Can you shoot like lord ripon?
This is your chance to pit yourself against the feats of Edwardian shooting legend Lord Ripon. With three guns, two loaders, a cloud of clays and 1,000 guineas up for grabs, how many can you shoot in a minute?
n his book Record Bags and Shooting Records, first published in 1922, Sir Hugh Gladstone relates how Lord Ripon assured him he had once shot 28 pheasants in a minute at Sandringham, timed by a friend. This achievement – together with the commonly repeated assertion that the Marquis also once had seven birds dead in the air at the same moment – were cited as evidence to support his lordship’s nomination as the finest game shot in England by Baily’s Magazine in September 1903. While others, such as Lord Walsingham, Sir Harry Stonor, HRH Prince of Wales and the two Duleep Singhs all made the top 10 for marksmanship, it was generally accepted that for a deadly combination of speed and accuracy, Lord Ripon was your man.
Jonathan Ruffer in The Big Shots repeats the tales of these two famous feats but also demonstrates his lordship’s skill was not merely natural talent. He records how Edith Balfour, when staying at Panshanger for the shooting and in search of a book to combat sleeplessness, found Lord Ripon practising changing guns with his loaders in the library. Apparently he was miffed at being spotted. Or perhaps at being interrupted.
Can you beat him?
The question is whether there is anyone who can match the Marquis in the field today and win 1,000 guineas into the bargain? And to that end the West London Shooting School (WLSS) has established The Ripon Challenge. WLSS will provide two skilled loaders. ASI, the importer of AYA and Rizzini fine continental guns, has contributed a trio of side-by-side guns for the
“Top performers will be invited to participate in a grand final.”
purpose, and the sky above the famous Ruislip shooting ground will be filled with clay pheasants to present the opportunity to match, or indeed to exceed Lord Ripon’s score.