HALLSVILLE — Shooting the Moving Target Event, Tiffany Piper shows the poise and confidence of a mature shooter. Seeing the target start moving from left to right, she swiftly grabs her gun from her holster and shoots the target, nailing the center red circle. She makes shooting look effortless.
For Piper, a resident of New Zealand, the National Rifle Association National Action Pistol Championship makes her the most nervous.
“This is the only shoot I get nervous around,” Piper says. “It’s the atmosphere. There just something about this place that I can’t pinpoint, but it freaks me out. “
Piper is only 16 years old and has already competed in competitions such as Nationals and World Championships for New Zealand. But even those don’t make her as anxious as the NRA Bianchi Cup.
This is the 32nd year for the NRA Bianchi Cup, which invites the world’s best shooters. Ray Chapman and friend John Bianchi, from whom the Bianchi Cup gets its name, started the competition in Hallsville, MO because of the hills, which provide safe backgrounds for shooters.
In preparation for this competition, Piper and her teammates from New Zealand arrived two weeks in advance to practice. This time is important for her and the team because New Zealand’s law for pistol shooting is restricted.
“We are definitely restricted when it comes to accessibility,” explains Piper. “We can only shoot Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays.”
With her dad as her coach, she has a prime role model to look up to.
“It's good and bad in both ways because he's so much harder on me," says Piper.
The fact that he pushes her to do better is no reason to complain, she explains. She is very thankful for everything he has done to help her get better with every competition.
“If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be here,” says Piper. “I’m really grateful for him.”