Clay Shooting magazine is delighted to announce details of the 2013 Clay Shooting Classic, in association with EJ Churchill Shooting Ground, on 5-8 June, with substantial newly-acquired sponsorship from Zoli and its UK distributor, Edgar Brothers. The Macclesfield-based firm has been at the heart of the gun trade for many decades, and recently it has put substantial effort behind Zoli to bring its range of competition shotguns to the UK in a professional manner. For 2013, Edgar Brothers has committed just shy of £15,000 worth of guns into the prize fund, and with cartridge, cash and article prizes, the total for 2013 is some £35,000, making this the richest independent clay pigeon championship in Europe, as well as being the biggest.
For the last two years, EJ Churchill has hosted this fabulous event, using its grounds and the 5,000-acre West Wycombe estate, courtesy of Sir Edward Dashwood to full effect to put on a challenging, yet enjoyable competition.
The championship will be shot across two 75-bird courses – red and blue – with an array of stands on each for a 150-target total. It can be a gruelling challenge, of course, but the quality and variety of targets to savour makes this championship the most respected in the calendar. Virgin territory will once again be a feature of parts of the course – a trademark of the Classic event. The course aims to be challenging, but with a sense of balance – don’t expect to hit all the targets, at least not without thinking very carefully about the approach! The aim of the Classic is to provide a great day out in beautiful surroundings with a course that’s challenging but open to all abilities.
One aspect of the Classic that’s perhaps overlooked is the time it takes to clean up afterwards – and on areas of virgin turf, clearing up plastic wads is a labour-intensive exercise. For the first time in 2013, competitors shooting fibre-wadded cartridges exclusively throughout the course will get £5 cashback on the day. There’s no obligation to shoot fibre, though those who choose to do so will benefit from a lower entry fee.
This year, there’s an extra event in additional to the Services Classic – the Club Team Classic. This will give teams of three the chance to compete for a new-to-the-market Promatic Falcon trap worth £1,200 and a simulated game day courtesy of EJ Churchill. As in previous years, the Wednesday will also hold the Services Classic, with competitors from the Prison Service, Police, Fire Service, Royal Navy, Army and RAF in competition for medals and cartridge prizes courtesy of Eley Hawk. Wednesday competitors button and score for themselves, and take part at a subsidised rate. Please do remember that though the Wednesday competition is a test event, entering it precludes you from entering the main Classic. It’s intended to be a fun day with an element of competition, rather than the main championship.
The main event
Last year’s Classic saw over 1,000 shooters take part, with Matt Hance emerging as victor with 137 ex-150. The extensive prize fund saw cash prizes down to 10th place in the classes. This year’s prize structure sees new sponsors Edgar Brothers offering a Zoli Z-Extra Sport worth £6,886 to the overall High Gun, a Remington 1100 worth £1,700 to second place, as well as Hatsan Escort Xtreme semi-autos worth £599 to the winners of each class. Ladies, juniors, veterans and colts can win a Huglu .410 worth £899 – thats over £15,000-worth of gun prizes alone, before the cash prizes of nearly £15,000. Remember that the Classic operates a “if you’re in it, you win it” policy – so those in categories by dint of their age or gender have a chance to win a sponsored prize as well as any class prizes. Regular sponsors CCI International, Promatic, Polaris, Eley Hawk and Bremont watches are also supporting our event again, either with prizes or event services.
If you would like to shoot with friends, simply photocopy the entry form and send them together in the same envelope and the team will make every effort to get you shooting together.
Make a day of it
Not only will the Clay Shooting Classic give you the chance to compete against some of the best in our sport in a fabulous setting, there is a lot more than just the main event. Zoli will be present with a selection of its guns to view and try on the pool shoots, plus there will be a 25-target FITASC Sporting re-entry taking place over the four days, with a prize structure to be announced next issue. Also new for this year is a side-by-side category, with a Bremont BC-S2 watch going to the high gun in this category. More details as they emerge – and the Clay Shooting, EJ Churchill and Zoli teams look forward to seeing you there next June! So get the date in your diary, and ensure you get the slot you want by booking in early – roll on summer!