A recap of 2017’s clay shooting triumphs

Ronnie Green at the British Schools and Young Shots

Can you believe it’s 2018? To celebrate the New Year, we take a nostalgic look back at some of the highlights from the 2017 season…

JANUARY

Better with age

GB Veterans flood the podium at the Olympic Trap Grand Prix in Malaga. Phil Sanders takes the gold, Mike Meggison the silver and Bob Agar the bronze.

FEBRUARY

You’ll be a man, my son

19-year-old Olympic Skeet star Jack Fairclough defends his gold medal at the Qatar Open. The unshakable Jack finishes the first day with a perfect 50ex-50, but on the way to the ground for the second day of competition he is rear-ended by a Cruiser. He still manages to retain his lead and finishes on 118ex-125, taking the gold for a second year.

So close and yet so far

Barbury Shooting School’s Huw Stephens narrowly misses out on the colossal prizes at the Sunseeker Boodles Final but still bagged the £5,000 commiseration prize.

Record breaker

DT shooter James Dedman kicks off a very successful year by winning bronze at the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi and sets a new Junior world record of 56.

MARCH

Success in Portugal

Matt Coward-Holley ventures into the world of Olympic Trap in style, taking silver at the Portugal Grand Prix after he finishes top in the qualification round. Fellow DTL alumna Andrea Swatts also takes silver in the Ladies, while Connor Gorsuch collects the Junior bronze.

He’s still got it

Fresh from a two year sabbatical while he nurtured his own ground, The Priory in Lincolnshire, Aaron Heading puts in 32 in the final to win the bronze at the ISSF Acapulco World Cup.

A discipline by any other name

Para Clay Target Shooting is renamed to Para Trap. Our typists are forever grateful.

Paul Turner at the Clay Shooting DTL Classic

APRIL

UK Champions

Ben Llewellin wins the Mens event at the Olympic Skeet UK Championship at the National Clay Target Shooting Centre with a whopping 124ex-125, while Amber Hill takes the Womens on 73ex-75. The Olympic Trap UK Championships at Griffin- Lloyd are far less predictable as Junior Ellie Seward claims the Womens title on 68 and Veteran Ian Peel takes the Mens on 121.

The Essex Master

The Essex Gun Masters kick off and as usual George Digweed is on an early squad. The shooting maestro holds the High Gun position from beginning to end, winning the title on 191ex-200.

A long way from home

Disappointment at the World English Sporting at the National Shooting Complex in San Antonio, Texas, as Ben Husthwaite takes the silver after missing out in the final to native Bobby Fowler.

MAY

Clay Shooting’s British Schools and Young Shots Championship takes place at Sporting Targets

Rising star Ronnie Green takes High Gun while one-to-watch Kirsten Vogel wins the Ladies and Bloxham sweeps the teams.

Death knell for Double Trap

On 9 June, the IOC approve the ISSF Executive Board’s recommendations, finally removing Mens Double Trap from the Olympic agenda and replacing it with a Mixed Trap event.

The face of the Isle of Man

The long-awaited stamps are released, commissioned by the Isle of Man Post Office and featuring Double Trap Olympian and proud Manxman Tim Kneale.

And so it begins

Paul Simpson is back on form, winning the English Open Sporting at Highwaymans 12 years after he last got his name on the trophy. Junior Georgia Moule takes the Ladies while Carl Bloxham wins the Vets and Taylor Hedgecock the Juniors.

Step forward for British disabled shooting

Following the amalgamation of the Paralympic World Class Programme, British Shooting becomes a member of the British Paralympic Association.

Step forward for World disabled shooting

World Shooting Para Sport announces that Para Trap is an official discipline after being approved by the International Paralympic Committee Governing Board. This begins a two-year review process of the discipline’s rules and classifications.

Killer Killander

Despite a low turnout, Freddie Killander put in an exellent performance, taking both the Olympic Skeet English Open and English Grand Prix titles with a pair of 94s.

Krieghoff DTL

Paul Chaplow wins the Krieghoff. Again. Anyone want to give us the odds on next year?

JUNE

Clay Shooting Classic

Phil Simpson puts in a 143 in the first wave of the Classic at Southdown and no one can catch him. Like the English Open, Phil first won the Classic 11 years ago.

They think it’s all over… it is now

The ISSF Extraordinary General Assembly, originally called for by Pakistan, is held on 26 June with 137 member federations in attendance, including 40 proxy ones. It is too late to save Double Trap, though – the IOC has made its decision and the ISSF president calls for unity.

DTL Weekend

Junior Welshman takes the Dougall Memorial with the only 300. Austin Coxhead wins the English Open after a tense shoot-off.

50 years of FITASC

The beautiful Lulworth Estate plays host to the 50th European FITASC Championship. Disappointment as Martin Myers slips into silver behind Frenchman Christophe Auvert but there is still plenty of gold. Steve Brightwell takes the Vets, John Bidwell the Super Vets and Henry Yound the Juniors, as well as victory for the GB Veteran and Junior teams.

Phil Simpson at the Clay Shooting Classic

JULY

At last

After several years of coming perilously close, Richard Bunning finally wins the Beretta World Sporting at Holywell Estate.

FITASC Worlds

Arnie Palmer and John Bidwell successfully return from the World Championships with gold medals in the Vets and Super Vets, as do the Veteran Team.

Brilliance overshadowed

Richard Faulds puts on a wonderful display to win what turns out to be a controversial ICTSF World Championships at Kelmarsh.

Junior gold

James Dedman takes the gold in the Junior Double Trap at the European Championships in Baku.

Shot in the dark

Despite hiccups leading to a very late finish, Austin Coxhead puts in back-to-back 300s to secure a spectacular win at the European DTL Championship in Scotland.

From Trap to Sporting

Mid Wales Shooting Centre wows Sporting afificionados as they hold the inaugural Perazzi Grand Prix. Arnie Palmer takes home a Perazzi High Tech for his 114ex-150.

AUGUST

How do you top a gold?

James Dedman follows his Baku success with not just another gold medal at the Junior World Cup in Porpetto, but a new Junior world record.

New kid on the block

Megan Jones blows the competition out of the water, winning the British Open with her first 100-straight.

Perfect Paul

Paul Turner wins the Clay Shooting DTL Classic at Bywell with awe-inspiring back- to-back 300s.

SEPTEMBER

British Open Sporting

Martin Myers continues his fantastic form, wining the British Open at West Midlands after a riveting Finals Day, while Tim Webster takes the British Open Sportrap.

Unstoppable

James Dedman picks up yet another gold medal at the ISSF World Championships in Moscow.

The Scouse of the rising gun

Peter Relph wins the Gamebore DTL GP at Mid Wales but still hasn’t fulfilled his promise of streaking down the layouts. Next year he has to shoot it in a mankini as punishment.

OCTOBER

Meet the heroes

Mainstream media coverage for the British Shooting Grand Final at Fauxdegla brings clay shooting to masses and gives fans the chance to watch their heroes compete. Success for Amber Hill, Ben Llewellin, Kirsty Barr and Aaron Heading, and a great showcase for the sport.


This article originally appears in the current issue (January 2018) of Clay Shooting magazine. For more great content like this, subscribe today at our secure online store www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk

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