Murray Thomson is an international competitive clay shooter and avid field sports photographer who is bringing his wealth of talent and expertise to the ArdMoor ranks.
Name: Murray Thomson
Job title: Founder of Lockstocksporting.com
Location: East Lothian, Scotland
Background: Part of the Scottish Sporting Team
Hobbies: When not at the shooting ground practising, competing or coaching, or with his young family, Murray enjoys going to the gym to keep fit.
What made you choose this career?
I grew up in an agricultural environment and always wanted to shoot. I begged my parents for an air rifle but I had to prove I could be responsible first. I first fired a shotgun at Scone Game Fair at a ‘Have a Go’ stand and spent all day at that stand. I was hooked from that day on. As for the photography side, that was just a natural progression for me. I love capturing images and especially of the environment in which I enjoy the most.
How did you get involved in competition shooting?
I played rugby to a decent level but when recovering from injury on a night in the middle of winter when the rain was sideways outside, I decided after 18 years of playing to hang up my boots and spend more time on my true passion, shooting.
How long have you been involved in the countryside and field sports?
I’ve been surrounded by rural life since I was child and have always loved this environment. I was always going to work in or be involved in the countryside in some way.
What do you love most about your role?
I’m very lucky and get to sample different elements of country life throughout a working day. My day job is agricultural-based so spend most of my working day in beautiful surroundings, and competitions take me all over the UK and Ireland to some outstanding areas.
The variety of what I do means I get to spend time in the company of such varied people – the Laird, the ghillie, farm workers, the guns, gamekeepers, beaters – all such amazing people to work with. I also really enjoy coaching. Giving people the tools to shoot accurately is great.
Getting them to shoot well when I’m next to them, giving them tips and advice is one thing, but coaching them in a way that gets them thinking for themselves when I’m not with them is something I love to do.
What is your favourite time of year?
Autumn – seeing the birds get stronger and become more sporting is a great sight. But I love the summer, too, for the clay shooting competition season.
What is your most difficult time of year?
March to July – getting ready for and taking part in the shooting competition season is very draining. Working towards securing a place in the team is hard work but ultimately worth it.
What is your ultimate ambition within your sport?
To be world champion. There’s no point in competing unless you want to win. To be Scottish champion, then win the British championships and finally the world championships is my ultimate goal.