Top gun John cruises into history books

John MacDonald returned to the shooting circuit with a bang, winning the Scottish Olympic Trap Championships for a record braking eighth time.

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Acharacle top shot John MacDonald has fired himself into the history books again by winning the Scottish Open Olympic Trap Clay Target Championship for a record-breaking eighth time.

John with his Scottish Championship trophy. NO_F30_JohnMacDonald 02

Competing at Auchterhouse, Dundee, over the weekend of July 16 and 17, the 40-year-old father-of-two scored 24, 23, 25 on the first day and 24, 24, 24 on the second day to take the honours. Each round is out of 25.

A former member of Fort William, Loch Ness and Moidart gun clubs, John is no stranger to records. Aged only 10, he made it into the Guinness Book by hitting 100 consecutive clays at the North Ayrshire clay pigeon shooting championships at Dalry.

John has been making the headlines from a young age.

He took his first Scottish Senior Open Title aged 14, setting records that may never be broken.

After winning numerous titles in the Down the Line (DTL) format, he stepped up to Olympic Trap (OT) aged 18 and has since claimed numerous British and Scottish titles as well as representing Team GB at world and European championships. At one point, he was ranked 18th in the world.

In 2010 and 2014, John represented his country at Commonwealth Games in Delhi and Glasgow respectively.

In 2012, he was sixth in line for an Olympic place, with only five getting through. John missed out on the place by only one target.

He has been top of the Scots for the past 30 years.

He is the second Scot to win a GB Championship; the only other was Sir Jackie Stewart who went onto success on the Formula One circuit.

Husband to Emma and father to Megan, 7, and Finlay, 4, John has a top-notch shooting pedigree.

His paternal grandfather was John MacDonald ‘The Moidart Sniper’ who, having graduated from the elite Lovat Scouts Sharpshooters (LSS) course at Beauly in early 1917, went on to defend his country at the sharp end of operations from Sulva Bay in Gallipoli to the Somme on the Western Front.

John’s dad, ‘Ceilidh King’ Fergie MacDonald, and Mum Maureen, were also Scottish Clay DTL Champions, while sisters Angela and Morven also take an active part in the sport.

Proud dad Fergie told the Lochaber Times: ‘John has shown an exceptional talent for shooting from a young very age. He has achieved some great things on the Olympic Trap circuit, some which may never be rivalled and has done his family, Lochaber and the country proud.

‘Because of his business, the deer management and family commitments, he hasn’t been shooting as much as he used to, but now he has won this title it would be great to think he would continue and go for that illusive Olympic place.

‘They say men are at their prime for shooting between the age of 40 and 50. If that is the case, John has every chance of making it.’

John currently works in deer management, as well as running the family business, Mingarry Park Restaurant and Accommodation, alongside wife Emma.

Due to his work and personal commitments he took a step back from shooting for a few years but is now back with a bang.

Main photograph: John MacDonald has returned to the shooting circuit with a bang, winning the Scottish Olympic Trap Championships for a record-breaking eighth time. NO_F30_JohnMacDonald 01

Extra pics

John with his Scottish Championship trophy. NO_F30_JohnMacDonald 02

He has been top of the Scots for the past 30 years. NO_F30_JohnMacDonald 03

John has been making the headlines from a young age. NO_F30_JohnMacDonald 05