Skeet’s rising star

Becky Kibble’s success at the World Skeet Masters was just the latest achievement for this remarkable shot, writes Murray Thomson

After a horse riding accident, shooting provided the competitive outlet that Becky had longed for

Watching Becky Kibble win the Ladies High Gun at the World Skeet Masters, you would think she’d been shooting all her life. But amazingly, the 29-year-old from the Scottish borders only took up competitive shooting three years ago – and just six months before that picked up a gun for the first time.

Becky has always been a sports enthusiast, but a horse riding accident and the subsequent operation restricted her options. Shooting provided the competitive outlet and drive that she longed for.

It was Becky’s father, Richard Kibble, who threw her into her first registered Skeet competition at Bisley at Braidwood. She recalls how scared she was, adding that once it was over the afterglow was something she will never forget.

She began competing at Morton Clay Targets – who would later become her sponsor – in a more serious way, under the guidance and coaching of the ground operator, Paul Nelson. Paul is a well known shot with multiple Scottish caps and Scotland captaincies under his belt, as well as qualifications in competitions all over the globe.

Becky shot a good many Sporting competitions, and continues to do so today as part of her training programme, but Skeet is her main focus.

Shooting Eley Select 9’s through her beloved Beretta DT10, her first Skeet international cap was a big moment for her. This year she was team captain, which she says was an amazing experience and one that she will forever be proud of.

Encouraged by Paul and her father, Becky has tried to shoot in England as much as possible, to test herself at much larger shoots and pit her skills against some of the best known names in British Skeet shooting.

The plan has paid off. Her confidence and skills have grown, and her averages have risen. One of her favourite outings is the five-hour trip to Nottingham and District Gun Club, a ground that she has become particularly fond of.

Becky trained hard before the Masters, and reaped the reward on the day

In the run-up to the Skeet Masters, Becky enrolled for as many competitions as possible while trying not to burn out with too much training beforehand; instead she prioritised visualisation and mental training.

One event that she did use as a confidence springboard was the Iron Man Skeet event at Dartford Gun Club. This aptly named competition consists of 400 targets in all, half National Skeet and half Doubles. Becky walked away as overall runner up and Ladies High Gun with an impressive score, a tremendous achievement.

After that success, Becky was feeling positive about the World Skeet Masters at Eriswell Lodge. This one was shot over 200 targets – 100 National Skeet and 100 Skeet Doubles. Weather conditions were poor for practice on the Friday, but much better for the main event on Saturday.

Becky says that she felt comfortable and strong for the event, but admits it was a challenge for all competitors to maintain their energy for the whole day. It’s not often you start at 10am and head out for the final round at 5pm.

Becky hoped her score could be good enough to win the Ladies High Gun, but she had to wait until late on Sunday to confirm that she was indeed the ladies winner by a single target.

The atmosphere of the event made a big impression on Becky. It was the “wee things” she says that made all the difference, such as the team of staff who ran on to the range at the end of each squad, to clear up and make everything presentable for the incoming squad.

That and the general smooth running of the event meant that shooters could focus clearly on their performance.

After her success at the Masters, Becky’s aim now is to make the Worlds in America next year, so that she can again stretch her skills in an even wider pool of talent.

She now hopes to compete at the gruelling World event in America next year

That event produces winners after an assault of 1,100 targets, so preparation and self-belief are critical – but Becky’s coach, Paul, says that next year is the right time for Becky to go over the pond to compete.

Becky also plans to hit all of the major UK Skeet events next year, as well as taking in as many Sporting events as possible – and she has a vigorous winter training plan to help her prepare.

Morton Clay Targets will continue to sponsor Becky through her journey next year, and takes great pride in having her represent them. There can be no doubt that if Becky’s progress continues on the same trajectory, the future holds big things for her.

Becky’s meteoric rise

2017

  • South Area Skeet Champion
  • Scottish Open Skeet Ladies High Gun
  • Skeet Home International Scottish Lady High Gun
  • First 100 ex-100 at Skeet – Cluny Clays
  • Scottish Open Sporting Ladies runner up

2018

  • Second 100 ex-100 at Skeet – Nottingham & DistrictOne Hundred Straight Club Ladies High Gun
  • Ulster Open Skeet Ladies Champion
  • Irish Open Skeet Ladies Champion
  • English Open Skeet Ladies third
  • Welsh Open Skeet Ladies runner up
  • Scottish Open Skeet Ladies High Gun
  • Skeet Home International Scottish Lady High Gun
  • Skeet Home International Ladies High Gun
  • Scottish Open Sporting Ladies runner up
  • Skeet Challenge Ladies High Gun
  • Third 100 ex-100 at Skeet – Nottingham & District

2019

  • Wilson Skeet Winter Cup Overall Champion & Ladies Champion
  • One Hundred Straight Club Ladies runner up
  • English Open Skeet Ladies runner up
  • Ulster Open Skeet Ladies Champion & overall runner up
  • Irish Open Skeet Ladies Champion & overall runner up
  • Scottish Open Skeet Ladies Champion & Scottish Lady High Gun
  • Skeet Home International Scottish Ladies High Gun, Ladies runner up & Ladies team runners up
  • Iron Man Masters Ladies High Gun & overall runner up
  • World Skeet Masters Ladies Champion
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