Mark Winser shoots a flawless round at the Royal Berkshire Shooting School to walk away with the biggest prize in clayshooting history
In a thrilling final at the Royal Berkshire Shooting School’s Ultimate One Challenge, shooter Mark Winser this morning shot an astonishing 25/25, beating the 18 other finalists and taking home the keys to a £148,000 Range Rover LWB from sponsors Stratstone – the biggest prize in UK clayshooting history.
Mark, a keen game Shot and a regular clay instructor and competitor, maintained his composure throughout, telling Shooting Times that he even had the presence of mind to swap to a slower pair of cartridges for the final pair as he had noticed, in qualifying that the last pair on an extraordinarily challenging layout were catching out both him and other competitors.
“It’s not just me that’s won really – I genuinely feel that it’s clay shooting that’s won.” said after the event, “This is an opportunity to show the public how exciting shooting can be and how good our top shooters are. I knew when I came today that it could be won by someone and I’m happy to prove it!”
“We’ve actually got another Land Rover on order,” he confessed, “but I’ve told my other half that she can have that. She did ask this morning if she should come with me today, but I told her not to worry as it’s a long way to come if I missed a few clays!”
Dylan Williams, managing director of the Royal Berkshire Shooting School, was thrilled with the success. “This is probably the culmination of all our efforts over the past 24 years in raising the profile and the professionalism in the sport of clay shooting and I can think of no worthier winner than Mark Winser. We are delighted and extend our most sincere congratulations to him, with immense thanks to all of our sponsors.”
Mark’s score was six ahead of second placed Will Thatcher, who scored 19, with Des Sturgess, Chris Childerhouse and Ed Solomons all scoring 18.
Such is the difficulty of the challenge, the rules stipulated that the Range Rover would only be won outright if a shooter successfully hit at least 23 out of 25 in the final, placing intense pressure on the competitors on the stand.
The sequence, which has been shot by over 600 shooters in qualification at the Royal Berkshire Shooting School over the past 10 weeks, is hand-trapped and the shooter only calls for the first pair. The remaining targets then follow in quick succession, with the shooter receiving sufficient time to reload, but no more. Shooters can only use 26 cartridges in total, with the opportunity to shoot at only one clay twice.
Will Thatcher, who came in second, asked: “Do I win a space saver wheel or a keyring?”