July 1, 2022

Old Places

Where we study the past to define our future

‘Calrossie’ – a World Class International Trap Shooter in J.W. Sutherland (can Wallan claim him as one of our own ?)

A name from by gone days who was highly regarded in the Trap Shooting world, would unlikely be known by many in present day Wallan and immediate District.  John ‘Jack’ William Sutherland  was born on 4 April 1878 in the ‘Square House’ at Wallan Wallan. The fifth born of twelve children to James Broomfield Sutherland (1844-1915) and Mary Ann Taylor (1849-1914), he was the last child in the family to be born at the Square House, Wallan Wallan before the family moved to Nagambie sometime around 1878/79c, and sometime later to Shepparton.

Back in 1858 John Angus Sutherland (1802c-1875) and wife Mary Ann (1804-1882) nee McKay who were Jack’s grandparents purchased 117 ½ acres of farming land from William which was part of the northern section of allotment 80 (which originally totalled 217 ½ acres).  A home was built on the property known as the ‘Square House’ (and later referred to as the ‘Old Square House’) so named after their former home in the hamlet of Lothbeg, in the county of (their namesake) Sutherlandshire, Scotland. Their home was built from red bricks on bluestone footings, with a shingle roof and the interior walls being white washed inside. It was situated mid way between the Darraweit Guim Tollgate and the Inverlochy Castle Hotel just to the south of the newly surveyed Wallan Wallan township.  The track that linked the Tollgate, the Square House and the Inverlochy Castle Hotel having long since disappeared.

Sutherland’s ‘Square House’ on Allotment 80 and Tollbar
where  John Angus Sutherland was the Tollgate keeper, close to Cummins licensed Inn (also known as the Travellers Rest Inn)
(map overlay – courtesy of Richard Cooper)

John Angus Sutherland had tendered for the Darraweit Guim Tollgate, and was there throughout 1866 it being only a convenient short distance walk from his farm and home.  The following year one of his sons in John became the Tollkeeper and he remained there until Feb 1874.  Also near the site of the Tollgate was once Cummins/Tollgate Inn, the Francis family General Store, Blacksmiths Forge and maybe more that the passage of time has erased.

Long after the Sutherland family had left the District, and in time the ‘Square House’, was eventually abandoned, (as to when however is unknown per this research) – however by 1948 only the one room remained standing.  It was frequently used by weekend rabbiters for shelter and a place to sleep. 

No description available.
the former Sutherland home (the square house) Wallan Wallan
and its last remaining room 1948c

By the 1970s, all that remained of the home were the solid bluestone base foundations, many red hand make bricks, and rubble.  An old Hawthorn bush also marked the house site at this time, however nothing remains of the site today.

To return to John ‘Jack’ William Sutherland who exactly was he ?

JW Sutherland was to become better known as Jack, Jack Calrossie and/or ‘Calrossie’ today still remains arguably the best ever Trap shooter Australia has ever produced, he having also shot overseas against the world’s best with incredible results.  Trap shooting was regarded as the’ Blue Riband Event’ of all Shooting disciplines/events at the time.

‘Calrossie’ once shot a world record 128 pigeons straight, in an era when 20 consecutive kills was considered outstanding by the best shots.  On another occasion he created yet another world record with 132 consecutive starling kills.  In his time trap shooters seldom shot all the targets in an event, however ‘Calrossie’ would on occasions achieve the feats of consecutive kills for weeks on end. His achievements were eagerly read in the newspapers and other media outlets of the time, and his status simply put, reached that us of becoming a major sporting celebrity.

Many of his shooting feats (and world records) still remain unsurpassed through til’ today, indeed many of his performances were simply unbelievable.  His achievements between the two world wars in particular, this lead him to be elevated and considered by those in the sport to be possibly the best trap shooter in the world.

Indeed many of the best trap shooters never won a major championship over their career such was the level of quality competition.

Trap shooting in Australia before the Great War had frequently seen very generous prizes on offer around the country, however the prizemoney on offer after the war started to dwindle and the sport was not cheap to participate in.  It took some time before trap shooting gained momentum once again.  However in Europe it was the opposite and there were big money events being conducted in England, France, Italy and at the home of trapshooting Monte Carlo. There were plenty of enough big events conducted around the world for professional and semi-professional trap shooters make a good living.

Live shooting had been a popular event in the early years (the use of live birds did not cease until as recent as 1960 – though other countries had ceased this practise even before the Second World War). Common birds shot in Australian Trap meets included, pigeons, sparrows, starlings and galahs in particular.

Jack’s father and several of his siblings all had a common interest in shooting, the Sutherland children grew up on an atmosphere of gunpowder, with all the siblings (children) having learned to shoot from a very young age. 

Jack was likely given his first gun which an old muzzle loader by a cousin (James) who lived in Broadford. 

It wasn’t long at Katandra before he developed a friendship with his schoolteacher in Don McLean, and together they frequently went of shooting expeditions, chasing after rabbits and hares in particular.  Jack then started to shoot game in the bush on his long trek to and from school – however as to where the rifle or shotgun were kept safe during school hours is not recorded ………!  

Jack left school at an early age in 1889 (so he would have only been 10-11 yo at the time), and he began working with his older brother George, in a General Store in the small rural township of Katandra.  The store however closed when George enlisted in the Boer War.  From around 1896 Jack had also been the local mailman, doing all his deliveries on horseback, he continued doing this for about 10 years.

Leaving Katandra 1905c, he was offered a managerial position at the Calrossie Butter Factory which was located a handful of miles out of Yarram in Gippsland.  There he lived on the ‘Calrossie Estate’, and it was here that he was given the nickname of ‘Calrossie Jack’ – purportedly to distinguish his from several other Jack’s also on the Estate.  In 1907 now aged about 29 he began work at Kynochs (the forerunner of ICI), where his position entailed the practical use of guns and ammunition for Field and Trap shooting and Jack was instrumental in the formation of gun club there.

The focal point of Jack’s life now all about shooting, and his knowledge in time on the sport of trapshooting was to become unequalled anywhere in Australia.  He was also always keen to coach and share his knowledge on the sport, as he went on to become the most influential trap shooter in the country. Indeed he was considered to be a true gentleman win or lose.

It was from his nickname that his anonymity in shooting events came about, as he adopted the pseudonym/alias name of ‘Calrossie’ which he used in all events – many folk did not even know that Jack Sutherland and ‘Calrossie’ were one and the same person………..!

A man of humour he thoroughly enjoyed the anonymity that his alias name gave him, he liked to tell fellow competitors that he knew a chap called Jack Sutherland that could shoot just as well as himself, and a  lengthy healthy argument often followed these discussions…….!  On occasions he was merely referred by fellow shooters as ‘Cal’.

When Jack married his first wife Isabelle in 1912 at Caulfield, they settled at 8 Malane Street, Ormond, Melbourne and they had three sons in Leslie, Donald and Keith.  In 1942 Isabell died and he later he remarried, to May McLean. 

Jack was also very keen on playing snooker and cricket. He was a keen follower of both sports and took a real interest in the competitions of the time.  He had lived a long an fulfilling life before he died on 9 January 1968, aged 89.  He was cremated at Springvale.

In Jack’s ‘own words 

‘It was the first time I ever saw a bird liberated from the traps, and although considered a good field shot for a youngster, trapshooting was, of course, something quite new to me. Like all beginners I very soon discovered there was very much to learn. Being a country lad, and unaware of the existence of smokeless cartridges (home loaded), and although I shot my bird it was the last black powder cartridge I ever used over the traps. Never shall I forget that roar of laughter from the onlookers. It was even greater than the cloud of smoke from my carefully loaded cartridges. The secretary of the club, Mr A Halpin, supplied me with some of the smokeless variety, but I failed to get beyond four rounds and was a very interested spectator for the remainder of the match.  The next match in which I competed was at Cosgrove, this time with both barrels charged with smokeless cartridges, but again failed, and it was not until my fifth attempt that my name figured as a prize winner. By this time I had gleaned a few points, one in particular, that the old gun was no good for trapshooting. Fortunately the following year I was enabled to have the use of a high class hammerless gun, and in the next three matches success was the result. Incidentally, I won enough to purchase a gun of my own’.

A modest champion, later in life described his greatest moment being when as a small boy, he shot his first running hare.  He once said ‘it was as natural to me as swimming is to a fish’. It’s a matter of judgement, good eyesight, steady nerves and practice, but I suppose I must have a flair to get to the top’. It came as a surprise when anyone learned he actually wore spectacles in his office, yet he discarded them whilst shooting.


In Australia trap shooting was administered by the Gun Clubs Association and there were National (Commonwealth), State and Gun Club Championships would be conducted on a yearly basis.

On occasions some gun clubs would put up a Trophy that would be regularly be shot for – and a shooter gained permanent possession of the Trophy after a ‘certain amount of wins was obtained’.

To enter a trap shoot event – a shooter paid a fee to enter a competition and they had to supply their own shotgun and cartridges. With slight variations in double barrel events each competitor on at a time had two shots at the target that was released.  If a shooter missed the target he was eliminated, and the successful shooters progressed to the next round until only three, two and then one shooter remained – if required a shoot off was held to determine the place getters.  Thus the lesser shooters almost invariably would struggle to progress for more than a few rounds before being eliminated. 

Then there were Handicap events establish a level playing field for all/each entrants.  Shooters would be given a Handicap of a certain amount of yards pending their results over a period of time.  Competitors couel give away as much as 33 yards.

Expensive and handsome prizes of cash and trophies were frequently on offer..

After the primary (main) shooter event was completed- shooters could ‘throw money in a hat’ to be won in Sweepstakes events.  A entrant could have either one or two nominations (with the additional fee) to double a shooters ‘chance’ would then shoot off for the Sweepstakes.  Frequently when an event (pending how long it continued for) when a few or even two competitors were left as the numbers had dwindled, the remaining shooters might agree to divide the Sweepstakes evenly – at the risk of not winning anything at all.  Then another Sweepstakes might be commence etc etc.

Early in ‘Calrossie’ Competition shooting career  –

1892c  as a 14 year old won a silver medal for best score of the season (club level)
1894/95c won his first shooting award, the ‘Marksmanship Badge’
1895cwon his first trap shoot contest as at the Shepparton Gun Club at the age
of 17.  It was at this event that the Club Secretary a Mr M  Halpin gave
Jack the first smokeless cartridges he had ever fired
1895-1901   in this period, regularly competed in shoot events around the Shepparton
District, gaining much  experience
1901made his first visit to the famous Melbourne Gun Club to compete in a £100
1901won his first Championship event at Kerang
1905joined the Melbourne Gun Club (MGC), where he remained a member for
many years
Calrossie’ 1906

In 1907 ‘Calrossie‘ made his first serious interstate trap shooting trip after having come into prominence in winning the inaugural Commonwealth Sparrow Championship in 1906.

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Reference to ‘Calrossie’ (‘Victoria’s crack shot’) – winner of the Australian Sparrow Shooting Championships of 1906 and 1908 (he was unable to successfully defend his 1906 when he finished equal 4th in 1907 with 21 kills from 25 rounds before being eliminated)
– whilst Chas. Stockdale from Darraweit Guim finished in equal 6th place with 19 kills in 24 rounds.

For the 1909 the Long Distance Trap Shooting Championship (match) of Australia

( possibly this was an unofficial Championship ?)

‘Calrossie’ was matched against a perennial Championship winner in ‘Locksley’ (from Malmsbury, Vic). The match commenced at 11am and tool 90 minutes to complete. During the match ‘Calrossie’s’ best break was 21 using his second barrel 27 times. ‘Locksley’ at one stage had a sequence of 14, using the second barrel on 28 of his birds, he had 36 birds fly against the wind, while ‘Calrossie’ had 18. Match Scores –

‘Calrossie’-  0 1 0 1 1 1 2 0 0 2 1 2 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 1 0 1 1 1 1 2 0 1 1 1 1 2 1 2 1 1 2 1 2 0 2 1 2 1 1 1 ‘Locksley’- 1 2 1 1 1 1 2 0 1 0 1 2 2 1 1 0 2 0 1 1 1 2 2 1 1 1 1 0 2 0 0 0 2 1 1 0 1 1 2 2 0 0 2 1 1 1 1 2 2 1

‘Calrossie’ – 1 1 1 1 2 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 0 0 2 1 2 1 1 1 2 1 1 0 2 0 1 2 1 1 1 2 1 2 1 1 1 1 2 1 2 0 1 2 1 0 2 1 ‘Locksley’ – 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 2 2 1 1 3 2 2 1 1 1 2 2 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 2 1 1 2 2 0 1 1 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 2 2 0 2 1 1 2 0

Final Scores ‘Calrossie’ 87 defeated ‘Locksley’ 70


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Major Championships won 1906 to 1909 = 4

The Referee (Sydney, NSW), Wed 12 Jan 1910 Advertisement
with reference to ‘Calrossie’ having won a Australasian Championship using a Cashmore Gun
Year     Championship TitleGun Club Times
11906 Commonwealth Sparrow Championship
the first of a record
11 Australian Live Birds Championship
(this was the first year this event was held)
 August 1907 – departed for Queensland Tour
21907Commonwealth Starling Championship  
31908Commonwealth Sparrow Championship Melbourne2nd time
41909Wimmera & Western District Sparrow Championship Corunnun 
51909Long Distance Trap Shooting Championship (match) of Australia
(this was likely an unofficial Championship only)
Clay pigeon shooting history
Left: trap closed. Right: Trap open, live-pigeon traps held the bird until they were released using a string on the should of ‘pull’.


As the reader will discover it is a times difficult to establish what indeed were considered to be major championship wins. ‘Calrossie’ was over the years won the Commonwealth Pigeon Shooting Championship of Australia on no few than seven occasions – yet on 16 Feb 1912 ‘Calrossie’ defeated WH Wilkinson (the current holder of the same event) but this win is not recorded amongst his major championships wins. With just a ‘two competitor shoot off with 100 birds each and £100 aside (on a 30 yards rise) ‘Calrossie’ defeated the holder 88 birds to 82 to claim the Championship – as it was only a two man contest is this why it was not recognised as a true Championship event ? Many of his Major wins were recorded at his home gun club, in the Melbourne Gun Club which was situated in Tottenham.

‘Calrossie’ did keep his own personal records for his major wins which at times differed slightly from what the media recorded. In the media’s excitement of ‘Calrossie’ approaching his 100th major as major wins, they appeared at times to wanted record ‘any’ win as a Major Championship. In the Shooters News (Nov 1946) it records a list of 103 major wins – though it recorded the wins in year order only and not recorded in day/month etc order in which they were won. Added to which this research considers that both ‘Calrossie’ and even the media were ‘shy’ in recording all of his major wins.

Major Championships won 1910 to 1919 = 8

Year Championship TitleGun Club Times
61910Hamilton GC Sparrow ChampionshipHamilton 
71911NSW Sparrow Championship Cootamundra 
1912Commonwealth Pigeon Shooting Championship
of Australia
(possibly not recognised – why ?)
81912Wimmera District Sparrow Championship Horsham2nd time?
91913Goulburn Valley District Sparrow Championship Shepparton 
101916Commonwealth Pigeon Championship Melbourne 
111916Commonwealth Sparrow Championship Melbourne3rd time
121919Club Sparrow Championship Northcote 
131919Victorian Pigeon Championship Melbourne 
The Weekly times, Sat 26 July 1924 Advertisement
with reference to ‘Calrossie’ and Ballistite Cartridges
Weekly Times 8 October 1927

In his 32 years career as a trap shot up to October 1927 ‘Calrossie’ had won no fewer than 27  major titles (which was a record), when he was invited and then selected to represent Australia in the 1928 International Trap Shooting Season in Europe, which commenced in early January. The near complete record of Championships and Sweepstakes entered and frequently won by ‘Calrossie’ on his tour were as follows-

Europe & Monte Carlo (the home of Trap Shooting)

In ‘Calrossie’ 1928 on his world shooting (Europe) tour which included winning Championship shooting events in England, France, Italy and the aggregate for the season at Monte Carlo – at the home of trap shooting*.  The meeting at the Monte Carlo extended from 5 January through until 15 March. In that season competing in the European circuit he was the highest overall money winner for the season – and he also set a new world record of 128 pigeons straight (at that time it was considered outstandingly exceptional for the best trap shooter to obtain 20 straight kills).  This was an era when even the trap shooters never expected to be able to shoot all the targets in an event, yet Jack frequently went weeks without missing.   ‘Calrossie’ was to return to Australia loudly acclaimed as the ‘Best Trap Shooter in the World’.

* there is conjecture as to ‘Calrossie’ entering any major Championships events in England and Italy however, as no records can be found per this research.

His total prize money at the Monte Carlo meeting was 800,000 francs (per the exchange rate £6450).   The principal event, the Grand Prix, alone being worth 100,000 francs (£800), conditions being 12 birds from 27 metres. The meeting extends from January 5 to March 15.

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Argus 11 Jan 1928
    Argus 12 Jan 1928  
Argus 13 Jan 1928
Argus 14 Jan 1928

Upon his arrival in the European continent few days were spent competing in various ‘warm up’ Sweepstakes events, which preceded the opening of the Championship trap season, with ‘Calrossie’ by far being the most predominant trap shooter in these early events.

2 January 1928 –

No. 1 SweepCalrossie’ divided 1st place
with 1 other competitor
5 birds from 5 shots
No. 2 Sweep‘Calrossie’ divided 1st place
with 2 other competitors
8 birds from 8 shots
No. 3  SweepCalrossie’ divided 1st place
with 1 other competitor  
10 birds from 10 shots   

3 January 1928 –

No. 2 Sweep ‘Calrossie’  divided 1st place
with 1 other competitor
5 birds from 5 shots
No. 2 Sweep ‘Calrossie’  divided 1st place
with 1 other competitor
5 birds from 5 shots
No. 3 Sweep  ‘Calrossie’ divided 1st place
with 1 other competitor
7 birds from 10 shots

4 January 1928 –

No. 1 Sweep  ‘Calrossie’ divided 1st place
with 1 other competitor
5 birds from 5 shots
No. 2 Sweep Calrossie’ was either unplaced
or did not enter event
No. 3 Sweep ‘Calrossie’ divided 1st place
with 1 other competitor
11 birds from 11 shots

5 January 1928 –

No.1 Sweep    Calrossie’ was either unplaced
or did not enter event
No. 2 Sweep’Calrossie’ divided 1st place
with 1 other competitor
3 birds from 3 shots
No. 3 SweepCalrossie’ was either unplaced
or did not enter event

The Annual Monaco midwinter competition season proper –

At Monte Carlo on 6 January 1928 –

Prix d’Ouvature‘Calrossie’ divided 1st place
with 2 other competitors
(winning prize money of 6000 francs
prize each, with added money totalling
another 5000 Francs)
4 birds from 4 shots
No. 1 Sweep‘Calrossie’ divided 1st place
with 1 other competitor
4 birds from 4 shots
No. 2 Sweep‘Calrossie’ was either unplaced
or did not enter event

At Monte Carlo on 7 January 1928 –

Prix de St. Hubert
‘Calrossie’ divided 1st place
with 3 other competitors
(winning prize money of 6000 francs
each, with added money totalling
another 4480 francs –
5 pigeons from 5 shots
No. 1 Sweep ‘Calrossie’ divided 1st place
with 1 other competitor
10 pigeons from 10 shots
‘Calrossie’ did not enter any
other Sweepstake Events

At Monte Carlo (date not recorded) –

Prix Du Var (Pidgeon
Shooting Handicap)
‘Calrossie’ won the Grant Event
prize money of 10000 francs (£80)
5 birds from 10 shots
No. 1 Sweep‘Calrossie’ divided 1st place
with 1 other competitor
10 birds from 10 shots
No. 2 Sweep‘Calrossie’ was either unplaced
or did not enter event
No. 3 Sweep‘Calrossie’ was either unplaced
or did not enter event
No. 4 sweep‘Calrossie’ was either unplaced
or did not enter event

‘Calrossie’ after his back to back successes at the Prix de St. Hubert and the Grand event of the Prix Du Var (Pidgeon Shooting Handicap, then became the favourite for the next event two events ‘Calrossie’ had finished first on both occasions.

At Monte Carlo (date not recorded) –

Prix Cup St. Joan
(Pigeon Handicap)
Calrossie’ divided 1st place
with CB Meadway
(a fellow Melbourne GC member)

At Monte Carlo on 11 January 1928 –

Prix de L’Estere ‘Calrossie’ (30 metre handicap)
divided 1st place with 2 other
8 birds from 8 shots

At Monte Carlo on 20 January 1928

Prix de Marchais Calrossie’ finished 5th 11 birds from 13 shots
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Argus 23 Jan 1928

23 January 1928

Grande Poule D’Essa ‘Calrossie’ divided 1st place
with one other competitor

24 January 1928 –

Prix de la Riviera ‘Calrossie’ won the event

Once again ‘Calrossie’ was listed as the favourite to win at the next event on the trap shooting calender at the Prix de Monte Carlo on 30 January.

At Monte Carlo on 30 January 1928 –

Prix de Monte Carlo in a disappointing finish
‘Calrossie‘ was unplaced
Misc Sweepstakes‘Calrossie‘ reversed his form from
earlier in the day to be the overall
winner in the Sweepstakes events
Overall –
107 birds from 114 shots
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Weekly Times 4 February 1928

At Monte Carlo on 7 February 1928 –

Prix de la Mediterranee ‘Calrossie’ divided 1st place

At Monte Carlo in 8 & 9 February 1928 –

Prix D’Ermenoville ‘Calrossie’ tied for 1st place –
lost shoot-off for gold medal
(prize money 22000 francs
and 70% of entry fees)
prize money 22000
francs and 70% of
entry fees

At (likely Monte Carlo) on 18 February 1928 –

Prix des Alpes ‘Calrossie’ won event outright

At Monte Carlo (date unknown) –

Prix de la Seine ‘Calrossie’ was eliminated early

per the Prix de la Seine – Australian WG Dowie (who incidently only had one arm) shared first place in the Prix de la Seine, with 2 frenchmen in Massier and Nocca after the 9th round.  It was thought despite Dowie’s prowess back home that might struggle on the European circuit.  Especially so what with the short boundary at Monte Carlo and that it might prove to be too much of a handicap as he had a habit, as was his style of letting the bird get well away from the trap before firing.

The four Australian entrants at Monte Carlo in ‘Calrossie’, AD Menzies (who was then living on the Riviera), CB Meadway (from Wangaratta) and WG Downie* intended on the tour to induce a party of prominent’ European shots to visit Melbourne for the £5000 Handicap and World Championship, to be decided at Tottenham, Melbourne in July 1928.  Lino Polanca the famous Italian who was Runner-Up in the 1927 Grand Prix de Monte Carlo, expressed a keen interest in attending, as did several others in the Melbourne Gun Club’s ambitious project. 

* one armed WG Downie indeed won the World Championship in 1928 whilst in Europe and won purse of 39000 Francs.

In Monte Carlo a triennial World Trap Shooting Championship was held, whilst in Australia a similar worded event was conducted by the Melbourne Gun Club (first held in 1926)- this latter event though mainly attracted entrants only from Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

It appears that both of these World Championship events were recognised as such however – thus there being two separate World Championships (at Monte Carlo and in Melbourne) conducted per year in this immediate period in which both events were recognised for the prestigious importance.

It does not appear though that the MGC were successful in attracting some of the world best Trap Shooters who completed on the European circuit.

Argus 18 February 1928
1928 Monte Carlo –
Overall Aggregate
won by ‘Calrossie’ (despite not
entering some of the events held,
and not completing the season)
1928 English (Championship)purportedly ‘Calrossie’ won this
event, though no record per this
research could be found to sub-
stantiate this claim (poss. more
accurately defeated shooters from
England whilst in Monte Carlo ?)
1st ?
1928 French (Championship)purportedly ‘Calrossie’ won this
event, though no record per this
research could be found to sub-
stantiate this claim (poss. more
accurately defeated shooters from
France whilst in Monte Carlo ?)
1st ?
1928 Italian (Championship)purportedly ‘Calrossie’ won this
event, though no record per this
research could be found to sub-
stantiate this claim (poss. more
accurately defeated shooters from
Italy whilst in Monte Carlo ?)
1st ?
1928 World Record (new)‘Calrossie’ 128
1928 ‘Acclaimed the
Best Trap Shooter
in the World’
returned home with this ‘title’

Despite the Annual Monaco midwinter Competition having not yet concluded (continued into March) ‘Calrossie’ for business reasons returned to London and onward back home to Ormond, Melbourne.  ‘Calrossie’ had stopped 107 out for the first 114 shots in the first week of competition and in addition had participated in many of the Sweepstakes held.  His best break on the tour was 35 birds. Also returning home at the same time was CB Meadway (his third trip to Monte Carlo). Surprisingly neither of them had remained for the largest event of the program in the three day 40th Qualorgienne Triannual Pigeon Shooting  Championship worth 40,000 francs. In addition they also had not competed in the Prix Du Littoral worth 22,000 francs, in addition to 11 other minor events.

Incredibly ‘Calrossie’ returned home having won the Aggregate for the season at Monte Carlo (despite having returned home early). He had won a total of 69,067 francs prize money won.

Interestingly (and confusingly) none of the events that ‘Calrossie’ won in Europe are included on the tables of his important major Championship wins………………….!


To backtrack some 28 years to 1900

and the

STOCKDALE BROTHERS (from Darraweit Guim)

Charles’Chas’ (1865-1956) and Peregrine ‘Perg’ (1867-1955) two sons from the large family of William Hallett Stockdale (1831-1906) and Margaret Cummins (1837-1899) were renowned sportsmen, and particularly in cricket and shooting.  Their names appear newspapers of the day from the late 1880s and then through to the early 1900s.  Both were avid, dedicated and skilful shooters, particularly in live pigeon shooting events, and won many cash prizes at Melbourne and rural Victorian Gun Clubs.

In 1894 Chas Stockdale came equal second in the Australian Grand Pigeon Championships, whilst Perg. finished in third place (after losing a shoot off, for second place in the very same event in 1898 – thus also named Grand Champion Australian Pigeon Championships (Sweepstakes of Australia).

Perg. was at one point was  considered to have been one of the best shots in the Empire , and legendary Donald MacKintosh wanted to take him to Monte Carlo, Monaco in 1900 for the Mid Winter Trap Shooting Season.  Perg who had been the licensee of  Mrs McCabe’s ‘Olive Branch Hotel at Darraweit Guim for some time, had to regretfully decline the invitation due to family commitments (at this time he may have been involved in the purchase of a farm).

Had Perg. been able to make the tour to Monte Carlo, Monaco he likely would have found himself a competitor in the ‘disputed’ (see further on) trap shooting events held at the 1900 second modern Olympic games.

The Stockdale brothers who were state representatives, both competed against ‘Calrossie’ in events as their own competitive shooting careers were winding down and ‘Calrossie’ was beginning to take off in the early Edwardian years.


Upon ‘Calrossie‘ return from Europe the Australian shooting legend of legends in Donald MacKintosh (1886-1951) simply declared – that ‘Calrossie’ was the best that he had ever seen. Such is the impression ‘Calrossie’ and Perg. Stockdale upon the pedigree of Donald Mackintosh that the latter is well worth recording in brief here –


Second Modern Olympics in Paris (1900)

1900: Paris, France | Olympic games, Summer olympic games, Vintage posters

Donald Mackintosh had competed on the lucrative European live-bird  circuit between 1896 and 1908, winning numerous prizes and recognition as a world champion. Some 41 years after his death he was posthumously awarded Olympic gold and bronze medals for pigeon-shooting events deemed to form part of the 1900 Summer Olympics.  However the International Olympic Committee (IOC) later reversed its decision and reclassified the events as none Olympic.

At the dawn of the 20th Century Mackintosh was regarded by his peers as the best Trap shooter in the world.

Donald MacKintosh

Early into his career in 1889 Mackintosh joined the Melbourne Gun Club (MGC) and within six months had attained the maximum handicap of 33 yards which he retained for the rest of his career.  In 1890 he won the MGC £1000 Cup Handicap, killing 33 birds in a row. He also won the club’s £50 Challenge Cup three years in a row. This success permitted him to earn a living as a professional shooter, and he travelled around Australia participating in various competitions. On average he entered live bird shoots at least three days per week.

In 1896 he left Australia to compete on the lucrative European shooting circuit, participating in tournaments in England, Belgium, France, Monaco, Spain and Italy. He won the London Gun Club Challenge Cup three times, the Grand Prix at Monte Carlo twice, the Belgian Championship, and the Grands Prix of Italy, the Aix-lesBains at both Milan and Madrid.  He was widely regarded as a world champion, with the Paris sporting journal ‘Jockey’ writing that ‘his performances at Monte Carlo, together with his records made in England and Australia, are such that, in a word, we declare him the champion of the world’.  He is believed to have won 30 gold medals and over £20,000 in prize money, equivalent to monetary amount of well in excess of $4,000,000 (Australian dollars).

Alongside swimmer Freddie Lane, runner Stan Rowley, shooter Donald Mackintosh was the only other Australian representative to compete at the 1900 Olympics in Paris. Unfortunately for many competitors they did not even know that they were in the Olympics. 

It had been Coubertins idea that the Olympics and Universal Paris Exposition be combined into the one ‘event’. The pigeon shooting events of which there were three, were clearly in the latter.  No reference to the Grand Prix de l’Exposition, the Prix Centenaire de Paris and the lesser Prix de Consolation Handicap for shooters eliminated early on in the former two events.  However the athletic track and field events were not advertised as being a part of the Olympics either……..!

The Prix Centenaire de Paris event attracted 166 entrants, and Mackintosh won with 22 consecutive kills.  In the Grand Prix de l’Exposition the event was won be a competitor from Belguim with 21 consecutive kills, and Mackintosh finished equal third with 18 kills.

Such confusion abounded in Paris with the 1900 Olympics were held at the same time as the ‘Republique Francaise Exposition Universelle de 1900 Championnats Internationaux’.  Many competitors from these events only found out years later that they had been Olympic champions, whilst others died without ever knowing so.  The confusion arose after there had been much bickering between the Union of French Athletic Association and Baron Pierre de Coubertin who in 1894 had first put forward the concept of a Modern Olympic Games, its forerunner having ceased 1501 years beforehand.  So after much arguing the Second modern Olympics were appended to the Universal Paris Exposition.

At the Grand Prix de l’Exposition of 1900, which was many years later classed as part of the Olympics by the OIC, before that decision was rescinded  – the trap shooting event was won by  – Leon de Lunden (Belgium), second was Maurice Faure (France) and equal third Donald Mackintosh (Australia) – the other equal third place getters name is not known per this research.  There was no official team or selection process at this time, and each man raised their own funds to compete.  Mackintosh also entered two live pigeon shooting events at the 1900 Exposition Univererselle , the first was the Grand Prix du Centenaire, which was held on 19 & 20 June, attracting 166 competitors.  Mackintosh shot 22 birds in a row, one more than the Spanish runner-up, with each shooter was eliminated after missing one bird.  In the second event, the Grand Prix de l’Exposition held from between 25 & 27 June, Mackintosh tied for third place by shooting 18 consecutive pigeons, three behind the winner.  When all but the last four shooters had been eliminated, the remaining competitors agreed to split the prize money equally between them, and each received 7,340 francs.

This was a time before medals were actually officially awarded at the Olympics to the first three place getters in each event, with medals first awards at the 1906 games at St. Louis, USA.  The IOC now however has since accorded all place getter from the 1896 and 1900 Olympics with symbolic medals.

Whilst fellow Australians in Lane and Rowley were strictly amateur and had to raise money by public subscription and topped up with their own funds, Mackintosh alone was an unashamed professional and accepted prize money accordingly throughout his long and successful career.    Mackintosh travelled the shooting circuit of the European continent, which in particular included Monte Carlo (the home of shooting), France, Spain, Belguim and Italy.  One astounding feature of Mackintosh was that he was blind in his left eye.

At this time (1900) however and for many years to come the Olypmics were strictly for amateurs only.

Mackintosh who had just recently been successful in the prestigious Grand Prix de Casino at Monte Carlo, just so happened to be in France with his wife for the Paris Exhibition Pigeon Shooting.

The IOC did however attempt to recognize all placegetters –

Fred Lane left Paris weighted down with
two large bronze sculptures courtesy of –
1st (GOLD) – SwimmingFinal200mtrs freestyle2:25.2 sec
1st (GOLD) – details of event unknown
per this research
Final200m obstacle race2:38.4
Stan Rowley returned home with
small clock, a ladies purse and a
silver paperknife courtesy of – 
(BRONZE) -Track and Field Final3rd60 mtrs7.2 sec
(BRONZE) – Track and FieldHeat – 2nd 100 mtrs11.2 sec
Repecharge Heat -1st11.0 sec
Semi-Final – 2nd11.3 sec
Final – 3rd11.2 sec
(BRONZE) – Track and FieldFinal – 3rd200 mtrs22.9 sec
(GOLD) – Track and Field
Final – 1st Team
5000 mtrs
Donald Mackintosh however settled
quite happily with a healthy sized
cheque and a medal for his
performances –
(GOLD) – Shooting
at the Prix Centenaire de Paris
1stGame Shooting 22 pts
(BRONZE) – Shooting
at the Grand Prix de l’Exposition.
Live Pigeon Shoot18pts

Donald Mackintosh was at this time regarded as the finest shot in the world.  On 25 June 1900 he had gone on a day trip into Paris to compete in a live pigeon shoot that had been organized by the Paris Exhibition, and had no idea that he was participating in the Olympic games.  He won the Prix Centenaire de Paris shoot and tied for third in the Grand Prix de l’Exposition.  For his troubles he collected over 7500 francs (₤300) in prizemoney and a medal.  He had already won several trophies on the tour, and after visiting Paris he set off to shoot in several other parts of the Continent.

As the IOC became more organized and fast forwarding 12 years they decided to acknowledge and recognize the place getters retrospectively from the early Olympics – however Mackintosh feats were overlooked. 

After the death of his son in 1907 Mackintosh who owned a gun shop decided to retire from all competitive shooting. 

Mackintosh had recorded the 100 break Clay Shooting (in Australia) – consecutive kills.

Then in 1956 the IOC commissioned a Dr Ferenc Mezo to document all Olympic Champions since 1896 and in his list he recorded Mackintosh, but he added to the confusion by recording this Gold medal event as Archery.  Indeed the Paris Exhibition had listed the shooting events in two divisions of Marksmanship, with some events in Archery and others in Shooting events. As late as 1992 the Australian IOC still had not listed Mackintosh him as a participant of medal winner.  

In 1987 some 36 years after Macintosh death (in 1951) that two sports historians (Max and Reet Howell) delved into the shooting events held in Paris in the summer of 1900, and they became interested his ‘story’.  They presented their findings to the Australian Gallery of Sport, who in turn forwarded the report onto the IOC requesting a ruling on his status – In addition they also presented details on a number of trophies won him over his career.  However there was never any official reply received in return from the IOC.

Then in 1992 writer Harry Gordon was in Lausanne and he carried out additional research at the Olympic Museum and at headquarters of the IOC at Chateau Vidy – not only for Mackintosh but on Rowley as well.  With a reports submitted to the IOC  who in response confirmed in writing that Mackintosh had won a ‘controversial event’ of game shooting which had been officially but incorrectly been considered to have been a Archery event.  The same also applied to the live pigeon shooting event in in which he had finished equal third.  Retrospectively the IOC awarded a Gold and a Bronze medal to Donald Mackintosh though ‘it remained a grey area, as confoudingly they never formally confirmed Mackintosh as an Olympic Gold and Bronze medallist. 

Then in 2012 the IOC ‘quietly’ removed Mackintosh from its list of Olympic medallists, without informing the AOC. 

Mackintosh over his career is shooting career Mackintosh won the prestigious Grand Prix at Monte Carlo twice, recorded major wins in the London Gun Club Challenge Cup (three years in a row), the Grand Prix of Italy , the Grand Prize Aix les Bains, the Belgian Championship, the Milan Grand Prize, the Madrid Grand Prize in addition to numerous major Championships back home in Australia.

(much of the above has been sourced from Harry Gordon (Australia and the Olympic Games – 1994)

Major Championships won 1920 to 1929 = 18

Year Championship TitleGun ClubTimes
14 1920 Club Sparrow ChampionshipMelbourne 
151920Commonwealth Mixed Bird Championship Northcote 
161921Commonwealth Mixed Bird Championship Northcote2nd time
171921NSW Pigeon Championship Sydney 
181922NSW Pigeon Championship Sydney2nd time
191923Victorian Pigeon Championship Melbourne2nd time
201924Commonwealth Pigeon Championship Melbourne2nd time
21 1924 South Australian Pigeon Championship Adelaide 
221925Wimmera & Western District
Sparrow Championship
Nhill3rd time?
231926Melbourne GC Sparrow Championship Melbourne2nd time
241926Goulburn Valley District Starling Championship Sheppartion2nd time
251927Club Sparrow Championship Northcote2nd time
261927Club Starling ChampionshipNorthcote 
271927Victorian Pigeon Championship Melbourne3rd time
Late 1927 – left for European Tour
 1928entered 12 sweepstakes events
and divided 1st prize 9 times
 1928Prix d’Ouvature – 3 way tie for 1st place
at Monte Carlo, then tied for 1st place
in sweepstakes
 1928Prix de  St. Hubert – 4 way tie for 1st place 
 1928Prix Du Var (Pidgeon Shooting Handicap) 
 1928Prix Cup St. Joan (Pigeon Handicap)
– 2 way tie
 1928Prix de L’Esterel – 3 way tie 
 1928Prix de Marchais – divided 
 1928Grande Poule D’Essa – divided 
 1928Prix de la Riviera – won outright 
 1928Monte Carlo- Prix de la Mediterranee
– divided
 1928Prix D’Ermenoville – tied for 1st place
then lost shoot off
 1928Prix des Alpes 
 1928Overall aggregate Championship
at Monte Carlo
 1928England – Championship
(purportedly won ?)
 1928French – Championship
(purportedly won ?)
 1928Italian – Championship
(purportedly won ?)
 1928set world record of –
128 pigeon kills straight
  (returned home, acclaimed as the
‘Best Trap Shooter in the World’)
281928Victorian Starling Championship Northcote 
291928South Australian Starling Championship
Mt Gambier 
301929Club Starling Championship Williamstown 
311929Victorian Starling Championship Northcote2nd time

In the period 1930 to 1939 it widely accepted that ‘Calrossie’ reached he peak with John Melan an international shooting critic describing ‘Calrossie’ as ‘positively the best shot on the planet”.

1932 in breaking his own Australian with another unbelievable kill total when he shot 121 starlings straight at the Melbourne Gun Club.  At that time no other shooter in Australia had managed to shoot more than 57.  This record was never to be broken.


Also recorded in 1932 that ‘Calrossie’ is well known world wide, and that he was without parallel in the history of Trap Shooting.

In late 1933 a writer in a British monthly shooting magazine called ‘The Rifleman’ referred to ‘Calrossie’ as ‘the best bird shot on this planet”, further adding that at one time in his career he held the State Pigeon Shooting Championship Titles at the same time for Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia.

Shooting Party at Horsham 1933
(‘Calrossie’ – back row in the middle)
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In the depression years in Australia, ‘Calrossie’ declined to win events that he didn’t wish to win, as he was often competing with some of ICI’s best customers.  Thus it wasn’t always in the company’s interest for him to continually win.

Possibly ‘Calrossie’ finest win (aside from his Monte Carlo Victories) was when in 1936 he won the pigeon Shooting Championship of NSW.  In this event he recorded a score of 20 kills from 21 shots, with all the kills registered from the first barrel, and shot within a 15 yard fence and a 16 yard boundary.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-25.png
January 1938

Major Championships won 1930 to 1939 = 57

Year Championship TitleGun ClubTimes
321930 Club Pigeon ChampionshipMelbourne 
331930Commonwealth Single Barrel Pigeon
Championship of Australia
^^1930Williamstown Starling Championship victory
341931Victorian Pigeon Championship Melbourne4th time
351931Riverina Pigeon Championship (divided) Albury 
361931NSW Pigeon Championship Wagga Wagga3rd time
371931South Australian Pigeon Championship Mt Gambier2nd time
381931Victorian Handicap Starling ChampionshipMelbourne 
391931Commonwealth Starling Championship of Australia Melbourne3rd time
401931Commonwealth Mixed Bird Championship
of Australia
Reservior3rd time
41^1931Club Shooting Club Championship Benalla 
421931NSW Pigeon Championship Peak Hill 
by end of 1931 had won 41/42/43
Major Championships
pending which records one accesses

and does not include any of his
(World Class)
Major European Championship
wins from 1928
431932Nobel Clay Bird Single Barrel Championship West Footscray
441932Pigeon Championship of VictoriaMelbourne5th time
451932Champion of Champions Cup
(premier event of the year)
  Est. 1928 per above –
World Record 117 Straight with an unfinished
break of 46 being carried over. 
The previous record being 99
which was and was held by fellow
countryman SL Snipe). 
‘Calrossie’ later extended is record
to 132 consecutive kills
(the Shooters News of Nov 1946
records his new record as 121 starlings
and this also
as a Major Championship Win)
461932South Australia Starling Championship
Mt Gambier2nd time
47 ^1932Club Shooting Club ChampionshipBenalla2nd time
^^1932Club Sparrow Shoot ChampionshipMelbourne2nd time
481933Victoria Pigeon Championship  6th time
491933Commonwealth Mixed Birds ChampionshipMelbourne4th time
also Runners-Up in Qld and NZ Events
before his 50th win
501933Club Starling ChampionshipMelbourne 
511933Commonwealth Sparrow Championship
of Victoria
Melbourne 4th time
52^1933Australia Pigeon Champion CupMelbourne 
531934Commonwealth Mixed Birds Championship Melbourne5th time 
 1934Commonwealth Galah Championship
(why was this not recorded ?)
541934Victoria  Starling Championship Melbourne3rd time
551934Commonwealth (Walk Up) Championship
of Australia
at the Noble Clay Birds Club
West Footscray2nd time
561934Commonwealth (Pit) Pigeon Championship
of Australia
571934Victorian Sparrow Championship Melbourne2nd time
58 ^1935Commonwealth Galah Championship
(his 1934 win in this event was apparently
not recorded as a Major win – why ?)
2nd time 
59 ^1935Pigeon Championship of Victoria 7th time
601935Pigeon Championship of South Australia Mr Gambier3rd time
611936Victorian Pigeon Championship Melbourne5th time
621936Goulburn Valley Sparrow Championship Seymour 
?1936New South Wales Pigeon Championship
(not recorded why ?)
4th time
^^1936West Gippsland Starling Championship Warragul
631936Commonwealth Pigeon Championship
of Australia
Melbourne4th time
641936Metropolitan Pigeon Championship Melbourne 
651937Metropolian Pigeon Championship Melbourne2nd time
661938Commonwealth Mixed Birds Championship Melbourne6th time
671938Commonwealth Walk Up Championship
(Clay Birds)
Tasmanian GC 
681938Victoria Pigeon Championship Melbourne9th time
691938Midlands Big Bird (Galah) Championship Castlemaine 
701938Sparrow Championship of South Australia 
^^1938Mixed Birds Championship Geelong
71^1938Grand National Pigeon Cup (handicap) 
^^1938South Australian Starling Championship Mt Gambier3rd time
72^1938Commonwealth Sparrow Championship
of Australia
Melbourne5th time
^^1938Midland Pigeon Shooting Championship Castlemaine
731938Western District  Mixed Birds Sparrow
Shooting Championship
(the Shooters New3 of Nov 1946 records this
at a sparrow shooting Championship event)
Geelong4th time
741938Commonwealth Pigeon Shooting Championship Melbourne5th time
751938Wimmera Big Bird (Galah) Championship
(won  a gun and £45)
761938Grand National Pigeon Cup Melbourne 
^^1938Midlands Sparrow Shooting Championship Castlemaine
771938Club Starling ChampionshipMelbourne2nd time
781938Pigeon Shooting Championship
of the Grampians
791939Commonwealth Big Birds Championship
the Shooters News Nov 1946 records
this win as a Mixed Birds Championship
801939Commonwealth Big Bird (Galah)
Kerang3rd time 
811939Club Starling ChampionshipWarragul 2nd time
82^1939Victorian Big Bird (Galah) Championship Donald 
831939West Gippsland Pigeon Shooting Championship Warragul 
84 / 85?1939Commonwealth Pigeon Championship
of Australia
Melbourne6th time
^^1939Victorian Field Shooters GC Sparrow (Pit)
(at Nov 1939 – 85 Championships won)
851939Goulburn Valley Galah ChampionshipsRushworth 
861939Club Starling ChampionshipMelbourne3rd time
^ Major Win (per this research only)
^^ Major Win (per Shooters News article, November 1948



Approaching a ‘100’ major Championship Wins

As ‘Calrossie’ neared winning his 100th Major Championship, what with the eagerness of sports lovers keenly following his progess his total of major Championship wins becomes very slightly confusing to accurately follow at times.  There is no doubt at all in that ‘Calrossie’ did achieve this milestone, however some of the press appeared keen to record minor club events at a Major Championship win. 

‘Calrossie’ indeed won many minor events in his career, possible totalling several hundred, whilst his major and possibly his most important career successes on the European are not recorded – then there is also the multitude of 2nd and 3rd places to consider as well.

Much of the total of major events won was only tallied up after ‘Calrossie’ himself was asked by the media to establish the number of major Championships he had actually won (which at this time he recorded as 93, not including Europe). Prior to this that had been some minor discrepancies recorded by the press and to how many wins he had actually accumulated.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-26.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-27.png
March 1941 (also see below)

Despite what was recorded in the above neswpaper article – on 14 April 1941 ‘Calrossie’ ‘officially’ was credited with 100th major Championship when he won the Commonwealth Starling Championship at Tottenham (MGC) with 19 birds from 21 shots.

In 1941 he revealed his secret of success in that believed in moderation in everything – except winning championships! He was not a teetotaller, and enjoyed a pipe or a good cigar, but he did not train for a big shoot – being of the opinion that if a man is in good health and leads a normal life that is all that is required. He had a wonderfully even temperament, and this combined with a great deal of quiet determination, was possibly one of the major reasons for his wonderful  success. 

For the sixth time in his career ‘Calrossie’ retired in 1942 from entering competitive shooting events, with 103 major Championship wins during his career.

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Then in 1948 now aged 70 and despite not having shot in competition for six years ‘Calrossie’ came out of retirement to win his 104th Championship (an incredible feat) and his second Commonwealth Galah Championship (though this research believes it was his fourth win in this Championship event ?).

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-29.png
The Sporting Globe 6 March 1948

Major Championships won 1940 to 1949 = 18

Year Championship TitleGun
871940Goulburn Valley Galah Championships Rushworth2nd time
881940Australian Starling Cup
(in the swamps of the Kerang District)
891940Metropolitan (Pit Thrown) Starling Championship Victorian
901940Grampians Mixed Bird Championship Beaufort 
911940Victorian Pigeon Shooting Championship Melbourne10th time
921940Pit Thrown Starling Club Championship Shepparton 
92 ?
1940Victorian Mixed Bird Championship Melbourne 
93 *1940West Gippsland Starling Championship Warragul 3rd time
941940Victorian Metropolitan Starling Championship
951940Australian Starling Championship – Trap4th time
961940Metropolitan Pigeon &
Mixed Bird Championship
971941Commonwealth Mixed Bird Championship Melbourne7th time
also 97 ?1941Victorian Sparrow Championship Melbourne3rd time
981941Club Starling Championship
Victorian Field
Shooters Club
991941Pigeon Championship of Victoria Melbourne11th time
1001941All (mixed) Birds ChampionshipMelbourne 2nd time
1011941Commonwealth Starling Championship (Gift)
of 25 yards
Melbourne4th time ?
1021941Commonwealth Starling Championship Melbourne5th time
? **^^1941Club Grand National Starling Cup – Handicap
(All Round)
Shooters Club
? **1941Grand National Pigeon Championship
Handicap (at the Grand Carnival MGC)
2nd time
 103^^1941Commonwealth Pigeon Championship
of Australia
7th time
1041941Victorian Metropolitan Starling Championship2nd time
105 ^1948Commonwealth Galah Championship
of Australia
Kerang4th time
106 ^ 1949GCA Australian Teams Championship
(Melb. No. 1 Team)
also recorded as at Kerang 1948
* 93rd Trap Title win per ‘Calrossie’s’ own personal records
** possibly only a club level Championships despite their “Grand Title’ ?

^ Major Win (per this research only)
^^ Major Win (per Shooters News article, November 1946

In 1958 ‘Calrossie’ competed in his last trap shoot event at the age of 80 years. (NB: live shoots were discontinued after 1958).

Jack ‘Calrossie’ Sutherland
Inducted into the Victorian Clay Target Association Inc. Hall of Fame
11 November 2011

Posthumous Induction into


Hall of FameDate Inducted
Australian Clay Target Association (ACTA)7/4/2011
Victorian Clay Target Association (VCTA)11/11/2011
Shepparton Sports2011
Jack ‘Calrossie’ Sutherland
Inducted into the Australian Clay Target Association Hall of Fame
7 April 2011


The legacy left by ‘Calrossie’

Clay targets was fast becoming popular in other parts of the world and it also began to gain some some support and momentum here in Australia.  In these early events Fred Burns and Newton Thomas both acknowledged ‘Calrossie’ ability by nominating him as the greatest Trap Shooter they had ever seen. He was/is regarded as the father of Clay Target Shooting in Australia, although he seldom shot clays as they were introduced as he was scaling back his shooting career.  He recognized that clay targets would become popular amongst trap shooters and that their use would reduce cost and subsequently make Trap Shooting affordable to more Australians.

‘Calrossie’ along with Horrie James and Donald was the driving force behind the establishment of the ACTA.  Though his greatest legacy was his shooting style, in the method he used to prepare, mount his gun and shoot the target.  Fred Burns came under Jack’s influence and subsequently went on to dominate trapshooting as well as coaching what he had learnt.  Further more when Newton Thomas was developing as a trap shooter, he too modelled himself on Jacks style.

Newton in time also then went on to influence hundreds of shooters of his generation around Australia

Whilst in Europe in 1928 Jack developed a friendship with the great American trap shooter Mark Arie, and keen to improve his shooting  improve his shooting he sought coaching from Jack. Arie went on to become the first man to shoot 100 doubles in clay target shooting and to become a multiple time winner at the Grand American. He has been recognized with his admission to the ATA Trapshooting Hall of Fame and was a major influence on the sport in the USA.  Thus through Arie using Jack’s style it spread throughout the USA and today many thousands of US trapshooters can credit there style to ‘Calrossie’. 

Calrossie’ memory is perpetuated in 2017 with the cross tasman Jim McKenzie/Jack (Calrossie) Sutherland ISSF Trap trophy. It is a 3 per team competition for Under 21 from NZ and Australia.

He was the Australian Pigeon Championship a record 7 times, this being Australia’s the premier live target event.

He travelled extensively throughout Australia and won just about every major championship of the era.


So can Wallan actually claim ‘Calrossie’ as one of its early sons ? Certainly his family were in the area for a good many of the early years, whilst a young John William Sutherland time here in reality was but a fleeting one. On this point the reader may again decide…………………!



As detailed earlier there is some discrepancy in the number of Major Championship wins recorded by ‘Calrossie’ – with misc. newspapers had different totals of the number of Championship wins recorded – especially more so in the excitement and frenzy as ‘Calrossie’ closed in on his supposed 100th championship win.  Indeed ‘Calrossie’ himself was eventually consulted on how many Championships he had actually won and his figure did not tally with the newspapers recording of his latest title win number.

‘Calrossie’ had during during his careers also been placed many times either 2nd or 3rd also – and none of the total this includes any his finest wins in Europe.  ‘Calrossie’ appears per this research recorded as many as 132 Major Championship wins which is some 28 more than records credit him for. Alas there has possibly been some wins recorded here, that did not stand the ‘test of time’ as major titles ?

(per the above) this research records no fewer than 132 Major Championship wins ?

State Championship Wins (38) –

Victorian Pigeon Championship111919 1923 1927 1931 1932 1933
1935 1936 1938 1940 1941
Victorian Galah Championship 41934 1935 1938 1939
(some of these wins may have been
Commonwealth/Australian Titles ?)
 Victorian Starling Championship 31928 1929 1934
Victorian Sparrow Championship 31933 1934 1941
 Victorian Starling (Handicap) Championship1931
 Victorian Big Bird Championship 11939
 Victorian Mixed Bird Title – Pitt Thrown 11940
Victorian Mixed Bird Title – Pitt Thrown 11940
NSW Pigeon Championship 4 1921 1922 1931 1936
 NSW Sparrow Championship 11911
Tasmanian Pigeon Championship 1 1910
 Commonwealth Walk Up Championship (Clay Birds) Tasmania 11938
South Australian Pigeon Championship 31924 1931 1935
South Australian Starling Championship 21928  1932
South Australian Sparrow Championship1 1938
Commonwealth Mix Bird Championship 31933 1934 194

Australian Championships (39) –

Commonwealth Pigeon Championship   7*1916 1924 1930 1936
1938 1939 1941
Commonwealth Mixed Bird Championship1920 1921 1931 1933
1934 1938 1941
 Commonwealth Sparrow Championship  51906 1908 1916 1933
 Commonwealth Starling Championship 51906 1908 1931 1940
Grand National Pigeon Championship (Handicap) 21938 1941
Grand National Pigeon Championship1938 1941
Grand National Pigeon Championship 11930
 Champion of Champions Cup 11932
 Australian Pigeon Champions Cup 1*1933
Commonweath Walk-Up Pigeon Championship of Australia 11934
Commonwealth Pit Pigeon Championship of Australia 11934
 Commonwealth Big Bird Championship 11939
Commonwealth Starling Championship (Gift) of Australia 11941
 Grand National Starling Cup (Handicap) 11941
Commonwealth Galah Championship11948
(NB: were some of his Victorian
Galah Championship wins – as
recorded in the previous table
– more accurately Australian
Titles ?)
GCA Australian Teams Championship (Melbourne No.1 Team) 1 1949


Any critical comment, correction or addition to this article is most welcome (particularly so regarding the precise number of actual major Championships won). Recognition to any contribution made will duly be referenced here.


Reference Sources – Treasure Trove, State Library of Victroria, Helene Sutherland, Paula Bongetti, Australian Clay Target Accociation, (other sources yet to be uploaded)