Back in 2008 the year of the 10th Krieghoff DTL Championship, we wanted to develop the Friday event.  Entries for this had been steadily growing, initially from those wanting some pre-event practice, but it was clear there was demand for something more.  We were also mindful that many shooters seldom experience the pressure of a shoot off, especially today when the easy option is to add and divide, thus covering your odds.  If you never take part in a shoot off you are ill prepared against the day when you must.  A format that increased the odds of a shoot off was high on the list.

Krieghoff in the USA had recently sponsored an event where finalists were chosen from random numbers and we decided to steal that idea and adapt it.  We christened the event Lucky Numbers, a title which has stuck.  The format would be simple, at the end of the day’s competition we would draw two numbers between 0 and 9.  Every shooter whose score ended in either number would go through to a shoot off.  The shoot off would be held in classes and the last man standing in each class would take one of the five places in the final shoot off.  The fifth place would be a wild card drawn from the whole entry list.  The wild card would be drawn after the class shoot off had taken place.   This had the added benefit of keeping everyone on the ground because leaving meant loosing the chance of taking the wild card fifth place.  You may have noticed that I am keen to keep shooters on the ground to the end.  A shoot off without an audience does not have nearly the pressure and one of the aims was to give shooters experience of this.

My original rule was that if the person drawn as Wild Card was not present the place was forfeit and that portion of the prize fund was shared amongst the remaining four.  I still personally believe that is how it should be but it was not overly popular with the competitors and Krieghoff preferred that we kept drawing names until we found someone who was still on the ground.  No matter my opinion of that, the prize money was donated by Krieghoff and so it seemed fair to accede to their wishes.  The prize money is generous – £3,000 split £1,000, £800, £600, £400 and £200 – just getting through to the final guarantees a minimum prize of £200.

The first year the wild card was B class shooter, Gordon Duguid from Scotland.  Gordon was shooting a K-80 Trap Special and went on the win the first prize of £1,000.  It could not have worked better for the sponsors.  Wild card, B class and a Krieghoff shooter, taking the big prize!  

This year is the 8th Lucky Numbers and its popularity has steadily grown.  It is a great amount of fun and achieves its aim nicely.

Today was a great day and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute.  Too many memorable moments to share right now but I will perhaps return to some of them in a future blog.

The K-80 RT sleeper did find a new home and I know the new owner.  I will take any bet that the gun will be very well looked after and should he part with it in the future it will be in even better condition than now.

Helmut has attended every shoot bar two.  He was not at the inaugural shoot and missed one other a couple of years ago due to another commitment.  Fifteen years attendance is quite something and he has always kept his humour in spite of the weather and once being asked by me to fit a release trigger after the shoot had ended on the Sunday night.  Thank you Helmut, your being with us has contributed much to making the shoot what it is today.

The list of finalists and winners, together with the full shoot results can be found here:  Lucky Numbers Friday

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