Stuart started competitive benchrest shooting in 1978 in Canberra, Australia. Coming from a farming background he had already been hunting and varmint shooting with rimfire and centrefire rifles from a young age.
After moving to Canberra in the mid 70's the desire to achieve more accuracy with these rifles would eventually lead him to the SSAA range at Majura where he discovered Benchrest fanatics! In 1978 he purchased a 2nd hand benchrest rifle with a Sako action and a custom timber stock which was chambered in 222 Magnum. He soon learned there was better and later had Ron Marsden of RTM rifles build him a new rifle in 6mmPPC. It was with a Rem XP100 action in an RTM alloy stock, Hart barrel and a Lyman 20x LWBR scope. After shooting in his first registered BR tournaments in early '79 the first "big match" was the Southern Varmint Titles in Adelaide, South Australia which was in Oct '79 at the SSAA Para range. This was also his first "International" exposure competing with a group of visiting American Benchrest shooters.
In 1980 he helped organize and run the inaugural Australia Day Benchrest Matches at Canberra with Herb Valerius. This event is now regarded as one of the biggest and best on the Australian Benchrest competition schedule. Over the years he has shot many Australian and World records and won many State and National championships like the Australia Day Matches (6 times) and Harry Madden Championships in Queensland (3 times) as well as the Aussie Super Shoot. He has competed in 5 World Benchrest Championships winning medals at most of them including 3rd place overall in Sweden 2003 and the Gold medal in Brisbane 1995 for the 300 yard event. Also under his belt he has an Oceania regional championship in New Zealand and together with Brendan Atkinson won the inaugural Regional Pacific Championships in Brisbane 2006. In the USA two NBRSA National Championships, Phoenix, Arizona and St Louis, Missouri, several U.S. State regional matches and two U.S. Super Shoots in Ohio. Stuart became a member of the Australian Benchrest Hall Of Fame in 1990 (No 12).
Regular Benchrest competition is only one part of his game and he has won many events and set records in Hunter Class (Rimfire and Centrefire), BR-50 International (Rimfire and Air Gun) and in Long Range at 1,000yard Benchrest. In the 500m Fly Shoots he has more wins than anyone, anywhere.
Annie started shooting in 1980 and competed in her first registered match at the Australia Day Matches January 1981. She won her first trophy at a match in Visalia, California U.S.A. in November 1981. It was for the smallest group at 200yds which was a .300". That trip was their honeymoon! Then at the 1982 Australian Nationals she won the 100yd HV Aggregate and therefore her first point towards her Hall of Fame. Since then Annie has also won several National and State Championships as well as other major events around the country including the Australia Day Benchrest Matches and the Aussie Super Shoot in 2004 and 2008. She became a member of the Australian Benchrest Hall of Fame in 2002 (No 22) and has represented Australia at 3 World Championships. In Sweden 2003 she finished in equal 1st place and along with Stuart she was part of the Australian Team which placed 2nd overall in the teams competition. More recently in 2005 Annie won the Oceania Championships in New Caledonia and trophies at the NBRSA Nationals in the USA. Annie has also competed successfully in many other Bench Rest disciplines including Hunter Class (22 Rimfire and centrefire) and BR-50 International (Rimfire and Air Gun) where she was Australian Champion. She regularly competes in long range benchrest with the 500m Fly Shoot and 1,000 yard BR. Apart from winning several 500m Fly shoots she has held a world record at that distance. Somehow she has fitted all this in whilst raising their two children Jane and Andrew!
Both Annie and Stuart have competed in many countries besides Australia including New Zealand, Italy, Sweden, England, New Caledonia and the USA (in 9 different States). They have 15 World Championships medals (Gold, Silver and Bronze) between them.
The Elliotts have been very involved in administration within the sport from the local club level to the Australian Benchrest Committee and even to the World Benchrest Federation. As organisers of BR-50 International events in Australia they assisted 11 clubs to go on line. They have also organised and run most of the major events on the Australian Benchrest calendar including several National Championships, State Championships and most of the Australia Day BR Matches in Canberra over the last 25 years. In 1999, the Elliotts were the major organisers of the Oceania BR Championships which included New Zealand and New Caledonia. Annie served on the technical committee at two World Championships, New Zealand 2001 and the USA in 2005. In 1997 Stuart instigated 1,000yd Bench Rest Shooting in Australia at the Canberra Rifle Club and later started the event in Brisbane at the QRA in 2006. Both have competed in 1,000yd Bench Rest matches on ranges in Australia (Canberra, Brisbane & Townsville), in the U.S.A. (North Carolina and Ohio) and in the U.K. (at Diggle near Manchester). Today they still remain involved in the promotion of long range BR including the 500m Fly shoots around the country.
The Elliott's design of windflags is unique and sought after around the World. The new design is now called BRT Flags and there are now approx 700 of these around the globe. Stuart and Annie also started a website called www.actbenchrest.com which has pioneered things like "on line nominations" for events in Australia.
Basically if it's shooting from a bench...they do it. Shooting is a great sport. Bench Rest Shooting they enjoy particularly so. Annie and Stuart have had the opportunity to travel and make many friends all around Australia and all over the world through this sport. Their hope is to impart some of their knowledge and their experience so others may enjoy as well.