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Schools graduate to Oxford - an article by Don Brunt

Schools graduate to Oxford - Don Brunt

Three years ago David Florent of the Oxford Gun Company started a small event called the schools challenge, it was designed to encourage the next generation of youngsters into the sport, to support them and to highlight the benefits of having shooting on the curriculum to schools. Today the Schools Challenge has become one of the leading lights on the school shooting calendar and this years event was in fact oversubscribed, over 160 entries from around the country took part competing as both individuals and teams, with ages ranging from prep school through to 6th form.

Of course it’s just another shoot and they do it solely for profit you might say but you get the feeling that it means more than that to David and the Florent family who put in a tremendous effort to make sure that the event gets bigger and better each year. For example the list of sponsors who donate prizes would look more appropriate for an English Open or other major than an inter schools shoot. In addition David has worked closely with Express to create a low recoil cartridge especially for use by youngsters and this Stealth load kills well enough that it has already straighted the 50 bird sporting at the ground.

The day of the competition itself dawned wet and grey but the high spirits of the arriving competitors were not dampened an iota and by 10.15 the first rotation of squads were out on the 8 stand 60 bird layout, it soon became clear that the next generation of shooters are no slouches when it comes to busting clays with some good scores emerging early on. Millfield School from Somerset have a habit of dominating such events and fielded a large contingent of shooters, however as their sunny afternoon round progressed it became apparent that this time the win would be beyond their grasp. In fact in the team event it was the A team from Old Swinford Hospital in the West midlands who took the win by a convincing 12 target margin from Wellington College while Bradfield College took third place. A consolation though was on the cards for Bradfield in the form of Ben Bowley who took victory in the Individual competition with a creditworthy 49 ex 60. Millfield managed to salvage a little pride thanks to the strong performance of Georgia Boscawen who shot her way to the top of the individual ladies leader board, obviously inspiring her team mates to greater heights as Millfield Girls also secured the ladies team trophy. However a special mention must go to Oliver Meekins whose victory in the Prep school class was courtesy of a fantastic score of 51, the best score of the entire day.

For information on next years event contact David on 01844 238308 or visit www.theschoolschallenge.co.uk

Score
10thWorth School B153
9thSeaford College Senior154
8thMillfield School Girls163
7thLord Williams School179
6thWorth School A180
5thMillfield School Boys B191
4thMillfield School Boys A192
3rdBradfield College A193
2ndWellington College A198
1stOld Swinford Hospital A210


Senior Individuals ResultsScore
3rdOliver Wall, Kingsley 6th Form College46
2ndChris Whitingham, Seaford College47
1stBen Bowley, Bradfield49


Senior Ladies ResultsScore
3rdAndy Williams, Millfield School37
2ndRuth Baver, Tudor Hall38
1stGeorgia Boscawen, Millfield School43
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