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A Touch of the Wild West with Cowboy Mounted Shooting


Article & photos by LaCresha Kolba

Cowboy Mounted Shooting is one of the fastest growing equine sports. The Miller Coliseum in Murfreesboro, Tenn., was host site for the annual Eastern U.S. Championship, September 7-10, 2016. Participants were gunning for points to load up for the World Championship held in Amarillo, TX, October 12-15. Competitors were also able to gain points for the AQHA World Show held in Houston, TX.

A sport for all ages, this event drew competitors from age four to riders in their 70s. The Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association (CMSA) Executive Director, Greg Fry, said that the Eastern U.S. Championship brings in competitors from all over the United States. There were 280 riders who came to make their runs, with the potential to gain 7-times points and win over $16,000 added prize money. It was easy to catch oneself cheering on each one who came through the gate!
Betty Walters is a Senior Ladies Four competitor; her husband is also a participant who got his start in Cowboy Mounted Shooting from his interest in guns and horses.  Betty found the sport to be addicting, and added with a big smile, “There is a thrill to riding a galloping horse through a pattern while shooting at balloon targets.”

The cartridges fired are .45 caliber Long Colts. The brass cartridge is loaded with black powder. Kids shoot Hollywood cap pistols until they work their way up to the .45 caliber blanks.

Most competitors get their start by joining a local club to learn more about the sport. The local club members can help teach the basics, and work with you to find a trainer who can hone your skills and help your horse get used to the gun fire.

Whether you want to dabble in Cowboy Mounted Shooting or get heavily involved, you can find out more information on the CMSA website. There you will find videos, information on local clubs and listings of their shows. Get started in your own Wild West adventure at: Also find them on facebook at Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association.  

Full results of this show are available on the CMSA webpage:

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