Ryan Cox took home the Clive Stanton Memorial Trophy as the British Schools and Young Shots Championship returned to EJ Churchill in Buckinghamshire on 27 April. The Oxford and Cherwell Valley shooter travelled from Banbury to shoot the UK’s premier event for young shooters. Ryan shot 43 round the demanding red course, beating teammate Jon Freeman and Bloxham’s Ed Caudwell, by a single target.
Ed could be consoled with the fact that his score led the Bloxham team to first place in the teams table. Dom Craven, Robert Skipworth, William Eagles, Harry Coward and James Howson also contributed to a total of 203, with Rugby and Kingham Hill in second and third.
On the B-teams’ blue course, Amanda Murray gave a standout performance with 45, a staggering five targets clear of the nearest competitor. Three of the four highest scorers were female (Amanda, Natasha Lovell and Lauren Maxey), putting the lie to a few common misconceptions about the demographics in shooting. Ben Skinner was the exception, taking second place – and his Stowe team finished top on the blue course, 10 targets ahead of second-placed Tonbridge.
And on the under-14s’ black course, Ronnie Green underlined why he is already a familiar name to many by taking top spot with 31. Four targets behind were Patrick McDonnell and William Lanigan – and William, together with father Nigel, took first place in the ‘parent and child’ category, combining scores for 56.
Long established as the biggest date in the young shots’ calendar, the British Schools and Young Shots Championship garnered a 400-strong entry field – and though there were patches of rain, the weather was much better than last year’s torrential downpour. Host EJ Churchill also showed why it had become the location de rigueur for this event, with a varied layout including crossers, grouse-style targets and even a high tower on the A-teams-only red course.
The championship has become known as a springboard for some future big names – Taylor Hedgecock and Amber Hill are two names that have appeared in recent years – but due to the nature of the event, the same shooters can’t dominate every year as they might in a senior competition. Accordingly, we should look out for the names Ryan Cox, Amanda Murray and Ronnie Green in the future – they might turn out to be very big indeed.