It was a real pleasure to be at EJ Churchills shooting the World English Sporting Championships for the CPSA’s Pull! Magazine this year, because it was a bit of a homecoming for me.
I was brought up in Hazlemere, which is just north of High Wycombe, I then lived at Marlow for a number of years, and it was in that area that my shooting career began. Shooting at grounds in and around High Wycombe and once or twice at Churchills, so this assignment felt very comfortable – I was home!
I was assigned to attend Chuchills for the last day, Finals Day of the competition, to gather a collection of images of the day for use in the magazine. There was the obvious need for images to illustrate the official write up on the competition and there would be times through the year when these pictures would be used for other features.
It was definitely a “competition of two halves”.
Churchill’s had, unsurprisingly laid on some absolutely stunning targets on the sporting layouts. These were away from the shooting ground in the beautiful surroundings of the Dashwood Estate. Shuttles of 4x4s ferried shooters between the hospitality at the shooting ground and the start points of either the Blue or the Red course. High birds, low birds, over the fields or through the trees – the variety was awesome.
For the Sporting Grand Final and the Blaser Trophy we saw a “decamp” to what can only be described as the back garden of West Wycombe House, the home of the Dashwoods and the centre of the Dashwood Estate. Team England gave us a glimpse of hope with a victory in the Blaser Trophy, but hope faded in the Sporting with Anthony Matarese shooting his socks off.