In 1870 the Rajah of Kolapore presented £100 to the NRA as a prize. He had also sent his £10 subscription, but died suddenly some months before the Wimbledon meeting of 1871. The NRA Council decided that the whole amount should be invested in a trophy, a pair of silver challenge vases, to be called after the Rajah and to be competed for by teams from India, the Colonies and one United Team from the Mother Country (since renamed to Great Britain).
The first match was held in 1872 between teams of 20 from Canada and Great Britain. Canada won the first match. In 1872 the number of firers in each team was reduced from 20 to 8.
India have competed since 1874. In 1876 the Great Britain team had to be selected from those who had taken part in the National Match and had to include the 2 lowest scorers. Jersey and Guernsey entered for the first time in 1882. The Australian states of Victoria and Queensland entered in 1897 as well as New Zealand and Natal of South Africa. Australia entered as a country for the first time in 1902 and won the match. West Indies entered in 1908 as West India. South Africa entered as a country for the first time in 1910.
From 2015 onwards the match has been shot using more difficult ICFRA targets. When shot using the UK NRA target dimensions the match record was held by Great Britain with a score of 1199 with 201 v-bulls, out of 1200 with 240 v-bulls. This was achieved by Nick Tremlett’s team in 2012. The highest individual score using those targets was 150 with 29 v-bulls by Paul Kent (Great Britain) in the same year.
The record with the new target dimensions is 1196 with 151 v-bulls, achieved by Great Britain in 2016. The new highest individual score in the match is 150 with 24 v-bulls by Jon Underwood (Great Britain) in the same year.
Up to 1908 the match conditions were 7 shots at 200, 500 and 600 yards. From 1908 to 1914, it changed to 7 shots at 300, 500 and 600 yards. In 1919 the number of shots increased to 1 sighter and 10 shots at 300, 500 and 600 yards and this has remained in place to this day. The match is shot at Bisley during the annual Imperial meeting.
Previous Winners (up to end 2017)
|Great Britain||95||South Africa||3||India||1|