It’s hard to believe that just a few short months ago we at NRA Women were referring to 19-year-old Karen Shedd as “one to watch,” while our sister publication NRA Family named her a “Rising Shooting Star.” Now we are calling her the first-ever Winchester Ladies Cup Champion.
Team Krieghoff’s Karen Shedd posted the highest cumulative score of the season-long tour, which culminated at the National Sporting Clays Championships in San Antonio, Texas, on Oct. 31, 2021. Madison Sharpe came in as runner up, while Desirae Edmunds placed third. The Winchester Ladies Cup is an all-new, season-long sporting clays competition designed specifically for ladies who shoot on the NSCA Championship Tour, Powered by Winchester.
The Ladies Cup podium showings couldn’t have come at a better time for women competitive sporting clays shooters like Shedd, Sharpe and Edmunds, as one of the objectives that went into creating the Winchester Ladies Cup was to level the “paying field” for the many women who have dedicated themselves to the game, putting in countless hours of practice as they pursue excellence in the sport.
At the Cup’s debut in spring 2021, Winchester Ammunition President Brett Flaugher explained that a lot of thinking went into the Winchester Ladies Cup. “It started by looking at the current payout structure between the top men shooters and the top women shooters,” he said, noting there was a big difference in their earnings, with the payout to the female winners being significantly lower.
“The Winchester Ladies Cup is an opportunity to add tremendous value to the many female sporting clays shooters across the country—a group of competitors who continue to grow each year and compete at a high level,” he said.
The Winchester Ladies Cup, which culminated at the NSCA Championship finals, spanned seven NSCA Championship Tour regional events. An added payout of $5,000 was awarded to the top three all-around female competitors at each event based on the highest cumulative score in the NSCA 5-Stand, Main Event and FITASC Event. The all-around champion received an additional $2,500, the runner-up received $1,500. All-around third place received $1,000.
During the awards ceremony that concluded the 2021 Championships, $10,000 was shared among the three female shooters with the highest cumulative placements for the entire season. The Ladies Cup trophy and $5,000 was awarded to champion Shedd, while Sharpe walked away with $3,000; and Harrington, $2,000 for a third-place finish.
Hailing from Arizona, Shedd began her shooting career in the Scholastic Clay Target Program at the age of nine and entered competitive sporting clays at age 15. Shedd, who is also sponsored by ammunition manufacturer B&P, was chosen earlier in 2021 as Team Captain for the American FITASC team, which took place in Hungary during the summer. Her appointment to head the 2021 Team USA Ladies FITASC effort follows Karen’s impressive six-target-lead win at the B&P FITASC Grand Slam in Arizona, where she also became the first Lady to win an overall FITASC qualifier.
“I am continuously impressed with how Winchester brings innovative thinking into their support of the shooting sports,” said Team Winchester’s champion sporting clays shooter Desirae Edmunds. “The Winchester commitment to actively growing participation is unparalleled, and I know many ladies who will greatly benefit from the Winchester Ladies Cup.”
Winchester has a long track record of promoting female participation in the shooting sports. As the official ammunition of Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP), Winchester is supporting a group that introduces the shooting sports to thousands of young ladies each year. In addition, Winchester representatives Kim Rhode, Dania Vizzi, Maddy Bernau, Becky Yackley, Taylor Thorne, Kemble duPont and Desirae Edmonds span the clay target and three-gun disciplines at the highest levels of competition, serving as role models and inspiration for the next generation of sport shooters.