Jason Pepera-Hibbert at the U25 World Championships 2019, NZ

By Natasha Pasternak-Albert, Club Captain

Our Senior Advisor and ex-Fullbore Captain Jason has just finished competing in the ICFRA U25 World Championships, far away from home in New Zealand. He’s done team GB incredibly proud: attaining U25 individual 4th overall, achieving the top GB individual score, and becoming the U25 long range World Champion. This shows the product of not only his innate talent for target shooting, but also reflects the hard work and hours of training that he has dedicated to this fantastic sport.

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Jason at the U25 World Championships in Trentham, NZ wearing his medals from his individual achievements – including winning the Long Range aggregate. 

Taking a look back at his previous shooting achievements and his fullbore career to date, this doesn’t come as a surprise to those who know him. Jason has always shown his incredible marksmanship prowess when competing alongside and for the society, and as an extension his supreme coaching ability with our members, novice and experienced alike.

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Jason in the winning team for the British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) matches at the 149th Imperial, 2018. 

Jason started out in the university club in 2016, already making a splash as an ex-Atheling coming from a school renowned for its shooting prowess, Wellington College. Immediately proving his worth he was selected for the club A teams in both smallbore and fullbore, achieving gold in the fullbore individuals competition at the Imperial that summer.

Continuing to develop both the society and his wider coaching skills, he became the fullbore captain at Exeter and returned to his Wellington shooting roots to coach the school teams in his breaks from his studies. That summer at the 149th Imperial meeting, he achieved silver in the individuals and was on the winning team, earning Exeter gold overall in Fullbore BUCS 2018. Jason’s personal feats in the Imperial that summer did not end there – after coming 16th in HM Queen’s final, renowned as the most coveted prize in the shooting world, and achieving his X-class status, all at the young age of 20.

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Jason at the 149th Imperial meeting in July 2018, pointing at his name on the Grand Aggregate scoreboard, peaking at 6th place.

It was clear that Jason was not done yet and had much more to offer, as evidenced when he jetted off to New Zealand for the U25 World Championships. This was preceded by numerous weekends travelling between Exeter, Devon and the National Shooting Centre Bisley, Surrey for weeks of training with the rest of the U25 GB squad – it seemed like nothing was going to stop him, even when Bisley was covered in a thick blanket of snow during storm Emma in March 2018.

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Jason on a training weekend at the ranges at Bisley, during the snow storm that covered most of the UK in March 2018.

All the hard work lead up to flying out to NZ on 19th January, a quick pit-stop in Hong Kong and some well deserved down time in Taupo, NZ to relax before the important matches up ahead.

The wind conditions were particularly challenging, perhaps reflected in some of the scores attained at long range, with Jason scoring 50 v 2 and 48 v 1 at 900 yards, and 46 v 4 and 43 v 3 at 1000 yards (from a maximum 50 v 10), achieving the top long range score overall of 187 v 10. Jason being an incredible wind reader no doubt came in handy when shooting in these conditions.

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Jason on the firing point at the ICFRA U25 World Championships 2019. Photo by Theo Dodds.

Overall achieving 4th place in the individuals – the highest out of the U25 GB squad, led to Jason subsequently being picked for the U25 Team World Championship match that took place on Sunday 3rd February in Trentham, NZ. After gaining a significant amount of ground on the leading Australian team, at only 3 points behind at 1000 yards with only 2 shooters left, Jason and his team finished a respectable 10 points behind, scoring 965.87 out of a possible 1000.200, coming second place in the U25 World Championships overall.

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The final scores of the ICFRA U25 Team World Championship match. Photo by Theo Dodds.

Throughout all of these amazing achievements, people close to Jason will know that despite being a world-class shooter and an incredible wind coach, surpassing heights any experienced shooter his age would, he remains incredibly humble about his achievements and down to earth. The Exeter University Rifle Club congratulate him on all of his successes to date and on his achievements in the World Championships, and can’t wait to see where he goes from here in his shooting career.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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