The first Ladies Day at Roxburghe Shooting School got off to a flying start at the weekend with a sell-out clay pigeon shooting event.
The school was putting on its first ever Ladies’ Day over where 25 women from across the country hit their targets at the new event designed to attract both beginners and experienced clay pigeon shooters.
Led by the coaching team including Tracy Meston – the UK’s only female CPSA (Clay Pigeon Shooting Association) Level 3 Coach and Tutor– the event began with breakfast at the Roxburghe Hotel Golf Club followed by a day of clay pigeon instruction, competition and a sporting flush finale.
Participants ended the day with a luxury afternoon tea of artisan sandwiches and delicacies at the hotel’s Chez Roux restaurant founded by legendary Chef Albert Roux, OBE.
Tracy Meston, senior shooting coach, said: “The first event has been a massive success and has been a great opportunity for participants to experience the recent upgrades made to the school.”
“Due to the event’s popularity, we are already working on the preparation for the next one and look forward to welcoming the next group keen to experience our exciting sport in such a stunning location.
“We hope to make this a regular event.”
The shooting school, based in the grounds of the Roxburghe Hotel & Golf Course in Kelso has recently undergone numerous upgrades including the introduction of new traps, stands and pathways.
The connections with the Roxburghe Estate have proved helpful.
Tracy said that the renovation of the tracks and trap setups since she took over last year were possible because of local skills and resources.
“The sawmill here provided the skillsets and the woods for the renovation, so that was very helpful, and thankfully with all the storms and bad weather recently, everything is still standing!”
Remembering how she first got into clay pigeon shooting, for Tracy, means remembering a promise that has dictated her approach to coaching novice shots ever since.
“I went on a hen weekend down in East Anglia,as you do,” she said, “and in the hotel there was a poster advertising shooting lessons, which I was really up for.
“But then when we got there, we ladies, we were given this big, 12 bore shotgun , which was obviously to large and too heavy for most of us.
“And the instructor pointed us all at these really difficult targets which we had very little chance of hitting,which was very discouraging.”
Tracy continued: “When I became a coach, I swore that I would never do things that way, that I would make sure that people had the right equipment for them, and not to overface them.
“That’s why, I feel, we are becoming so popular with everybody, from little children right up to big, burly soldiers.”
“We’re hoping to set up a children’s department in the near future, and try to tie their lessons in with other things the region offers, like horse-riding, racing and going out on the river.
“I feel that if kids experience things like that during a day spent outside, then late they will return to those activities, and they will want to learn more about them and keep doing them.”