It takes a special person to be a world-class trap shooter but 25-year-old Pat Lamont of Brandon certainly has what it takes based on his achievements to date. Pat credits his dad, Rob Lamont for being his mentor.
Rob started Pat off shooting at a very young age but said the idea at first was simply to make the youngster a better bird hunter.
"I took him to the Brandon Trap Club where he first used a light 20 gauge and started slow," Rob explained. "But I gradually increased the duration of his shooting so that at age 12 he was able to have a go at 300 targets in one session. And after, that he never looked back."
Young Pat was with the Manitoba Junior Shotgun program from age 12 to 18 and started to live up to his potential by winning every competition he entered when he was 12, 13, 14 and 15. He then tested his mettle against adult Manitoba trap shooters and won consecutive Manitoba Singles Trap Shooting Championships at 16, 17, and 18. And this was against the best trap shooters in Manitoba.
Pat was then qualified to enter the biggest of the United States competitions, the Grand American. In 2008, Pat won the Grand American Handicap competitions that dad Rob describes as the "world series" of trap shooting." Winners of these competitions are awarded rings. To date, Canadians have won a total of five rings and Pat Lamont has three of them.
"It was overwhelming to be a competitor in the Grand American," said Pat. "There I was, shooting with the celebrities of the trap shooting world; guys that I read about in trap shooting magazines. It was an incredible experience and I felt great that I was able to stack up against the best in the world."
Competitive shooting requires one to have ice water in your veins. Focus, concentration, determination and an ability to tune out the crowd, noise, and surroundings are hallmarks of all great competitors.
I certainly can't do it!
"High-level competitive shooting can be stressful but the more you shoot competitively the better you are able to deal with the stress," Pat explained. "And to be honest, I don't expect to miss, which also helps."
Pat says his dad is a big part of his success.
"Dad has always been a mentor to me both as a competitive shooter and as a hunter," Pat said. "And now that I'm back home in Brandon from university I hope to do a lot of hunting with him this fall.
Manitoba is fortunate to have this accomplished young man back in our province since he just graduated from the University of Saskatchewan's chemical engineering program and has found a job in Brandon. Pat didn't have much time to shoot while in Saskatchewan but seems to have picked up right where he left off as his dad proudly noted. "Earlier this month Pat shot a perfect 200 straight at the provincial championships; the first time that this has ever been done."
Manitoba should be proud of this world-class trap shooter.