That was where his interest in the sport of fast draw competition first took hold, Murphy recalls, although he has since learned that the reality of fast draw shoot-outs isn’t quite the way L’Amour described it.
“He was a little more Hollywood than accurate,” Murphy commented.
In the real world, Murphy and his wife Paula have just become the fastest guns in the west.
And the east, north and south.
They won both the Men’s Top Gun and Women’s Top Gun awards at the World Fast Draw Association (WFDA) Buckle awards and ratings.
Murphy explained the title is based on performance over several competitions during the previous year, with winners needing to be both fast and accurate.
“I’m extremely pleased that the persistent practice paid off,” Murphy told the Langley Advance Times.
Thunderbird club members dominated at the world championships, occupying six of the top 10 men’s finishers, and three of the women’s top five:
First place-Shawn Murphy.
Third place-Don Alger
Fifth place-Garry Porteous
Sixth place-Jacob Alger
Eighth place-Den Robinson,
Ninth place-Bob Franks
First place-Paula Murphy
Second place-Nicole Franks
Fifth place-Peggy Franks.
Den Robinson, Fast Draw Director of the Langley Rod and Gun Club, said it was best showing by club members, ever.
“We’ve been practicing a lot,” Robinson chuckled.
“The Americans know we’re dangerous.”
One of the winners, Bob Franks passed away before he could collect his buckle, but knew he had qualified, Robinson said.
Usually, the awards are presented at a WFDA banquet in Ohio, which would have been held at the end of May, but the novel coronavirus pandemic scuttled the event, and winners were simply mailed their trophy buckles instead.
There won’t be a world fast draw championship this year because pandemic has forced the cancellation of most sanctioned fast draw events, including the annual Aldergrove Fair, which hosts the Canadian Fast Draw Championships put on by the Thunderbird Fast Draw Club.
Most sanctioned fast draw events have been cancelled, with the exception of just one, set for Oregon this August, Robinson said, which means it won’t be possible for competitors to meet the minimum requirement of three competitions.
Before the coronavirus lockdown became widespread, the Langley Rod and Gun Club managed to hold its own awards banquet at the Newlands Golf Centre for the 2019 winners in February.
In the Fast Draw Division the Top Guns for 2019 were: Karen Robinson, Women’s Division and Shawn Murphy, who won the Men’s Division, with Shane Johnson, winning the B’ Division for the newer shooters award.