The 2014 MidwayUSA & NRA Bianchi Cup played host to the finest female competition shooters in the world. Held annually, for the past 35 years, the event is considered the most prestigious handgun championship in the world. It all takes place at Green Valley Rifle & Pistol Club outside of Columbia, Mo.
I shot on the Rubber City Armory team, along with my husband and son. While at the event, I heard 2 men in an elevator express their surprise at how many female competition shooters showed up. One guy actually said, “Shooting a pistol is a man’s sport.”
Really? I beg to differ. With more than 46 women in attendance, we are involved, more than ever, in the shooting sports.
Here are my photos of “The Women of Bianchi.”
Claudia Alley, a petite 15-year old and second time Bianchi Cup competitor, gets a pep talk from her dad before the Falling Plates event.
Claudia faces the falling plates, her most stressful event. Each competitor tries to knock down 12 plates per string (6 at a time) at 10, 15, 20 and 25 feet. Each plate is valued at 10 points. If you miss, it’s a zero. Claudia placed 9th in the Junior Division.
For Chris, Michelle and Colton Cerino, shooting is a family affair. Heading straight to the Bianchi Cup from the World Cup in Kentucky, where her husband and son were both on Team USA, Michelle had 1 goal — to beat her score from the previous year. This was only her 2nd time competing at the Cup, and happily, she increased her score by 275 points.
During the formal awards ceremony, Taurus’s team captain, Jessie Duff, presented awards to all of the Junior Division shooters that competed for Team USA in the World Action Pistol Match, held the weekend before the Bianchi Cup. Here, Jessie presents Colton with his 2nd place plaque.
Jessie took the 2014 NRA Bianchi Cup Ladies Open Champion title. Out of the 48 plates to shoot, she only left 1 standing. Her final score was 1893 out of 1920.
When Vera Koo, an 8-time Bianchi Cup High Lady Champion, wasn’t shooting a Bianchi event, she could be found at the Green Valley Rifle & Pistol Club practice range. Here, Vera stands behind the 6-foot high-by-2-foot wide barricade. Six rounds are fired at 2 targets downrange, from 10, 15, 25 and 35 yards with the times increasing at each distance. Since Vera is competing with an Open Division gun, she can brace against the barricade, Metallic and Production Division competitors can’t. Vera placed 7th in the Ladies Division.
Team Smith & Wesson’s Junior Captain, Molly Smith, is known for her red shoes and big smile. She always is enthusiastic and ready to take on the challenge of shooting these high-powered events with her 686 Smith & Wesson revolver. Molly gives us a V for victory! Molly placed 4th in the Junior Division.
Tiffany Piper, from Auckland, New Zealand, competed at the Bianchi Cup for the 7th time. She went prone at 15, 20 and 25 yards while shooting the falling plates, and placed 2nd in the Ladies Division.
With the media in tow, the Team Smith & Wesson Captain and 3-time High Lady Bianchi Cup champion, Julie Golob, took on the Moving Target event. From behind a barricade, the target moves 60 feet in 6 seconds, and then disappears behind another barricade. While standing in a 3-foot square firing area, at both 10 and 15 yards, each competitor fires 6 rounds at the target as it travels left-to-right, then right-to-left, for a total of 12 shots at each distance. Then, at 20 and 25 yards each competitor fires 3 rounds at the target, for a total of 12 shots at each distance. Julie placed 5th in the Ladies Division.
What’s it like competing against your husband? Just ask Brooke Sevigny of Team FNH USA, and High Lady Metallic winner in both 2013 and 2014. The Colt Speed event takes place on the last day of The Bianchi Cup. And no, he didn’t let her win. Brooke placed 14th in the Ladies Division.
Maggie Reese picks out the proper lens for her eye protection before signing in for an event. Maggie placed 9th in the Ladies Division.
Ever willing to lend a hand and give support, Missouri’s Helen Jeavons has competed at the Bianchi Cup for 12 years. In 2004 she placed 3rd, and in 2005 and 2009 she placed 2nd. Helen finished 4th in the Ladies Division this year.
The Colt Speed event includes the top 4 finishers in each category. Cherie Blake, of Australia, aims at 1 of the 5 steel targets, positioned in a fan pattern, 10 yards downrange. Each competitor may fire a maximum of 6 shots per round. The fastest times wins, best 2 out of 3. Cherie finished 3rd in the Ladies Division.
Click here for more information on the Bianchi Cup.
Michelle Cerino, aka Princess Gunslinger, is the managing and social media editor at The WON. She also is the author of the column "Princess Gunslinger," sponsored by Trijicon. A mother of 2 adult boys, Michelle has been right there beside them hunting youth deer seasons, plinking pop cans with .22s, now it's her turn! Michelle is the president of Cerino Consulting and Training Group, LLC, a firearms training company she built with her husband Chris in 2011. Her path in the firearms and outdoors industries is ever progressing. She is writing, hunting, competing and doing contract work for major manufacturers. When not working, Michelle enjoys shooting sporting clays and competes in prestigious shooting events, such as the Bianchi Cup in Missouri, and major 3-Gun matches nationwide. View all posts by Michelle Cerino