ALTON, Va. (Oct. 12, 2016)--Despite Hurricane Matthew raging down the Eastern Seaboard this weekend, Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Horner, U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU), proved he too was a force to be reckoned with as he successfully defended his championship title in the 3 Gun Nation (3 GN) Pro Series Finale for the third year in a row Oct. 9.
The event took place at the Virginia International Raceway Oct. 7 and 9, 2016.
"This makes the whole year worth it," he said, noting that winning this title is the culmination of a year of competition and training.
During the Finale preliminary bout that took place under light, but steady rain, Horner posted the fastest time of 16 competitors that included up-and-coming and veteran shooters.
After his preliminary run, Horner said he was right where he wanted to be: the top seed with a time of 19:22.
The top eight marksmen who qualified in the preliminary headed for the Finale shoot off that had to be rescheduled for Oct. 9 because of inclement weather from the storm.
By Oct. 9, the rain had stopped, the sun was shining, and the shooters were ready to compete.
During the Finale shoot off, the eight qualifiers were paired up, and each pair faced off twice in "eliminator" rounds. If there was a tie, the winner was determined by a third eliminator.
Top seed Horner and the eighth-place competitor, Joe Pitha, faced off for the first round of the shoot off with Horner winning handily.
Even with a shotgun malfunction in his second eliminator round against Keith Garcia, Horner easily won both rounds.
Horner's final eliminator rounds for the No. 1 spot were against Greg Jordan, who lost the Finale to Horner in 2014 and 2015. The match-up was extremely close and had the crowd on edge.
Horner won the first eliminator expertly, but he and Jordan were neck and neck up to the final few shots in the final eliminator round. But, Horner prevailed and won the 2016 title.
He said the Army and the USAMU provide him with the best training facilities, the best firearms and ammunition, which is provided by the USAMU Custom Firearms Shop, and the time to train and compete.
Horner first won the 3 GN Pro Series Finale in 2010 before winning back-to-back from 2014 to 2016 for a total of four titles. The Pro Series Finale is in its seventh year.
Editor's Note: The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit's mission is winning national and international shooting competitions and advancing small-arms lethality to demonstrate Army marksmanship capability and enhance marksmanship effectiveness in combat. USAMU is part of the U.S. Army Accessions Brigade and Army Marketing and Research Group.