There’s an equestrian sport making waves in the country western scene these days. Cowboy Mounted Shooting is the fastest growing equestrian sport in the nation. Riders ride their horses and are required to complete an obstacle course in various patterns while shooting balloons or targets up to 20 feet away. The Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association (CMSA) was created back in the 1990’s as a way for shooters and equestrian enthusiasts to come together and compete in the sport of competitive shooting while riding horseback. Riders wanted to veer off the traditional path of rodeo life and incorporate firearms into a sport where they could test and master their gun slinging skills while doing what they loved, riding horses! This was a win-win for both gun and horse enthusiasts and offered a challenge to both parties.
Cowboy Mounted Shooting Rules
Pre-1900’s era weapons such as single action revolvers, lever action rifles chambered in pistol calibers, and side by side double barrel shotguns are the guns of choice for this sport in order to keep the authentic feel of the old west alive. These guns are filled with blank cartridges that will not cause any harm to audience members but are accurate enough to reach their targets. This is a fast paced, timed event for the most skilled riders in the industry. Riders start the competition with two single action revolvers that are loaded with five blanks each. The rider is given the signal to go after the arena has been cleared of all people or potential hazards. The rider then guides their horse across the timer line and begins to steer their way through the challenging course while aiming for and hopefully hitting the 10 targets that have been set up for them to hit. After the course has been completed and the targets have been engaged, the horse and rider will then cross back over their timer line and the score will be determined. If the horse and rider have knocked over any barrels or targets it will result in a penalty. The judges determine a rider’s score based on their speed, accuracy, horsemanship, and gun handling. Quite a rush huh?
Cowboy Mounted Shooting Supplies
Back when it was first started, it was a requirement for riders to be clothed in old American West style clothing. Nowadays things have relaxed a bit and the only requirements for clothing are long sleeve button-ups, 5 pocket blue jeans covered by chinks or chaps, cowboy boots and a cowboy hat. Events put on by the CMSA and the Mounted Shooter Association are regulated by the CMSA, CSA, SASS, and the MSA. The directing of these events is handled by a certified mounted range officer who is trained in event organization, firearms safety, and horsemanship to ensure the safety of all riders, audience members and volunteers. Guns are regularly checked for any safety issues as well as riders being trained in riding safety. There are several different divisions of this sport including a Men’s division, Women’s division, a Senior division, and a wrangler division for children under the age of 11. So, this sport is family friendly. If you’re looking for a sport that will get your blood pumping, you’ve found it!