If ever there was (and still is to a certain extent) a male dominated sport, it would be shooting. Having watched my brother shoot rabbits on the family farm when we were younger, at the age of 14shoot I asked Mum if I could try a local, small game day.

The Guns consisted of mainly local farmers and builders, all male of course, but all were charming and welcoming. I was so engrossed in this amazing sport, the fact that the all-male line of Guns were all very experienced shots melted any apprehension away when my first bird folded.  I knew from that minute, I was hooked!

Since my first shoot I have attended a handful of ladies days. These were  such good fun and are a great way to get into shooting .  I would heartily recommend any lady (or teenage girl) wishing to try shooting  to book onto a Ladies Day.  Ripley Castle have put on Ladies Days for several years and they provide a very relaxed and fun atmosphere.  Having a line of lady Guns  takes away the competitive pressure somehow, and allows you to relax and build confidence in your shooting skills.

As a lifelong horsewoman, and having decided not to take my horse down to uni, I needed an alternative pastime. I decided to sign up for the clay team in my first year at RAU.  I was thrilled to make the team in my first year . Being part of a team offers so much to an individual.  Team spirit, a new friendship circle and lots of socialising. We all support each other, through failures or success, of which we have an impressive track record. The RAU team shoots at Barbury regularly and we have a great time meeting every Wednesday for practice before weekend competitions such as St Andrews.

Shooting is one of the few sports where there‘s a level playing field. I believe as women we can do pretty much anything men can do, so come on girls – pick up your guns and we‘ll show the boys how it’s done! #thisgirlcan

Grace Grant – Ladies Shooting Captain 2016/17 –The Royal Agricultural University

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