The 13th Krieghoff Classic saw another new name put on the trophy as Jim Doherty beat a host of top names to take the trophy back to the Emerald Isle
The 13th Krieghoff Classic almost found itself with a two-time winner, on 26-29 May, but it wasn’t to be as Jim Doherty held his head to take the crown.
The windy conditions meant the targets were certainly testing but that didn’t stop some super shooting and some fantastic scores across the four-day event.
Our Welsh correspondent, Dave Lea, who shot the event, said: “Win or lose, the event is loved by all and gives everybody a chance to catch up with distant friends – it is almost like a pilgrimage at times.”
All the big names in Trap shooting had made the pilgrimage to Mid Wales Shooting Ground for the prestigious 200-bird event, widely regarded as the DTL event by which all others should be judged, and the competition turned out to be closely-fought at the top.
The competition kicked off on 26 May with a 100 DTL and 100 Double Rise event, both of which would count towards the Krieghoff 500 High Gun Overall. Paul Chaplow won the 100-bird Double Rise event with a score of 92 and J Mackenzie won the 100-bird DTL competition with an unbeatable 100/300.
Day two saw the Lucky Numbers contest; now in its fourth year it’s becoming increasingly popular and adds to the reason why so many Trap shooters flock to Mid Wales on the May bank holiday weekend accompanied by their Krieghoffs.
The competition consists of a 100-bird DTL with a twist: once the last person has shot their final bird, the lucky numbers are drawn and any shooters whose scorecard ends in one of these numbers proceeds to a stand to shoot-off for a place in the final. All four lucky numbers winners are guaranteed a cash prize along with a wild card entry – drawn from all competitors of the event.
These five shooters then shoot-off to decide which prize they will win. D Preistman from C Class won the race to the top to take home £1,000. The second place prize of £800 was taken by B Class shooter J Mills, A MacDonald from A Class took £500 in third place whilst the wild card entry – A Piper – equalled his score to take home the same amount. B Hutchinson from AA took the fifth place prize of £200.
In Friday’s main competition it was T Humphreys who took the top spot with his 100/300 after a five-way shoot-off with J Malden, Ian Mullarkey, A Smyth and K Stock who all scored 100/300s.
The main event, held over the Saturday and Sunday, was as well run as ever by Alan Rhone’s Krieghoff team and the ground. The bank layouts, which have been so popular over the past few years, failed to disappoint and the overall format made sure no-one had to face a long trek between stands.
Saturday saw a shoot-off for the place in Sunday’s final between Eric Davies, who won the event back in 1999, and G Simmonds. In 1999 the event wasn’t quite the same format and a brand new Peugeot car and a new specially commissioned Krieghoff were put up as prizes. Eric was in the final against Mick Milne and he took the gun whilst Mick took the car – Eric shot this year’s event with the gun he won in 1999.
After the first 100 shoot-off targets were shot the scores were even so a coin was tossed to decide who shot the sudden death targets first – Eric won the toss and chose to go second: this is often seen as a tactical move putting pressure on the first shooter to hit their target first each time.
The sudden death process was certainly sudden as Simmonds dropped his first target to leave Davies ready to smoke his and take his place in Sunday’s final. Eric said: “It was a nice feeling to know I was in the final for the second time since the event begant and I was looking forward to the final.”
On Sunday, the layout at the top of the field that were less sheltered from the wind, saw the more exposed targets fluctuate in the gusty wind and rain showers.
After the scores had been counted the second place in the final was decided by a shoot-off between Jim Doherty, who travelled over from Ireland, Paul Chaplow, 2006 winner, and Steve Smith, who all shot 300/100. The shoot-off was great to watch as three world-class shooters at the top of their game fought for their place in the final.
Steve Smith missed first followed by Chaplow; Doherty shot the 100 shoot-off targets straight to take his place in the final having already shot 200/600 that day and Paul Chaplow took the prize for Highest Overall – a cash prize of £500.
The final took place on Sunday afternoon between Jim Doherty and Eric Davies. Eric shot a fantastic 25/74 but that single barrel cost him the final as Jim posted a perfect 25/75 taking his day’s score to 225/675.
Jim’s performance was worthy of the top prize of a custom-made K-80 and a five-year sponsorship deal to go with it. Jim, who has shot all 13 Krieghoff Classic competitions, said: “After Friday and Saturday I knew I was shooting well so I thought if I kept it up I could possibly feature in the prizes. I felt the pressure going into the final as it was probably expected from others that I would be the favourite – all I could do was take one target at a time.
“It was a great feeling to win a major shoot, especially as so many of the top names were battling each other to get their hands on the trophy. We always like coming across the water to the major competitions to see if we can upset the ‘big boys’ and this time I did!”
Eric’s second place finish gave him £1,500 cash prize donated and presented by Clay Shooting‘s publisher Wes Stanton. Eric said: “I knew that Jim’s timing and precision in the shoot-offs were spot on but I still went in confident and ready to give it my best shot”.
Elsewhere in the main event AA was won by Paul Chaplow closely followed by Ian Mullarkey and Nick McKeown, who won the event in 2009, took third place. A Class was won by William Maclennan followed by Jim Doran and John Butler; top of B Class was Brenda O’Holloran, C was taken by Ken Newman; the Veteran Class by Jim Doran and the Junior Class by Steven Stanbrook. Once again the Ladies Class was taken by Emma Wheeldon who successfully defended the title she won last year.
After the event Krieghoff boss Alan Rhone said: “I thought this was one of the best shoots in the event’s 13 year history. Although the weather could have been better it was dry most of the time – the scores suggest that it didn’t trouble the shooters too much anyway.
“The entry, 427 guns for each day of the main event, was great when you consider the tough economic climate. When I look at the distances shooters travelled I am thrilled and can only say thanks to everyone who came to support the shoot. I’d also like to thank our sponsors: Clay Shooting magazine, Pila UK, Laporte and of course Krieghoff – without their help the event would not be the success it is.”