Rarely do you find four of the top U.S. contenders in one spot. (l. to r.)Bruce Piatt, John Pride, Doug Koenig and Carl Bernosky were available between events to talk with fellow shooters about their equipment and shooting experiences.
We asked Julie Golob what was on her mind here, after her final event—the Mover. “My 10-, 15- and 20-yard targets were clean [perfect score]. I knew I had a shot that wasn’t dialed in on the 25-yard line. Here, I was dreading seeing just how far out it was. Turns out it was an 8 and I ended up with a 478/480. I really wanted to clean it but was happy to end the match on a high note.”
Many more than just the top pros receive a trophy, plaque or medal for their accomplishments. Over 150 awards were distributed during awards night, in addition to cash, product samples and over 40 handguns by random draw.
World’s fastest revolver shooter, Jerry Miculek was available at the practice range to share tips and swap stories. Here, Jerry readies for the Colt Celebrity Speed match, a popular event for spectators.
The awards ceremony has all the glamour you would expect of a prestigious world championship, including the top women shooters in their evening gowns on the red carpet: (l. to r.) Vera Koo, Jessie Harrison and Julie Golob.
Among the celebrities participating in this year’s NRA Bianchi Cup was Kenda Lenseigne of Washington State. In 2009, she became the first woman in Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association (CMSA) history to win the Overall at a World Championship. Six months later, she again made history by becoming the first woman to win the Overall at the Nationals. With a background in various equestrian disciplines, Lenseigne devotes much of her time to training horses and riders for mounted shooting, while competing in over 30 events yearly.
Says Lenseigne, “I have new respect for not only handling my firearm, but also for accuracy in target shooting. It was an eye-opening experience having to aim at a small target at long range—far different than flying by a balloon, CMSA-style. I found the competitors at the NRA Bianchi Cup to be extremely helpful, friendly and accommodating, not only to me as a newcomer, but to each other as well. Overall my experience at the Cup was an enjoyable memory I will not soon forget.”
Editor's note:2010 marked a watershed year for the NRA Bianchi Cup, a storied championship that was the pioneer big money action pistol competition. The Cup rose to new heights as more action shooting sports celebrities attended, sponsor support grew, the range expanded and the number of production class shooters doubled in one year. All of these factors brought the once-struggling match back into the limelight. Here's former Managing Editor Chip Lohman's coverage of the event, as published in the August 2010 issue ofShooting Sports USA.
Except for Max Michel’s (SIG Sauer) required trip to Norway, virtually everyone in Action Shooting—both shooters and sponsors—attended this year’s Cup. The doubling of first-time production shooters contributed to the record number of contestants who enjoyed themselves from May 26-30 in Columbia, MO. Credit Tom Hughes’ (NRA National Pistol Manager) effective management of this prestigious event, the generosity of the sponsors, dedicated volunteers and a growing number of every-day production shooters for the continuing 32-year tradition of excellence in action pistol sports.
The Cup originated with John Bianchi’s vision in the mid-1970s. In his words, “I’d been a pistol shooter all my life and as I shot with friends at different ranges around the country, I was slightly distressed by the image of pistol shooters, where they shot and how they conducted themselves on the range. Although there were some fine outdoor ranges in a number of cities across the country, in many areas the best range facility was usually a garbage dump, rock quarry or someplace close to that.”
In typical Bianchi style, he set his sights on a solution and never looked back. From author Dennis Adler’s biography on John Bianchi: “Outside Olympic competition, there weren’t many formal shooting organizations until the 1970s when the IPSC (International Practical Shooting Confederation) was formed. In 1984 the USPSA (United States Practical Shooting Association) was organized as the U.S. Region of IPSC. However, five years before the USPSA was established, John Bianchi’s vision for a formalized pistol competition resulted in the first Bianchi Cup match at Ray Chapman’s Green Valley Rifle and Pistol shooting range.”
And the rest is history. Once Bianchi partnered with Colt and Smith & Wesson, then Ruger and other companies soon followed.