At Southdown, we have sponsored shooters spanning different abilities and ages, but we support and champion all of their successes. One shooter in particular has been going from strength to strength recently, so we caught up with Guy Franklin to find out more about his highlights of the year so far.
So Guy, tell us about what competitions you’ve shot in recently.
With things being busy on the farm at this time of year, I’ve had to be selective with the competitions I’ve entered, and practice has been limited to Late Night Thursdays at Southdown. The three major competitions I shot in the last couple of months were the English Open Sportrap, where I shot a score of 96/100 on the second squad out on Saturday morning. It was a tough shoot and this score held high gun right up until late Sunday afternoon where Kevin Howland shot a magnificent 97. I finished the shoot as runner up.
Then I had the British Masters FITASC; a fantastic shoot put on by Steve Lovatt at Westfield shooting ground the weekend before the FITASC world championships. I shot a 96 on the first day followed by a 91 the second day to finish 187/200 and in 3rd place – just a single clay off the shoot-off for 1st! It was a great warm up for the Worlds though.
The World FITASC Championships was the biggest, most prestigious shoot on the sporting calendar. I was extremely proud to have made the GBR men’s team for the second consecutive year and to shoot alongside Nick Hendrick, George Digweed and Stewart Cumming. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any kind of rhythm or consistency over the 4 days and eventually scrapped my way to finish on 178. Not terrible but a few light of where I felt I should be. That’s shooting for you though, lots of lessons learnt and I will hopefully be a stronger shooter for it in the future.
So what’s been your favourite part of 2019 so far?
My shooting highlight of 2019 would have to be at the UK FITASC Championships held at Garlands. After 2 hard fought days on some fantastic targets I found myself tied for the Silver medal with Struan Brodie, a fantastic shot and top bloke. A shoot-off was staged to decide the placings and in front of a good crowd I managed to hold my nerve and shoot a perfect 25 straight to take the silver medal.
Would you say there are any areas you are looking to improve on in the future?
I’m always looking to improve myself as a shooter; the game is always evolving with new target presentations and ever increasing scores so if you stand still you’ll soon get left behind. I try and put myself out of my comfort zone on a regular basis whether that be by shooting new grounds, major competitions or practicing targets that I know I struggle on. You can learn twice as much from a missed target than a hit one so it’s important to constantly test yourself and try new things.
And have you got anything exciting coming up for the rest of the year?
The next major challenge for me this year is the World Sporting Championships held at Northbrook shooting ground in Chicago. I was fortunate enough to get a late call up to the England Team, which will be my first cap. It’s always been a goal of mine to shoot in America so to do it with an England vest on alongside some fantastic team mates and friends will be extra special. Fingers crosses I can do the badge proud and bring back some silverware!
We will be rooting for Guy and wish him the best of luck at the World Sporting Championships!