Saturday 4th December 2021 was the fourth stage of the Castlemaine Rifle Club’s annual championship. Being the fourth stage it is the halfway mark and “ The Colonel Bull Trophy”.
A large number of shooters contested this event over the long distances of 800 and 900 yards. Conditions were very difficult with the strong wind causing shooters to lose lots of points. This is one of the Club’s most important trophies as it commemorates the man who donated the rifle range land to the volunteer forces.
Colonel John Edward Newell Bull who came to Australia in 1842 was placed in charge of the Castlemaine volunteers in 1860 and the Castlemaine Rifle Range was gazetted in 1861, making this year the Club’s 160th Anniversary. One of the longest histories of any sporting club in Australia. The trophy the Club shoot for was donated by his great great grand daughter Cheryl Looby on behalf of the family.
Competition started at the 800 yards mound with most shooters getting caught in the blustery conditions. In “Target Rifle “ Richard Ruddick led the way with 45.4 followed by Alan Mills with 43.2. Darren Trevena led in “F Class” with 53.2 followed by Rob Softley with 51.1. New member Dan McColl shooting in “F Open” in his first Club competition started with an impressive 57.2 followed by Phil Smith with 54.3.
Moving back 100 yards to the 900 yard mound the wind began to ease but still was very difficult to read as it changed so quickly. In “Target Rifle “ Alan Mills shot a very good 51.3 to lead Malcolm Laurence with 46.2. Rob Softley had the best score in “F Class” being 53.1 with next best Brad McIntosh with 49.2. Phil Smith won the range in “F Open” scoring 58.1 followed by Greg Brown with 53. This was Greg’s first official shoot with Castlemaine after having been a member back in the 80’s.
Final results for the day saw Alan Mills win “Target Rifle” with 94.5 from Malcolm Laurence with 88.1. The Handicap was won by Malcolm from Chris Jolme.
Rob Softley won “F Class” with 104.2 with Brad McIntosh second with 98.1. The Handicap was won by Brad from Tom Christie. In “F Open” Phil Smith was the winner with 112.4 from Dan McColl with 103.2. Dan won the Handicap from Greg Brown.
The scores for the four stages were added together to determine the winners of “The Colonel Bull Trophy”. The Club was again pleased to have Patron, Maree Edwards MP State Member for Bendigo West along with Cheryl and Paul Looby to present the trophy.
This year “Target Rifle” was won by Alan Mills from Richard Ruddick and Chris Jolme. The “F Class” winner was Mick Goritchan from Darren Trevena and Tom Christie. Well done all, a great honour.
The Club members and their guests then enjoyed a cake to celebrate the Club’s 160th Anniversary. A remarkable feat. Maree and Cheryl were joined by new member Greg Brown, also a descendant of Colonel Bull, to cut the cake. The Club is very proud of its history and relationship with Colonel Bull and his family.
The next big event is our Invitational Australia Day Shoot to be held at the Range on Australia Day, 26th January, 2022.