by Barbara Baird - Wednesday, April 19, 2017
It didn’t come as a surprise at all to “those in the know” in the shooting world when GLOCK named Ashley Rheuark as a new team member in March 2017. The 18-year-old competition shooter has earned prestigious titles— including IDPA Lady World Champion and USPSA STI Ladies National Champion, along with the first female IDPA Distinguished Master— since entering the world of competition shooting.
What’s the story regarding her success?
NRA Family: When people ask you what you do, what do you say? Elevator speech length.
Ashley Rheuark: I tell them that I am a professional shooter and shoot for Team GLOCK. I have the opportunity to travel all over the country and compete in shooting events.
NRA Family: How did this path to the shooting sports start and why?
Ashley Rheuark: I showed interest in shooting when I was about 10 years old. My father liked to hunt, so I went one day with him. First time out, I got myself a little buck and was ready to go again. When I was about 13, my dad bought a handgun for self-defense. He took me to a basic pistol class so I could learn the proper way to use a firearm and be educated. From this class, we both found out that there were competitions involving handguns and we went to try one. We were both hooked instantly.
NRA Family: It sounds as though your father has been instrumental in your development as a competition shooter. What role does he, and other members of your family, play now?
Ashley Rheuark: My dad is my coach and he helps train me. He comes to practice regularly and will help me with drills and show me areas where I can improve. My mom does everything else! But seriously, she helps with the business side, trip planning and teaching me how to do it on my own. My sister is always there for a good laugh and to encourage me.
NRA Family: Have you noticed a shift in thinking among young women regarding firearms?
Ashley Rheuark: As I travel and compete, I have seen a steady increase in females of all ages becoming involved in the shooting sports. I think the more they see other women out there involved with firearms, it gives them the confidence to try it themselves.
NRA Family: Congrats on the recent GLOCK team member announcement. How does this change your schedule?
Ashley Rheuark: Becoming a part of Team GLOCK does make my schedule busier. I am traveling more and getting to see new places.
NRA Family: What’s next for you in the training world, and what have you accomplished so far?
Ashley Rheuark: Next thing up on my goals for training is to focus on making better use of my movement during stages. I want to be able to stop making little mistakes that may cost me half a second on a stage to get to the next level, and improve my times. So far, I have won one world title, 13 national titles and 60 major match titles to date. Also, I became the first female Distinguished Master in IDPA last year.
NRA Family: Is there a discipline that you’d like to learn to shoot or try?
Ashley Rheuark: I have recently become interested in shooting the Bianchi Cup. I’ve competed in a variety of different sports, but Bianchi has not been one of them.
NRA Family: Do you aspire to hunt somewhere exotic, and if so, for what?
Ashley Rheuark: I did some hunting when I was younger, but have not been much in the last five years. If I could go somewhere to hunt, it would probably be Alaska for a moose hunt. I have never been on a big hunt like this, but would love to go.
NRA Family: Would you hang a trophy in your office?
Ashley Rheuark: If I had an office … I probably would put one of my trophies in there.
NRA Family: If a young lady tells you “I want to be just like you,” what do you advise?
Ashley Rheuark: My advice to the younger generation is that if you want to become successful in this game or in life, you must work hard. You must be dedicated and willing to work and train harder than your competitors. Hard work = results.
NRA Family: What’s next for you in terms of education and vocation?
Ashley Rheuark: My focus right now is to train and compete on a full-time basis. I am keeping my options for college open, but don’t have any definite plans at the moment.
Photo by Samejima Muneki
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