It was a red-letter weekend at ShootClay when the inaugural ShootClay Cup was staged in bright sunshine with a light breeze at the fantastic Ian Coley Shooting Ground near Cheltenham on 28th July. The 50 target sporting event was part of a wider open day, so there were some big crowds drawn to the ground for off-road driving, trade displays and various activities for the family.

Centre of attention was the sporting competition – with an impressive prize pool to focus everyone’s attention. The team at Ian Coleys and ShootClay only came together 10 days prior to staging the event, so it was great to see so many people at the shooting ground for an excellent day of entertainment and competition.

Six stands were laid out at the Shooting Ground including some testing driven targets, a mighty high left to right crosser and a tough pair of blaze targets in the woods – which gave the 90+ entrants a real test.

High Gun was Matt Hance who shot an excellent 48ex50 – dropping two of the crossers against the breeze – he took home the ShootClay Cup and an excellent prize of cash, cartridges, some ShootClay and Caesar Guerini kit and a place on a Clay Shooting Masterclass which he kindly donated to the highest scoring Junior. Runner-Up was Pat Lieske from the US who scored 46ex50 and will take a great prize package home.

The Ladies winner was Judith Gilder with 35ex50, she’ll receive a free place on a Shotgun and Chelsea Bun Club day sponsored by as well as one of their fetching pheasant t-shirts.

The Junior winner was Niall King from Wales who shot an excellent 31ex50 – he’ll take the upgraded prize of the Clay Shooting Masterclass with Ben Husthwaite and Phil Coley.

The final prize of the day was the ShootClay Shield – designed to recognise the novices in the field, six people were drawn randomly from the bottom half of the results for a competition style shoot-off.  It was a tense affair, with the six shooters taking on a new pair of tricky targets, a high left to right crosser and a quick battue.  Unusually, a husband and wife were in the group and inevitably, after 10 targets the couple were tied on 6 ex 10.

Into sudden death and Claire Maney hit the first sim pair dead, putting the pressure on husband Ian who shot just behind the battue and lost the shoot-off! Claire took home an excellent prize, including The ShootClay Shield and a pair of Muller chokes from as well as the coveted ShootClay polo shirt.

Feedback from those attending was that the ShootClay Cup was a major success, with excellent support from sponsors and the whole team at Ian Coley.  Plans are already underway to make this a permanent fixture on the clay shooters calendar.