American dream shoot: Report from the US Open

Five Stand shooters faced off in a hard-fought battle

Everything’s bigger across the pond, and the US Open Sporting is proof that clay shooting events are no exception.

Take more than a thousand acres of Delaware coastline on the Eastern seaboard of the USA, add more than 1200 shooters, stir in a huge amount of work and resources and you have a clay shooting event that leads the way for the rest of the world to follow.

To the victor the spoils: David Radulovich won the covetted trophy

For comparison, take a look at the Essex Guns Masters, probably the biggest shoot in the UK calendar. With nearly 2,400 shooters attending it’s a substantial endeavour, throwing some 480,000 clays from 53 traps over two courses of 15 stands.

The US Open had a main event course of 200 targets over three courses of 13 stands, on top of which there were another 13 side events. That meant it was possible for a single shooter to shoot 1350 targets over the course of the week! To service all these events 320 traps were used, mostly from Laporte but also from other makers such as GP and Promatic.

Sponsors Laporte were a key supplier when it came to sourcing the 320 traps used

Looking after all that equipment and the competing shooters was an event staff of 160 people, all of which made for an event that needed to be planned with all the precision of a military operation.

Host club M&M is the home of 2016 World Sporting Champion Anthony Matarese, who reinforced his reputation as one of the industry’s hardest workers by making sure that both the ground and the event shone in the spring sunshine.

The thin blue clay line: New York’s finest were among those enjoying the challenge

Leading the British contingent were Martin Myers and World Champion Richard Bunning. Myers made it to the podium in the Long Bird Fitasc and 28-gauge events, came fourth in 20-gauge and finished sixth in the 100-target Fitasc event. He also managed a 183 in the main event, just one target ahead of Richard.

The standard of shooting in the US is very high and that was borne out by the winning score of 189 posted by former World Fitasc champion David Radulovich, which beat Mike Wilgus and Zach Keinbaum by a single target.

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