Clay Shooting

Club Call: Mickley Hall

Lara Dale tells Jasper Fel­lows what it takes to turn a pig farm into a top shoot­ing school

- John Barnett · Iceland · Belgium · Austria · England · Mickley

It’s been eight years since John Bar­nett and his son, Scott, took it upon them­selves to turn a Cheshire pig farm into one of the coun­try’s top shoot­ing schools. Hav­ing both been elite shoot­ers on the world stage, they al­ready had an intimate knowl­edge of what it takes to train the best, but it is hard not to be im­pressed with what they have achieved in such a short time.

“We started off with just a static car­a­van for a club house and a few stands out in the field,” ex­plains Lara, “then we pro­gressed into a log cabin, and in 2018 we fin­ished con­vert­ing one of the old barns into a gun room and shop.”

Aside from the ex­cel­lent new fa­cil­i­ties, many shoot­ers find them­selves at Mickley Hall for the world-class tu­ition on of­fer. “Head In­struc­tors John and Scott Bar­nett have both shot for Team GB and Eng­land dur­ing their ca­reers,” says Lara. “With their wealth of knowl­edge on all things clay shoot­ing, they en­deav­our to im­prove even top level shoot­ers.” Don’t worry if you aren’t quite ready to take on the world in high end com­pe­ti­tion, though – there is some­thing for ev­ery­one at Mickley Hall. “We like to have a chat with our shoot­ers be­fore the lessons starts,” ex­plains Lara, “that way we can tai­lor our in­struc­tion to match each in­di­vid­ual client, from first timer to sea­soned pro.” It’s not un­usual to see some of the coun­try’s top shots up at Mickley Hall, either tak­ing ad­van­tage of the tu­ition on of­fer or tak­ing part in one of the many com­pe­ti­tions held there. This June, for ex­am­ple, saw the shoot­ing school host the Eley Grand Prix, where com­peti­tors bat­tled it out across 12 Su­per Sport­ing stands spread across the es­tate. “It was a lot of hard work for the staff here,” says Lara, “but we love to host com­pe­ti­tions like this. It’s fan­tas­tic to see all the dif­fer­ent styles of shoot­ing on dis­play and there was a re­ally great turn out too, which makes the hard work worth it.”

For those look­ing to take part in a spot of com­pe­ti­tion, Mickley Hall hold a CPSA reg­is­tered 100-tar­get event on the last Wed­nes­day of ev­ery month with some fan­tas­tic prizes up for grabs. Famed Ital­ian gun mak­ers Cae­sar Guerini have been known to hold demo days at the shoot­ing school too, so it’s well worth keep­ing an eye on the web­site for the lat­est news and events.

If the idea of a new gun tick­les your fancy, then look no fur­ther than the ex­ten­sive on­site gun­room and shop. With over 300 guns in stock, both new and sec­ond hand, you’re sure to find some­thing that works for you. “For just £40 an hour, Scott can be there to help our clients achieve per­fect gun fit. This in­cludes mak­ing al­ter­ations where pos­si­ble, pat­tern­ing and head­ing out onto the stands to break a few clay as well as a bit of train­ing to en­sure each client finds the per­fect gun for them,” ex­plains Lara. “We’ve got all your favourite coun­try cloth­ing brands in our cloth­ing show room too. As well as our on­site café, with sweet treats, fresh baguettes and more to keep you go­ing all day.”

Any shooter look­ing to boost their game would be hard pressed to find a venue bet­ter than Mickley Hall Shoot­ing School. With their knowl­edge­able staff, pas­sion for in­struc­tion and abil­ity to pro­fes­sion­ally kit out and train top shots and novices alike, they have put them­selves firmly on our list of grounds to visit in 2019.

“They have put them­selves on our list of grounds to visit in 2019”

 ??  ?? Chris Childer­house shoot­ing the Eley Grand Prix at Mickley Hall ear­lier this year
Chris Childer­house shoot­ing the Eley Grand Prix at Mickley Hall ear­lier this year
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 ??  ?? ABOVE Lara Dale ex­plains they like to tai­lor in­struc­tion to the in­di­vid­ual client
ABOVE Lara Dale ex­plains they like to tai­lor in­struc­tion to the in­di­vid­ual client
 ??  ?? ABOVE Mickley Hall has come a long way in the eight years since it was the site of a pig farm
ABOVE Mickley Hall has come a long way in the eight years since it was the site of a pig farm

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