Tori, a 4th year Law student at Durham University, had an active and competitive life before suffering from a transformative injury to her leg. She had surgery, and further complications, and had to adapt to a different way life.
No longer being able to compete in horse-riding and hockey, Tori wanted to fill the void, and she started picking-upon local shoots with her gundog, and then she tried clay shooting.
At Durham University she joined the clay pigeon club and shot twice a week. Her scores improved, and she took part in her first competition, the Edinburgh Bisley Cup, followed by her first win at Hull University, then York and various game fairs.
Paul Zaitschenko began to coach Tori, and she registered with the CPSA in May 2017. Tori said, “I missed many of the county qualifiers but was placed on the teams at regional and national level for Sporting, FITASC, Skeet and All-round.” Three weeks before she was invited to a Talent ID day, she broke her good ankle. She was able to attend wearing a moon-boot instead of a cast, and discovered she was a natural Trap shooter and was offered a place on the Performance Pathway.
After an invitation to the GB "coach the coaches" day, Tori transferred her programme to Nuthampstead to work with a new Coach, Anita North, and began her journey into Olympic Trap with a goal of competing at the Olympics. With help from her family, she bought a Beretta 692 Black Edition as her two existing shotguns, a Winchester Custom Select, and a 26” Select Light Gold, were not suitable for Trap shooting.
“My original Winchester will always be my favourite because of the sentimental value and the things that gun taught me and the places it took me. I am very excited to see where my 692 can take me!”
Tori wears a leg brace, and battles with her disability daily, and has to adapt all aspects of her life. Yet her positive outlook and enthusiasm for shooting never falter.
Tori is sponsored by Clayco UK.
Who is our author Linda Mellor?
Linda Mellor is one of Scotland’s foremost shooting, fishing and hunting female writers and photographers. She is the product Ambassador for Venator Pro, a premier hunting company and stockist of the European brand Hillman. With a lifetime of countryside experience, Linda’s passion, enthusiasm and respect for the outdoors and hunting is explored and shared across her writing and photography.
For more information on Linda Mellor, please visit Linda Mellor's website, Twitter (LindaMellor) and instagram (linda_mellor).