Local Dumfriesshire Hunt Pony Club members, old and new, are having success in the sport of target shooting. This is one of four disciplines the athletes undertake when competing in Tetrathlon (shooting, running, swimming and cross country riding).
Kirsty and Jess Liddon joined the Dumfriesshire Hunt branch of the Pony Club during 2001 when the outbreak of foot and mouth meant that no riding events could take place. So to keep themselves busy they went to shoot training organised by Michael Jones, who ran the training at Dalton courtesy of Jamie Carruthers. The girls picked up the sport quickly and were soon shooting maximum 1000 scores. After competing for Scottish and UK teams in tetrathlon they both started to focus on the shooting discipline itself. This took them to competitions all over the world including Kazan, Russia in 2013 for the World University Games.
Jess has stepped up a gear and currently competes in both 10m Air Pistol and 25m Sports Pistol events. She has recently returned from a 7 week competition tour which included the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in Australia shooting for Team Scotland. Jess competed in both of her disciplines, coming 10th in the Sport Pistol event. She then went to South Korea for an ISSF World Cup competing for GBR, where the level of competition was higher still. Her next goal is the World Championships early next year; if selected she will be returning to South Korea.
The Dodd sisters, Kerstin and Kyla, were also first taught how to shoot and coached by Michael Jones and they have also excelled. They too have worked their way from Tetrathlon into pure shooting, being selected for a wealth of competitions such as the Junior Internationals at Bisley, as well as international competitions in Holland, bringing back a horde of medals. In addition both girls have represented Lockerbie Academy at British Shooting's Schools Pistol Championship after qualifying at the Scottish regional event. Here Kyla convincingly won her division showing her talent and ability to shine under pressure. At the National final Kerstin held her nerve to win the individual event and together, with Joe Argo, the girls brought home gold in the team event. Kerstin’s most recent accomplishment is being selected to compete for GBR at the Junior World Cup in Suhl Germany later this month.
This year a new generation of athletes from Dumfriesshire Hunt have taken a keen interest in the sport of tetrathlon and have started training on a regular basis on the same premises as the Liddons and Dodds. Having given up competing, Kirsty has taken on the role of coaching with support from Tim and Morag Liddon. Some of these youngsters are showing good promise and joined in on the celebratory picture.
To put the success into context Jess is ranked 1st in GB Sport Pistol and 2nd for Air Pistol, while Kerstin is ranked 2nd in Women’s Junior Air Pistol and Kyla ranked 5th. We wish to thank Michael Jones who sparked our interest in the sport and who taught us how to shoot, and also Jamie Carruthers for his support in allowing us to use his range. We look forward to seeing all of our athletes going on to reach their full potential – whatever and wherever that may be.
Report and Pictures by Tim Liddon, STS Pistol AMG Chair