“It was tricked out,” Riggs said with a sigh. “It had been fitted to me and had all this stuff done to it.
“We were doing a controlled burn and the wind picked up and got out of control. It went toward the house, the barn and the workshop. We managed to keep it from getting the house and barn, but we lost the workshop.
“I didn’t know you could be so emotional watching something burn down, but I was bawling.”
Recently, Gamaliel Shooting Supply heard of Riggs’ plight and came to the rescue with a loaner model of her favorite gun. With that problem solved, Riggs has turned her attention to practice for the Games competition, which is slightly different from most shotgun events.
At the Games, shotgunners compete in a bracketed format, shooting four rounds of five clay targets thrown from five different locations. The shooter who breaks the most targets out of 20 will advance to the next round.
“I haven’t gotten to practice at all,” Riggs said. “Last year I started training for the Games about this time. But, I think I’ll be OK. At the Angleport Open, they had the (Games format) set up down there and I borrowed someone’s 391 to shoot it and a shot a 50 straight.”
After the Games, Riggs turns her attention to a different challenge: an engineering major at the University of Alabama at Huntsville.
LUMBERJACKS: THE NEXT GENERATION
A familiar face will be missing from the Great Outdoor Games timber stage this year, as New Zealand’s Karmyn Wynyard takes a break from competition. Wynyard, who won gold and bronze medals in timber events in 2003, is expecting the birth of a son in mid-September. Wynyard and her 6-year-old son, Tai, may be on hand in Madison, Wis., to cheer on husband and father Jason Wynyard, an eight-time Games medalist and the defending champion in men’s Timber Endurance.
MORE ACCOLADES FOR SALZMAN
It seems that Great Outdoor Games star JR Salzman is something of a star in the Army, too. Salzman, who recently completed basic training as an Army National Guard reservist at Fort Benning, Ga., picked up several awards.
Among Salzman’s accolades are two Patriot Battalion Certificates of Achivement for “outstanding accomplishment while serving as a soldier” and “outstanding achievement during the army physical fitness test,” as well as the Soldier of the Cycle Award for “loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor and integrity, and personal courage.” Salzman also received the Army Achievement Medal and was selected as the 3rd Platoon Honor Graduate for his cycle.
Salzman is a private first class with the 2nd Battalion, 58th Infantry.
For additional information, contact ESPN Outdoors Communications at (334) 551-2375 or visit www.greatoutdoorgames.com.