by James Marchington
Legendary Formula One racing driver Sir Jackie Stewart OBE was a top international clay pigeon champion, sponsored by Eley cartridges, before he took up motor racing.
So when he created the Sir Jackie Stewart Challenge, to celebrate his life and raise funds for the charity Race Against Dementia, he insisted on including a shooting competition.
“Sadly my wife Helen was identified seven years ago to have dementia,” he says, “and they told us there is no cure. Helen is now at a point where she can’t walk.
“I started this charity because I want in my lifetime to find a cure for dementia.”
The charity event was held at Thirlestane Castle in the Scottish Borders on Friday 17 June 2022, with a motoring festival following on the Saturday and Sunday.
Sir Jackie explains why he switched to motor racing when his clay shooting career in the 1960s was going so well. “I was a clay pigeon shooter before I was a racing driver,” he says.
“I gave it up because it [clayshooting] was an amateur sport and I got married. Marriage costs money. So I had to become a racing driver.”
He adds: “Then I had to become a world champion to afford the expensivve wife I have…” – before he admits: “That’s being a little over the top.”
Shooters came to the competition for all kinds of reasons. Gabriel Marchetti from Cumbernauld was there becaiuse he has had two boxes of Eley trap shells, with Sir Jackie’s face on them, in his loft since he was in his teens. He hoped one day he would meet Sir Jackie and get them signed – and today is the day.
Winner of the 100 DTL is Matt Sheldrake.