Last weekend brought a first to the historic walled city of Londonderry.
Foyle Valley Archery Club hosted a two day Field Shoot in the beautiful grounds of Brook Hall Estate but anyone who was expecting a wander around manicured lawns and an easy shoot was in for a big shock.
The course was laid out by club coaches George Heath and Alexander Gilliland and they used every trick in the book to make this one of the most challenging courses around.
In Field Archery 28 targets are set out at regulation distances from twenty feet to eighty yards.
Unlike archery competitions like those you may have seen in the Olympics, field archery isn’t shot on level ground. Depending on the size of the course it can take all day to complete an event and it can be quite exhausting.
In some respects it is a bit like golf, a long walk with an occasional break to take your shot but no golfer would face the type of terrain that field archers do.
Typically field archery courses are shot in between trees and up and down hills, the steeper the better.
They even shoot across ponds and streams and over walls just to make things a little more ‘interesting’.
This is the first time such an event has been held on the city side and all of the archers who attended agreed that this was one of the best competitions they had attended and are all looking forward to their next visit.
Foyle Valley Archery Club would like to thank the Northern Ireland Field Archery Association for their help and special thanks to the Gilliland family for allowing them to hold this outstandingly supported event on their estate.