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Last year’s cham­pion beat stiff op­po­si­tion to re­tain his crown at High Lodge.

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Richard Faulds re­tained his Bri­tish Open English Sport­ing Cham­pion ti­tle at High Lodge on 1 Septem­ber, shoot­ing 72 ex-75 in the morn­ing’s Fi­nal, then shoot­ing 22 ex-25 in a thrilling Su­per Fi­nal against Stu­art Clarke, Josh Ben­nion, Paul Thomas, Ge­orge Dig­weed and Sam Green.

Richard went into the Su­per Fi­nal one tar­get be­hind the leader, Stu­art Clarke, but took the lead on the first of the three stands, miss­ing just the last tar­get out. He straighted the next stand, in­creas­ing his lead to two. De­spite stum­bling on the last stand, shot from a high plat­form on the Spor­trap lay­out be­hind the High Lodge club­house, he man­aged to beat Stu­art by a sin­gle tar­get and re­tain the Bri­tish Open ti­tle.

“I’m ab­so­lutely de­lighted to suc­cess­fully de­fend the ti­tle this year at High Lodge and come away as Cham­pion again,” said Richard. “I’d like to say well done to John Bid­well and his team for putting on a fab­u­lous event. They’ve utilised some new ground very well, the tar­gets were fan­tas­tic, and ev­ery­thing ran like clock­work,” he con­tin­ued, go­ing on to thank his spon­sors Lyal­vale Ex­press, Cae­sar Guerini, Pro­matic and Pilla. Richard took the Ju­niors ti­tle at the Bri­tish Open in 1991 and 1994, first win­ning the over­all Cham­pi­onship in 1998. He took the ti­tle again in 2005, then last year af­ter a gap of 12 years – and now 2019 makes it two years in a row.

The win marked the end of this year’s ma­jor com­pe­ti­tions for Richard, with just a hand­ful of county and inter-county events left this sea­son as game shoot­ing comes to the fore. Im­me­di­ately af­ter shoot­ing the Bri­tish, he was head­ing north for grouse shoot­ing. It’s been a good sea­son for Richard, who can count the Clay Shoot­ing Clas­sic among his wins in 2019. “It’s al­ways nice to get on the podium at a World Cham­pi­onship, and I’ve man­aged to do that twice this year – sil­ver at the Fi­tasc at Churchill’s, then third at the World English in Chicago a cou­ple of weeks ago. There’s life in the old dog yet!”

More than 1,000 shoot­ers com­peted at this year’s Bri­tish Open Sport­ing over the four days Wed­nes­day-satur­day, shoot­ing 120 birds over 15 stands on a spe­cially de­signed course at High Lodge, un­der the watch­ful eye of ground owner John Bid­well, him­self a for­mer Bri­tish Open Cham­pion.

At the end of each day the top five shoot­ers from each class – AAA, AA, A, B, and C – and the top three from each cat­e­gory – Ladies, Se­niors, Veter­ans, Ju­niors, Colts, Dis­abled Stand­ing and Dis­abled Sit­ting – were in­vited to shoot the 75-tar­get Fi­nal on Sun­day. The top six scores from the Fi­nal qual­i­fied to shoot for the ti­tle in the Su­per Fi­nal.

In the event, there was an ex­tra bat­tle to make it to the Su­per Fi­nal, with only Clarke, Faulds and Green qual­i­fy­ing out­right, and six shoot­ers tied on 70 for the last three places. Ge­orge Dig­weed straighted the stand to ce­ment his place in the Su­per Fi­nal, to be joined af­ter a fur­ther round by Josh Ben­nion and Paul Thomas. The crowd that had gath­ered fell silent as the six Su­per Fi­nal­ists lined up for the last lap – and the rest is his­tory.

In the cat­e­gories, Ge­or­gia Moule won Ladies, Wil­liam Page won Colts, Josh Ben­nion won Ju­niors, Stu­art Clarke won

Veter­ans, Paul Bai­ley won Dis­abled Sit­ting, and Paul Sadler won Dis­abled Stand­ing. In Classes, Sam Green won AAA, Paul Thomas won AA, Michael Neate won A, Wil­liam Page won B, and Phillip Rust was the win­ner of C.

At the prize­giv­ing, bathed in glo­ri­ous sun­shine in front of the High Lodge club­house, CPSA CEO Iain Parker paid trib­ute to John Bid­well and the ground staff, as well as the spon­sors who had made the event pos­si­ble: Rizzini and Game­bore who pro­vided a gun and car­tridges re­spec­tively as prizes, and Musto.

For full re­sults, see the web­site at cpsa.co.uk

 ??  ?? Josh Ben­nion was third over­all, and took the Ju­niors prize
Josh Ben­nion was third over­all, and took the Ju­niors prize
 ??  ?? Ge­orge Dig­weed, who last won the ti­tle in 2011, shoots-off in front of the crowd
Ge­orge Dig­weed, who last won the ti­tle in 2011, shoots-off in front of the crowd
 ??  ??
 ??  ?? Ge­or­gia Moule took the Ladies tro­phy for the third year in a row
Ge­or­gia Moule took the Ladies tro­phy for the third year in a row
 ??  ?? Richard Faulds lifts the his­toric Tele­graph Cup for the fourth time in his ca­reer
Richard Faulds lifts the his­toric Tele­graph Cup for the fourth time in his ca­reer
 ??  ?? Sam Green won the Spor­trap the pre­vi­ous day, and took High Gun in AAA Class
Sam Green won the Spor­trap the pre­vi­ous day, and took High Gun in AAA Class
 ??  ??

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