Horner Wins 2nd Straight 3GN Shoot-Off

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The first two stages of Event #3 on the 2014 FNH USA 3-Gun Nation Pro Series Tour, presented by Federal Premium Ammunition, were anything but vintage Daniel Horner. A pistol jam and a failure to engage penalty on the first stage left him in a shocking 17th place overall. More problems on stage 2 put him further off the pace. Even though Stage 3 was solid, he dropped another 2.5 seconds to Keith Garcia, who was absolutely on fire through the first three stages of the match.

And while Garcia was laying it down, slowly but surely, Horner inched his way back toward the top 10. Then back into it, up to fourth. And on the last stage of the match Horner laid down a smoking 26.29, a stage win, to catapult all the way back into second place for the match. With the top 10 set, and Horner solidly in it, yet another Shoot-Off showdown between Garcia and Horner seemed imminent.

In the Shoot-Off, BJ Norris, qualifying in 10th place, kicked it off with a solid 30.96, but unfortunately he picked up a five-second penalty, knocking him out of contention. West Chandler followed with a 34.39, before Matthew Sweeney laid down a 32.24.

Greg Jordan followed up with a contending run, only to receive a five-second penalty like Norris. Tommy Thacker’s return to the top 10 produced a 35.20, before Shane Coley spun out with a 43.35, plus several penalties. Burton Thompson also let it get away from him with the throttle wide open, running 42.19 plus penalties. Finally, Horner stepped to the line.

Horner took the 12 offhand rifle plates in 15 shots, laid down a solid shotgun run through 12 clays, then was outstanding through the final pistol array for a solid time of 30.23—solid but beatable. Keith Garcia followed with an equal 15-shot rifle run, and had a solid shotgun run going until a jam cost him at least a second and a half. A furious pistol charge kept him in the hunt, but his 31.02 was simply not enough. Ironically, a jam, which put Horner so far behind on stage one, had saved his Stage 6 run when suffered by his closest competitor.

Such is life in the 3GN Shoot-Off.

The match win was the first Pro Series victory for Garcia this season and his third Pro Series win in the three years. Garcia also took first place at the Para USA 3GN Southeastern Regional Championship in March.

Horner was outstanding in his rally to second place, his second finish behind Garcia in Pro Series matches in three seasons. Burton Thompson had his finest Pro Series match to date, finishing third. Shane Coley finished fourth, with Tommy Thacker making a monster comeback over his two previous matches this season to come in fifth. Tyler Payne returned to the top 10 to finish sixth.

Greg Jordan, who suffered a 20-second penalty on the first stage of the match, arguably had even a better comeback than Horner to battle back all the way to seventh place. Matthew Sweeney got his second top 10 finish of the season, finishing eighth. West Chandler remained in the top 10 at nine, while BJ Norris continued his upward trend in the Pro Series with a 10th place finish.

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