After a gruelling selection process, three of Cornwall's top shooter have qualified for the Down The Line England clay pigeon shooting team. Dave Sleeman, Rachel Bird and Simon Ede picked up their England badges at a presentation ceremony at Bywell Shooting Ground, Northumberland on Sunday evening. Dave Sleeman is an old hand now, collecting his fifth England cap. Rachel is collecting her second consecutive England cap and Simon Ede is delighted to have attained his first.
For these skilled marksmen, and all others taking part, the selection process began in August 2011. Each shooter had to submit their four best scores from any three shooting grounds across the country, shot between August 2011 and April 2012. The sport's governing body, the CPSA then invited the top 120 shooters to a two day selection shoot held at the Southern Counties Shooting Ground in Dorset in May. The weather was abysmal and left the scoreboard wide open. The shooters then attended a second selection shoot held at Bywell on the 16th and 17th of June. Once all the guns had been lowered it was a nerve-racking wait as the scores from all four days were added together. Through the four days of selection shoots each gun shot 400 targets for a maximum score of 1200 points. The top 25 senior shooters, 5 ladies, 5 veterans and 5 juniors will now go on to shoot for the England team at the Home International Championships at the Mid Wales Shooting Centre in Trefeglwys on the 20th of July.