These gun-toting Dianas will give any of our top shots a run for their money. The ladies are at large, with game books to show it.
These ladies don’t lunch, they shoot their own. And these 10 dead-eyed Dianas will wipe most men’s eyes. They make it on to our fabled fifty top shots 2015 list.
TOP SHOTS 2015: LADIES
Married to Michael Cannon, owner of Wemmergill and a class performer on the moors, Mrs C manages to be both “a brilliant hostess and a demon grouse shot”. “She has that happy knack of staying statue-still until the moment critique then – pop, pop – another two grouse are falling dead in front of her butt,” says our northern witness.
Anne-Sofie (“Fie”) Foghsgaard
A regular winner on the European ladies’ competition circuit, the Danish hot-shot hones her driven game-shooting on the family estate in Scotland. Like all proper Vikings, she can hold her drink, seeing off the feeble Englishmen at a recent pre-shoot session in Norfolk.
Kerwood won her first trap-shooting Commonwealth gold medal at the age of 15, just three years after she took up shooting, and won her fourth 12 years later at the Glasgow Games. Blessed with Wonder Woman reactions, Kerwood can drop a driven bird while the average male gun is computing “pheasant”.
Serena Orr (nee Williams)
The recently married daughter of Charlie Williams spent her honeymoon adding a black wildebeest and a warthog to her collection of trophies – she already had gold-medal roe and wild boar. Enjoying a reputation as a “Westcountry woodcock hot-shot”, Orr can be found throughout the season “favouring her father’s high Caerhays pheasants, armed with a pair of side-by-side Ariettas that she has used for the last 15 years to deadly effect”.
Lady Katie Percy
The Duke of Northumberland’s shooting gene has undoubtedly been passed on to his daughter. “I stood next to her all day at Alnwick in a January gale and it was quite extraordinary,” recalls one admirer (himself no slouch with a gun). “She was wiping my eye, her mother’s eye and even her father’s and uncle’s eyes – all day long!”
Married to Chris Prendergast, a Wiltshire farmer who’s also a high-bird professor, Mrs P has the advantage of shooting regularly on the family farm, which can easily show birds on the edge of range. Noted for her immaculate hosting of appallingly lively shooting lunches held after the last drive
Stimson is a regular loader and picker-up on the grouse moors, which leads to a fair bit of practice at back-end birds and some very bruised egos among males who don’t like being “eye wiped by a girl”. Recently won the ladies’ class in the Golden Grouse competition by a country mile.
Few ladies appear in our awards who really shine at high birds, mostly because they do not get the necessary practice, but Weatherall holds her own, dropping a “right-and-left at Castle Hill, with one falling one side of the aqueduct, and one the other – and that only happens if they’re cloudscrapers”. Is the holding-hands friend of Ron Dennis, the Formula 1 maestro.
Taken grouse-shooting by her father, Sir Joe Nickerson, when she was nine, Whitaker is now doing the same for her young family. Has sold more than 10,000 copies of her book, How to be Asked Again: How to be the Perfect Shooting Guest. One of the ways is the ability to shoot straight and that ability, plus her charm, sees Whitaker writing a lot of thank-you letters.
The 6ft Diana was out of action in the 2013/14 season with a wing down. But she’s now repaired, changed to lighter Beretta 20s, put in weekly shooting lessons and is back to previous form, shooting a run of right-and-lefts at Brigands’ archangels.