Justin over at GunsAmerica has written a primer for those interested in getting started in IDPA.
When Austin area resident Ben Zacharias saw an opportunity to try out for a shooting themed reality TV show, he knew he had to give it a shot (pun intended!). After a short application process, he found himself in Central Florida for 2 weeks of filming. The show will air on the Pursuit Channel on Saturday Nov 2nd 4:30PM CST and will feature Zacharias competing against five other men in disciplines that will range from shooting sports, fishing, archery, and overall sporting challenges. The hosts of the show and panel outdoor industry leaders will judge and decide the fate of each individual and team participant after each competition. Judges base their decisions on their personal abilities and skill levels as outdoorsmen. At the end of each competition someone will be judged off the show and will be eliminated. The final contestant will be named the champion and walk away with thousands of dollars in prizes!
Zacharias is not former military or a sponsored pro shooter. He is just your typical family man that enjoys hunting and target shooting on the weekend, though you’ll usually find him in the top 20% in his shooting division. “I really enjoy the energy and excitement of shooting multi-gun competitions. In 2012, I traveled to 4 states for national matches in addition to matches throughout Texas,” Zacharias said. “I’m a member of Texas Multigun, which puts on monthly matches that attract 50-70 shooters and an annual match that attracts over 400 shooters from all over the US and even a few from outside the US.”
To help prepare for competing, Zacharias said he made a list of the activities he has seen on other reality shows and practiced a variety of outdoor activities. “I’ve never been on a horse for more than just a short tourist style trail ride, so that was something that I definitely practiced,” Zacharias said. In addition to learning about horses, Zacharias practiced navigating via map and compass, building a fire without matches, tying knots, throwing knives, and shooting many sorts of firearms.
“The support from friends and family has been wonderful,” Zacharias said. “Everybody has been cheering me on and my neighbors in The Cove (as we call our neighborhood) are already planning some epic viewing parties! I’ve been telling everyone that I can use all of the encouragement and support I can get.”
Some local businesses have also really pitched in as well. CrossFit Valor, a local Cedar Park business, helped Zacharias prepare for the unexpected with their CrossFit workouts comprised of constantly varied functional movements (like pushing, pulling, squatting, lifting and running) executed at high intensity. “I knew my usual routine of running the Brushy Creek Trail wasn’t going to cut it,” Zacharias said, “so I looked to the experts in strength and conditioning programs.”
Zacharias also spent considerable time with Austin Lessons and Tutoring owner, Joan Marie MacCoy, learning the ins and outs of horseback riding. “I’ve been on the basic trail ride in which my horse just follows the horse in front, but I’ve never been out on my own,” Zacharias said. “Austin Lessons is a company that really worked with my schedule to get me quickly up to speed on riding horses. It went through special efforts to outfit me with a variety of tricks for the trail such as riding numerous types of horses and drawing from a variety of equitation styles so I could get a complete experience. Now I’m galloping full steam ahead!”
In short: no teams, no alliances, no drama. Just plain shooting. At the end of the day the weakest person goes home. I was pulling for Gary, simply because he is the only competitor on the show this season that I’ve actually had the opportunity to speak to. Read my interview with Gary: http://www.weapon-blog.com/2011/10/interview-top-shot-competitor-gary-quesenberry/
Daryl Parker has a great rundown: http://cheaperthandirt.com/blog/?p=44056