon!
The former English Open Sporting winner is known for his attacking style. When people say, “shooting targets off the arm of the trap”, Chris is the sort of shooter they’re talking about. He’s probably the most successful exponent of the technique and it can look truly spectacular. He would admit, though, that his way of shooting is all about timing; when it works it is fantastic but when it doesn’t it isn’t… His win at the English Open was hugely popular and despite a growing family he is rarely out of contention, finding the time to be out and about most weekends. He has a reputation for telling it how it is and although he’s at the top of the sport he doesn’t actively seek out the limelight. He shoots for Browning and is supported by Charlie Bull and his Just Cartridges brand of ammunition.
Definitely one of the new breed of Sporting shots that are coming through, Josh has proven his mettle in Juniors at the highest level and triumphed at the World FITASC last year in Hungary. Although still young, he has been shooting for many years and has been brought up helping his father John run their Starshot layout as it travels the country. Consequently he can shoot that discipline practically with his eyes closed, meaning that there is no Sporting target too quick for him. A Browning factory sponsored shooter, Josh has proved to be successful with Cheddite ammo, so expect that pairing to continue for quite some time.
His trophy collection says far more about his achievements than any written text possibly could. He is, as they say, a legend in his own lifetime. His number of World Championships is unlikely to ever be equalled, let alone beaten, and despite now being the wrong side of 50 he still has the talent to compete and win at the highest level. With his decision to set the targets for the 2018 World Sporting it’s clear that he won’t be competing in that event this year, so possibly he’ll be taking a more relaxed path in future. However, when he does get his faithful Perazzi out of the cupboard don’t doubt his competitive nature or his ability, experience and sheer grit. George is also Gamebore’s lead ambassador and he has been involved in the development of many of the cartridges in their current range.
Certainly someone who could be described as a ‘colourful’ character, Ben is something of a controversial personality on the circuit, but there is no denying his copious talent. He now spends much of his time coaching and passing on his ‘Method Star’ based technique to others. His system has proven to be a hit with many of his students, and it has taken him personally to three world titles in Sporting, FITASC and Sportrap. His will to win remains clear for all to see and in 2017 he took the Runner Up spot at the World English Sporting in San Antonio, Texas. A long term Krieghoff sponsored shooter and avid fan of Gamebore ammunition, Ben is most definitely one to watch in all of the Sporting disciplines and is a safe pair of hands when dealing with anything that has feathers on it.
Quite possibly the UK’s most dedicated clay shooter, Martin spends much of his life travelling from his West Wales home to shoots all around the country, often departing long before sunrise to be on the peg at 10am several hundred miles from home. His trusty Krieghoff works hard to earn its keep and is regularly fed on a diet of Hull cartridges. Martin’s sheer stamina and ability to compete and win several times in one day set him apart from many others in the sport. He is simply a clay breaking machine, and has thoroughly deserved his many major wins, which have included the British Open Sporting.
Winner of the 2017 ICTSF World Sporting, top ranked CPSA Sporting shot of 2017 and undoubtedly one of clay target shooting’s smoothest movers with a gun, Richard Faulds’ technique has inspired many of the world’s best, including Gebben Miles and David Radulovich. It certainly proves effective for those coached by Richard at his Owls Lodge Shooting School in Hampshire. With a growing family, Richard and his wife Tanya have plenty to keep them busy. Son Charlie and his sister Lauren both shoot regularly and Tanya is looking to return to shooting more competitively in 2018, so it probably won’t be long before the ‘Faulds squad’ becomes a reality at major events. Team Faulds all shoot Caesar Guerinis, with Richard having won several major titles since changing over to the brand some 5 years ago. He has also shot Express cartridges for almost his entire career.
M ark has come a long way since his first shots as a youth but is now firmly established as a household name within the sport. Having won the Clay Shooting Classic several times he has also added several other major titles to his CV. He rose to unprecedented heights when he won the “Stratstone Ultimate One” at Royal Berkshire and went home the owner of a £125,000 Range Rover. Despite reaching such dizzying heights he still manages to be the same affable, friendly face that he was when he started out, a quality that stands him in good stead now that he spends a great deal of time coaching on both game and clays. A Krieghoff factory shooter, Mark is also a sponsored Gamebore Ambassador. Like many in our list he is also a highly accomplished game shot.
Definitely one to watch out for in coming years, Josh is laid back, calm and invariably smiling. His shooting, though, is far more serious; he undoubtedly has a great deal of talent, as he demonstrated last year at the Benelli Sp’Auto where he narrowly lost out to Martin Myers. Popular and well liked, he spends his working week at choke manufacturer Teague but is a regular on the competition circuit. With a strong presence on social media, he delivers plenty of return to his sponsors Perazzi, Hull cartridge and of course Teague…
One of the gentlemen of the sport, John spends much of his year looking after pheasants, but he still manages to make his presence felt on the clay circuit. His matter of fact attitude and friendly demeanour make him a popular winner when things go his way, as they have done at several major events. An exceptional pigeon shot, he is often found grabbing a few hours in a hide. His shooting style seems to cope with everything that comes his way and he manages to look unflustered even when the pressure is on. He shoots a Beretta and has long been sponsored by Eley.
‘Turbo’, as he is known, is a regular contender for honours at the major shoots of the year and is a former English Open winner who took the number 3 spot in last year’s CPSA top 10. The Krieghoff wielding Rudling has a very definite pre-mounted style when it comes to English Sporting and he moves the gun in a very controlled way, but he can be as quick as anyone when the need arises. Not one for small talk, Stuart tends to let his shooting speak for him, and he will often do several shoots in a day when geography allows. He is a Hull devotee and has been for many years.