History & Mentors
In 1991, after attaining my C.P.S.A Club coach certificate I opened the “Breakinclays”
Shooting School & Sporting Clays Club, which apart from providing individual and
group instruction ran an Open Sporting Clays shoot every Sunday. During the
following two years the school ran regular weekend Novice Introductory courses as
part of its program and over 600 certificates of attendance were issued. The syllabus
of that course now parallels the basic structure of the current C.P.S.A Academy novice
Not long after opening, Breakinclays formed an association with the local disabled
shooters club and ran regular events and training programs, which I am proud to say,
resulted in one of its lady members representing the U.K. paraplegic shooting team at a Commonwealth Games.
Whilst on my club coaching course in 1991, I met the Senior CPSA Staff Tutor Mr. Roger
Silcox, proprietor of the Roses Wood Shooting School, Bath, Somerset, who offered me the opportunity to become his protégé, which I gladly accepted. During the following three years I received intensive tuition from Roger in the coaching of Sporting Clays and in the specialised Instruction of Classic English/European Game (Wing) Shooting Techniques and the skills required of the traditional sporting estate “Shoot Day Captain”. Alongside this I was introduced to the renowned and hugely respected Chris Craddock (Rogers own mentor) who began my education in the art of “Gunfit” for sporting shotguns.
In 1993 I qualified for my CPSA Senior Coaching Certificate and became a member of
the Institute of Clay Shooting Instructors. During this year I assisted Roger in the making of his Instructional Videos, Shooting Straight and Shooting Straight at Competition, and became a locum Instructor for several shooting grounds including the world famous West London Shooting School.
Because of growing popularity of the sporting clays course I relocated the Breakinclays Shooting Club to a larger venue and took up a coaching position with the Long Acres Shooting School of Cambridge, offered to me by the proprietor Mr. Sam Grice, CPSA Staff Tutor, whom I had met on my previous coaching courses.
At the end of 1995 I was asked by my friend and colleague Brian Hammond (Previously CPSA Development officer and Staff Tutor) who was the general manager of the newly opened Jebel Ali Shooting ground in Dubai, UAE, to join him as the Senior Instructor and operations Supervisor. I agreed to a six month contract and passed on the Breakinclays Club to new Management.
As well as establishing the Jebel Ali Shooting Academy my responsibilities included the supervision of all clay target ranges, armoury and relative staff. During my time at Jebel Ali I organised and held the first International Clay Target Shooting Competition (for the formal opening) in the UAE, instructed several members of the Dubai and Jordanian Royal families and represented the Shooting club on local media.
On my return to the U.K. in mid 1996 I recommenced my position as Senior Instructor with Long Acres S.S and continued locum instruction for Wedgenock Shooting School of Warwick and the West London Shooting School.
In 1999 I was invited to South Africa to explore the potential of establishing a National Clay Target Shooting Centre at the Sun City Resort and design a suitable ground capable of holding international competitions in all disciplines. Whilst there, to promote Clay target Shooting as a “Sport for All”, I travelled to various venues providing instructional seminars, including junior multiracial introduction days. Regrettably the project was shelved after negotiations between the South African Clay Target Shooting Federation and the Franchise holders stalled due to disagreement over noise pollution issues.
As a result of my association with the Long Acres S.S, in 2008 I was offered the position of Estate Manager and Shoot Captain for the 4000 acre Dunira Estate in
Perthshire, Scotland. My duties included commercialising the Estates game shooting and deer stalking operations, the management of all Shoot hospitality, liaison with the Keeper and his staff with relation to the management of bird stocks and presentation of drives on all shoot days, overseeing all participating guns to ensure that they adhere to all safety rules and the etiquette of the day. In January I left the estate after a successful season of twenty full days achieving bags between 250 t0 500 birds per shoot.
In 2009 I was recruited to be Manager of the new Al Forsan Shooting Club complex in Abu Dhabi where I oversaw the first phase of its pre-opening period, I then went on to other Shooting Consultancy projects in the region and was a freelance Instructor and sporting agent. From here in 2010 I went to Arkansas, USA where I assisted Mike Davey of the Shooting Academy of Scottsdale Arizona with the design and operations of the Delta Sporting Clays resort.
The following year I was asked to return to the UAE where I worked as a Shooting Ground design consultant completing projects for the UAE Army and The Independent Regional Government of Kurdistan and as free lance instructor to such clients as the Royal Household of the Emirate of Umm Al Quwain. I returned to the UK in June of 2014.
Roger Silcox, Proprietor Roses Wood Shooting School, Senior CPSA Staff
Tutor, Honorary life Chairman of the Institute of Clay Shooting Instructors,
I worked full time for and was tutored by Roger at his Roses Wood
Shooting School, Somerset from 1991 to 1993, I assisted him in the making
of his instructional videos; Shooting Straight & Shooting straight at
Competition. I carried on working for him as a Locum Instructor until 1998.
I will forever owe this great man an immeasurable debt of gratitude in
making me the Coach that I am today.
Christopher (Chris) Craddock (Decd.) Holland & Holland S.S., Senior CPSA Staff Tutor & Director, Author.
I was introduced to Chris Craddock, who was Roger’s own mentor and friend, during my time at Roses Wood. I spent 2 to 3 hours every Thursday evening at Chris’s House in Bath, where he taught me my Gun Fitting Skills and passed on to me a vast amount of personal knowledge for Game & Clay shooting skills.
He allowed me access to his substantial personal library of books on the historical background to traditional shooting sports, gun fitting and British fine gun manufacturers and explained how his time working with the Great Robert Churchill shaped his own coaching career and teaching methods.
He was a true Font of Knowledge and a true English Country Gentleman; I have been incredibly fortunate and incredibly privileged to have been trained by one of shootings Greats!
Sam Grice, Proprietor of Long Acres S.S. Cambridge, Current Senior CPSA Staff Tutor, Fellow of the Institute of Clay Shooting Instructors, Author, Retired Cambridge College Master
I first met Sam when he was a CPSA Staff Tutor on my club coaching course in 1991, then in 1993 after I finished at Roses Wood S.S Sam offered ne the position of Senior Instructor at his Long Acres Shooting School, Great Wilbraham Cambridge. It was under Sam’s tutoring and daily guidance that I truly learnt how to Coach and pass on the technical skills and Knowledge I had acquired.
Part of my duties whilst at Long Acres Shooting School would be to regularly accompany Clients (both adult and junior) on shoot days and hunting trips to provide instruction and safety supervision in the field. Also as a result of my association with the Long Acres S.S, in 2008 I was offered the position of Estate Manager and Shoot Captain for the 4000 acre Dunira Estate in Perthshire, Scotland. My duties included commercialising the Estates game shooting and deer stalking operations, the management of all Shoot hospitality, liaison with the Keeper and his staff with relation to the management of bird stocks and presentation of drives on all shoot days.
Over the next 15 years he became my close friend, life mentor and on many occasions a 'Guardian Angel'. He is not only the last of the 'True Greats' of Classic British Instructors. He is the best 'Partridge Shot' I have ever seen.
Brian Hammond, CPSA Development officer, CPSA Staff
Tutor, CPSA Advisor to the British Home office for legal
Brian was also a Staff tutor on my first coaching course
in 1991, as the CPSA Development Officer at the time he
helped me deal with Noise and Planning Issues at my
Shooting Club and School, then went on to teach me
about the legal aspects of running shooting grounds,
how to reduce noise pollution using effective earth
bunding and tree planting schemes, health & safety
in shooting ground operations.
He had a huge depth of knowledge about the legal
aspect of all shooting sports and was on the consultation committee dealing with the Home Office over shooting issues. In my opinion he was a great loss to the CPSA when he decided to resign in the early 90’s.
Joe Wheater (Decd), Clay Target Shooting World Champion and British Olympic Team member, Proprietor of The Grantham S.S.,
Joe was one of the UK’s most successful Shooters during the 60’s & 70’s he shot in the G.B Team at the 1956, 1960 & 64 Olympics he was the British Open Sporting Champion in 1956, 60, 61,62, 64 and then again in 1971 & 72, I was incredibly fortunate to be introduced to him by Chris Craddock. I spent many weeks staying at his home on his own shooting ground and shooting School, where he instructed me on the skills needed for Shooting Competitive Sporting Clays at Championship level.
He was a “No Nonsense Yorkshireman" who said that in his early Competition days he had no choice but to win as he needed to get the “Bus Fare Home”.
A great man who really deserves to be remembered by British shooters. He achieved something that even 'George Digweed' or the more recent Top Guns haven’t, and that is to win a British Open Sporting Championships in the same years as Shooting in the G.B Olympic Squad.
He is one of my all time shooting Heroes!