The Beretta World was held for the second time in the stunning grounds of the Holywell Estate, Hampshire; courtesy of the Earl and Countess of Clarendon. The weather did not seem able to make up its mind and so we were treated to rapidly changing interludes of glorious sunshine and sharp showers but this didn't seem to dampen anyone's enthusiasm.
Pete Corney and Bob Clarke, yet again designed an excellent, if slightly more challenging course, than the previous years. There was much discussion about this in the refreshment tent but the overall opinion seemed to be that everyone had relished the challenge! Once again the beautiful grounds had been utilized to the full with many imaginative stands; rabbits in the woods combined with pheasants emerging from the trees, or popping up from behind the walled garden and wonderful use of the rides between the trees, creating a really exciting event.
The competition itself gave everyone much to talk about. Steve Whitelock qualified on Friday with the highest score in qualifying, shooting 112 ex 120. He was joined by Brett Hand, just one clay behind. Richard Bunning, 2013 Beretta World Champion, qualified on Saturday, shooting 108 ex 120 as did John Lee, who also booked his place in the shoot off. Cheryl Hall just missed qualifying on Saturday when she shot 107 ex 120, unbelievably one target short of qualification again! The illusive place in the final, the first for a lady at The Beretta World, still just out of her reach.
On Sunday the competition was on to grab the final places in the last six. It was a close run thing with Scott Greenfield clinching one spot with a fabulous 111 ex 120 and John Barnett scooping up the other space having finished on 110. With only 5 shots separating all 6 it was gearing up for an intense final.
The weather threatened to ruin everything, but with black clouds looming over head a huge crowd gathered to watch the big guns do their stuff. John Lee treated us all to a master class in sporting shooting, straighting the 24 bird final in epic style. He never really missed a beat, killing every target emphatically. It really was amazing to watch. That left the others scrapping for Silver and Bronze with the places being decided right down to the last shot. Scott Greenfield managed to clinch Silver, just one shot ahead of last year's champion, Richard Bunning.
John Lee is having a great year, not only was he on top of The Beretta World but he was champion at the Benelli SP'Auto this year also! Although Cheryl Hall was thwarted again in her bid to win a major competition outright, she did however win the Ladies class, finishing 17 shots clear of her nearest competitor, Linda Grayson. Josh Keeble took the junior title with his score of 90 ex 120. This was a close competition with only 3 shots separating the top three. Barry Simpson had a better year than last year winning the Veterans class on count back ahead of Steve Renkel, both of whom shot 101 ex 120.
Once again we were inundated with positive feedback, with numerous people taking the time to personally thank the team from GMK for the excellent running of the shoot. Many people commented that they had only ever reached a stand to find one other squad in front of them. We're glad all 950 plus competitors had such a good time and we look forward to seeing them all again next year.