WARRNAMBOOL Field and Game shooters have proved themselves to be among the best in Australia.
Ben Carter, Neville Dowd, Robert Buckley and Thomas Buckley won medals at Field and Game Australia championships at Kingston, South Australia.
Carter and Dowd were the best performed of the 28 Warrnambool shooters who crossed the border for the titles on Saturday and Sunday.
Carter fired 130/150 to win silver in A grade, the second-highest class at the titles.
Dowd won silver in B grade with 120/150. His score included a 64/75 on Saturday, the best in his grade.
Carter, who has been shooting clay targets for four years after moving to Warrnambool, said he was pleased with the result.
“It was a real consistent shoot he said.
“I won the nationals two years ago in B grade and now I’ve got second in A grade.”
Dowd was likewise rapt, describing the medals as the highlight of his career.
“I’ve really shot above my grade this weekend. I was more relaxed, had a doesn’t-matter-what-happens attitude,” he said.
“I’ve only been shooting clay targets for six years. We did a lot of conservation shooting, foxes and that.
“I said to the president at the time I don’t know what I’m going to do in the off-season. He said come out and try the clays.
“Six years later I’m president. I really love it out there.”
The Buckleys — father Robert and son Thomas — failed to place overall but were among the best marksmen on either day.
Robert shot 71/75 on Saturday to claim silver in AA grade. Factoring in his handicap of three, he won gold with a net score of 74.
Thomas, 15, produced his best shooting on Sunday, scoring 61/75.
His effort, off a handicap of 20, gave him a net score of 81 — the best in juniors and second-best overall for the day.
Thomas said the result was a “career highlight”.
His father introduced him to shooting two years ago.
Thomas said he came out on Sunday “a different person with a different shooting style”.
“I picked up a few more targets. It was definitely a great experience for next year or the year after when I go back,” he said.
Warrnambool Field and Game also had a four-member team place second in the teams’ event on Sunday.
The team included Daryl Quigley (AA), Simon Gunther (A), Neville Dowd (B) and Kate Gunther (women).