On the weekend of the 7th-8th August, 14 BHAA members from across the UK (and a guest from Ireland) met for the BHAA’s 2010 British Horseback Archery Championships. The event was hosted by the Centre of Horseback Combat in East Sussex.
Prior to competition day, competitors had time to warm-up, get their eyes in, try out and pick horses and of course catch-up with one another. Despite the odd shower, spirits were high as the grounds were prepared for the big day. An evening briefing, a good meal and fireside banter relaxed everyone for what became a fantastic day ahead.
Glorious sunshine met the campers on competition day and soon enough the track was melting under beating hooves and whistling arrows. A Reuters journalist and cameraman, plus plenty of keen photographers, caught the action which involved competitors batlling it out in the Korean style as well as the BHAA’s “hunting” style.
The Korean track involved all competitors running down a 90m track shooting at one, two and then three targets to the left of track. A 12 second time penalty saw points deducted which kept competitors on their toes. After its completion all competitors then had 2 runs in the hunting or ‘Hunt the Hare’ competition. The Hare (centre-stage above) had a small kill zone in which riders had to hit. In one of the most exciting finales, probably never to be witnessed again, Gokmen Altinkulp went face to face with Sheffield’s Damian Stenton in a “shoot-out”. With previous hits being rare, everyone was astonished to see Gokmen smack an arrow into the kill zone on his run. The crowd had prepared for the visiting guest to receive congratulations when Damian’s arrow smacked in even closer to the centre spot!
Overall winners were Neil Payne (combined Korean scores) and Damian Stenton (Hunt the Hare). Results can be viewed here.
All would agree the event was a huge success. It saw many new members competing for the first time, the development of the sport furthered and the continuation of the horseback archery family’s growth in the UK.