HFT Diary - The Gathering
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- Last updated: 21/02/2018
And relax! As another year ends, we’ve hit that time again, where we look back at the season’s results, and possibly rue those missed opportunities! The final jamboree in the HFT calendar was of course the Gathering, held this year at the superb venue that is Furnace Mill, near Kidderminster, in deepest and beautiful Shropshire.
Two sizeable and rather picturesque fishing lakes form the backdrop for this club, and with an onsite shop and a large wellappointed indoor catering area, it’s all very civilised. I scraped qualification for this end-of-season best of the best shoot-out, yet sadly couldn’t make the event on the day. Having shot at this ground earlier in the year though, I know only too well the fantastic target course that awaits. Sitting astride a top leafy ridge, shooting down across a pond, up into trees, down and over banks. It’s a stunning setting for sure, and truly challenging.
Top Shot Dave Ramshead, like a fine wine, just seems to improve with age, and his assured and measured approach has served him well these past couple of seasons. Emerging as the Gathering winner therefore came as no surprise, and with a superb score of 58 ex 60, he was the clear unruffled winner on the day. A return to form also saw Pete Sparkes sneak into third place, with a solid 56, just behind Daz Taylor, which given Pete’s early domination of the sport, should send a warning out to the rest of us!
Hull Cartridge sponsored this event, which meant some nice prizes in the raffle, and the highlight had to be a rather tasty HW77 in a laminate stock. Steve Cartledge took that one home, so he was certainly glad he made the trip!
1st Dave Ramshead 58ex60
2nd Daz Taylor 56
3rd Pete Sparkes 56
The Gathering is also the event where the trophies for the year’s final placings in the UKAHFT National Series are given out, and this year it was a tight tussle between three of the biggest names in the Sport. Justin Grice, if the rumours are correct is hanging up his shooting boots, has gone out in style, stepping down from the sport on a real high, as he topped the UKAHFT National listings for 2017, just ahead of James McLachlan, and that man Ramshead! A worthy leading pack, if ever I saw one.
Heartening too to see such a healthy band of juniors fighting it out throughout the season and here, notable achievers were Megan Reed, for taking the 9-13 year category, and of course Tom Willingham, who has proven that youth is no bar to success. Tom has pretty well dominated the 14-16 age group, but will soon be slugging it out against the adults. Is he afraid of what lies ahead? He’s probably not! Anyone who’s seen him in action knows that it’s the rest of us that need to be nervous!! (see table 2)
Open Class: 1st Justin Grice, 2nd James McLachlan, 3rd Dave Ramshead, 4th Daz Taylor, 5th Neil Wakelin, 6th Mark Wilson, 7th Elliott Reed, 8th Simon Vant, 9th Greg Morss, 10th James Hesson
9-13 Junior Class Winner: Megan Reed
14-16 Junior Class Winner: Tom Willingham
Ladies Class Winner: Michelle Parsons
Recoiling Class Winner: Gary Chillingworth
.22 Class Winner: Simon Howarth
Veterans Class Winner: Ken Pothecary
Top Club: Maldon (M.A.D.)
Top Manufacturer: Steyr
Of course, running alongside the original Series is the HFT Masters, so we all get to compete in two sets of shoots throughout the year. Look at the Masters final placings for the year, and that tricky customer, Dave Ramshead crops up again, this time heading the pack, making him surely one of the most consistently deadly competitors around now. So, are we looking at the 2018 World HFT Champion, only time will tell? (see table 3)
Open Class: 1st Dave Ramshead, 2nd Dan Measures, 3rd Simon Vant, 4th Andy Hope, 5th Liam Todd, 6th Wayne Marriott, 7th John Cooper, 8th Mick Daykin, 9th Dominic Taylor, 10th Roger Lait
Recoiling Class Winner: Kyle Hampton
.22 Class Winner: Kevin Turner
Ladies Class Winner: Katy Ellis
Junior Class Winner: Jess Ellis
Veterans Class Winner: Roger Arnold
Fancy getting involved in Hunter Field Target shooting in 2018? Well, for the those that do, the competition dates have now been released for both organisations. Look down the list, and they’re a fair spread about the country too, meaning a shoot is probably taking place not that far away from most of us. At the time of compiling this article, entries were not actually open, but keep an eye on the relevant websites, as the booking options will be available soon I’m sure. (see tables 4A and 4B)
Pre-Season 29th April Dunfermline
R1 20th May Misfits, Rutland
R2 23rd June Rivington Rifles, nr Bolton
R3 24th June Emley Moor, Yorks
R4 21st July M.A.D., Essex
R5 22nd July M.A.D.
R6 18th August Furnace Mill, Shropshire
R7 19th August Nomads
R8 23rd September Cambridge
R9 21st October Quarry Hunters, Wales
Round 1 22nd April Cambridge
Round 2 12th & 13th May Northern Shooting Show, Harrogate
Round 3 17th June Cloybank, Scotland
Round 4 28th July Emley Moor
Round 5 29th July Rivington
Round 6 2nd September Meon Valley, Hants
Round 7 28th October M.A.D., Essex
For pre-booking application forms and downloads regarding established UKAHFT events (where bookings are possible), and all the latest information on anything connected with Hunter Field Target shooting, look at the following websites: https://sites.google.com/ site/ukahft/ and www.shooting-the-breeze. com https://sites.google.com/site/whfta1/ In addition, details of HFT Masters events can be seen at www.hftmasters.com and www.whfto.com
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