Everyone’s a winner at the final of the 2019 Rizzini Series, but Richard Faulds stands out above them all, reports James Marchington.
Thank goodness we weren’t doing this yesterday! That was the abiding feeling at the big final of the 2019 Rizzini Series, held at Honesberie Shooting School’s competition ground at Hill Farm, Watergall, six miles down the road from their main ground.
The previous day had seen hurricane force winds and driving rain, but that seemed like a bad memory as finals day, Sunday 3 November, dawned calm and dry. Before long the sun burst through and shooters were reaching for their shades as they tackled the 24-target Sportrap final layout.
There were some very attractive prizes on offer – unusually the class and category prizes are every bit as valuable as the top level prizes, with a Rizzini BR110 gun to be won in every category and class, along with Gamebore cartridges, Vario earplugs and even the odd bottle of Honesberie’s own brand of sloe gin.
The prize structure is certainly a big incentive for juniors, ladies and the lower classes who rarely get the opportunity to win a gun.
Just competing today was an achievement in itself. Honesberie’s Tom Howe explains: “We’ve had ten qualifying shoots this year. Each one was 100 Sporting, and to qualify for today’s final you had to win your class or category.
“There are cash prizes down to third place on each of the registered shoots, and if you’re determined to qualify for the final and don’t make it you can keep coming back.”
He continues: “The Rizzini Series has gone very well this year, it’s proved very popular, and I think it adds something to our registered shoots and encourages people to come along. The prizes are a big draw, and we’re really grateful to Rizzini for putting up the prizes.”
With a long list of categories and classes to decide, Tom and ground owner Nick Hollick started on the dot and pushed through with smooth efficiency. First up were the juniors, with nine shooting in two heats. Josh Bennion, shooting in heat 2, took the honours with a excellent 21.
Tom Howe comments: “ Obviously the AA shots are always interesting to watch and everyone flocks to see them shoot, but watching the juniors shoot to such a high standard is really good too. The ladies did themselves proud as well – it’s just nice to watch good shooting across the board.”
After the juniors and ladies finals it was the turn of the veterans, with the list of well known names including Arnie Palmer and Carl Bloxham. That contest too drew a good crowd, and was eventually won by Adrian Balham with 21 – which was turning out to be the score to beat, having won the first three categories.
The Honesberie team moved through the class finals with such efficiency that we were soon ahead of schedule. S Wyper took C Class, S Green won B, and D Taylor A. As Tom had predicted, a crowd gathered to watch the AA shots take up their positions. Heat 1 threw up no fewer than four 21s, from M Myers, M Ivey, C Childerhouse and M Rouse. Would we see a shoot-off for the top spot?
Richard Faulds soon put paid to that idea, shooting a superb 23 ex-24 in heat 2 and taking the win outright. A shoot-off settled the positions, with Chris Childerhouse taking second place and Martin Myers third.
Richard was thrilled with his win. “Yes I’m very pleased,” he said. “At least the weather is a bit better today. Yesterday I was shooting partridges on the Isle of Wight in 119 mile an hour winds. I think some of them are probably still airborne!”
He added: “It’s been a good few months for me. I was looking on the CPSA website and since the beginning of May there’s only two shoots I haven’t won. One was the Sportrap at Southdown, and the other was the British Open Sportrap at High Lodge. It shows there’s life in the old dog!”