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Live pigeon shooting
The predecessor of trap, double trap and skeet was live pigeon and clay-pigeon shooting. Shooting at live pigeons with an arrow was a spectacular introduction of sports competitions in ancient Greece. Later on, it was used to raise and enhance the fighting spirit of the young generation for centuries. Live pigeon shooting, as we know it today was first practiced in England in the 1700s. Following his travels to England, István Széchenyi wanted to introduce horse races to improve horse breeding and live pigeon shooting to practice hunting. However, it was difficult to make live pigeon shooting popular in Hungary. The first large competition was held in 1868 which was organised in the Széchenyi park in Győr. The Pest Pigeon Shooting Association was established around the same time and the first range was built in Rákos-mező. Later on, pigeon shooting associations were also established in Agárd, Balatonfüred, Keszthely, Nyíregyháza and Szolnok and from 1880 even Hungarian shooters could participate in international competitions. In 1904 the National Pigeon Shooting Association was established for integration purposes. In 1923 new ranges were built in Budapest on the northern part of Margaret Island and on Széchenyi hill.
Live pigeon shooting reached its greatest heights between 1928 and 1940. Key representatives of this period were (non-exhaustive list): Dr. Sándor Lumniczer, Dr. István Stassburger, Dr.Gyula Halasy, Sándor Dóra, Pál Dóra, Dr. András Montágh, László Szapáry, Béla Hardy-Dreher, Dr. Elemér Gáspárdy, Kálmán Papp, Gusztáv Szomjas – they excelled not only in Hungarian but also in Austrian, German, Czech, French, Italian and Spanish Grand Prix competitions. They were favourite participants and in most cases winners of the Monte Carlo Grand Prix, which was considered as the largest competition.