Amy Easeman, CPSA Clay Shooter of the Year 2020, takes a moment to chat with Jasper Fellows.
As if winning the FITASC World Compak Sporting Ladies Championship back in August wasn’t enough, Amy Easeman, who is just 18 years old, has been crowned CPSA Clay Shooter of the Year 2020.
“This award really topped of my whole year perfectly,” she says. “It was a really emotional experience to have been recognised for all the hard work I’ve put in since entering the ‘Championship World’ in 2012.”
Her coach, Ed Solomons, was with her and her family at the event and said of the win, “Amy has done so incredibly well this year and this award is well deserved. It has cemented her position at the top of her game. It was wonderful to see how happy her family were for her.
“Amy always works really hard, she’s naturally talented and has good fundamentals, and on top of that she’s a very good student who’s always willing to put in the hard work. We focus on quality, rather than quantity, and this has paid off very well for her.”
Although she only started competing at the highest level of the sport in 2012, Amy has been around the sport for as long as she can remember. It all started with her grandfather, Victor, who was a country sportsman to the core. He introduced both Amy and her father, Phil, to clay shooting at a very young age.
“As a child I loved heading out to the local shoots with my grandad, I was always fascinated by the shooters and the sport,” she says. “My grandad introduced my father to shooting in a similar way and he went on to win a number of County titles and has shot for Team England and Team GB.
“Long before I ever picked up a shotgun, I would head out to all of his selection shoots with him. When I was about eight years old, my dad finally let me have a go, and I haven’t looked back since.”
Phil Easeman is a name easily recognisable to anyone with an interest in international competition as the current manager of Team GB. “Before I was born my mother was up for a few county Championships too,” explains Amy. “So I guess clay shooting must run in the family.’
However, Amy’s success doesn’t just come down to good shooting genetics, she trains hard. Three or four days a week Amy is out on the grounds at EJ Churchill or AC Sporting Targets trying to hone her technique.
“There aren’t too many grounds with Compak Layouts,” Amy laments, “there are always plenty of Sporting grounds, but Compak is a little different. Planning is key, you always have the chance to see the layout before you shoot so I try to give myself 10-15 minutes to study the targets and come up with a game plan.
“If there are any simultaneous pairs, I make sure I know where I am going to hit them.” Explains Amy, “I like to devise a story in my mind of how I will approach the targets together. Precision is key with Compak, one lost target can be the difference between a win and a loss. But once I have a plan in place I simply follow it through.”
Amy is quick to note the importance of having a great support network. “Browning, Hull Cartridges, Promatic, Ed Lyons at Sports Vision, R&K Stockcraft, Country Pursuits, EJ Churchill, Andy Castles and my coach, Ed Solomons, have all be instrumental in helping me to get to where I am today,” says Amy.
“My all-time favourite gun, the Browning 725 Black Action, has helped too – that and Hull Cartridge’s Pro 1 DTL 300’s. I’ve tried many guns and cartridge combinations but these give me the confidence I need. It’s rather like driving your own car as opposed to someone else’s.
“I know this set up will perform to my expectations. I got my 725 shortly before the FITASC World Sporting Championships in Hungary. Though I really wasn’t shooting my best before the event. I confided in my dad that I didn’t think I stood a chance of winning. He suggested I speak with my coach, Ed Solomons.
“Even though it was Ed’s day off, he agreed to help. I brought him my gun and all of my stocks, he made a few changes, had me shoot a few targets and with his help I went on to win in Hungary just a few days later.”
Aside from last minute stock changes Amy has also developed a number of other routines before a big shoot. “I make sure I go to bed early, eat good food and chat things through with my dad before any big event,” she says. “And if I’m feeling a bit nervous I like to listen to the latest pop music.”
“I always enjoy having the chance to taste different foods when I’m abroad too.” She says, “When I was shooting in Italy we joked that we were there for the food more than the shooting! I loved the pizza, pasta and gelato and, of course, a nice salad if I felt like being healthy.”
“Speaking of gelato,” Amy continues, “I was recently shooting at the European Championships in Greece. My friend James Bradley-Day, his girlfriend Lauren and I went out for ice cream every night. James loved it so much he had ice cream for breakfast one morning and went on to shoot 50-straight. After that we had ice-cream for breakfast every day!”
“When James and I arrived in Hungary for the FITASC World Compak Sporting Championships we continued our tradition, meeting up for ice cream every break we had. James continued to shoot very well as did I. However, I don’t think my success is all down to ice cream. I try to stay relaxed and drink plenty of water too!”