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CMSA National Championship


Photos by Nancy Brannon

The smoky Tunica Arena was filled with toe-tapping music and fast action as the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association (CMSA) once again brought its Jeffers National Championship to the Expo Center in Tunica, Mississippi April 18-21, 2018. Divisions included Rifle, Shotgun, Cavalry, American Paint Horse Association (APHA), and AQHA. Photos shown are from the AQHA division.

Mounted contestants compete in this fast action timed event using two .45 caliber single action revolvers, like those used in the late 1800s, each loaded with five rounds of specially prepared blank ammunition. Single action revolvers must be cocked each time before firing. Only fixed sight, single action revolvers of .45 caliber Colt, designed prior to 1898, or reproductions thereof, are allowed in CMSA competitions.

Competitors must ride a particular pattern containing of ten balloons, for example, some blue and some red. The pattern may require the rider to shoot all 5 blue balloons first. Then, the rider holsters the first gun while riding to the far end of the arena, draws the second gun, and shoots the 5 red balloons, which are usually 5 in a row straight towards the finish line. This is called “the Rundown.”

In most of the classes, riders dress in traditional style:  a long sleeve western shirt, 5 pocket blue jeans covered by chinks or chaps, western boots, and a cowboy hat. Some like to “roll back the clock” to look authentic for the late 1800s, wearing shirts without collars, high-waisted pants with buttons, and an old style cowboy hat. Those in the Cavalry division often wear uniforms that hark back to the Civil War, use old time tack and flat holsters.

CMSA Executive Director Greg Fry said, “There are a lot of good shooters here, including past World and National Champions. It’s a good event!” He couldn’t name exactly how many years CMSA has been holding their National Championship in Tunica, but it has likely been over a decade.

Mr. Quigley’s Photography was on hand to get everyone’s photo. “I’ve been shooting (pun intended) CMSA events for 18 years, and I’m still having fun! This sport attracts a lot of good people.” His motto is “We never miss the long shots.”

Jay’s Custom Leather had a booth with plenty of saddles for sale, hawking the official CMSA saddle. There were plenty of other vendors selling everything from jewelry, bling hats, and purses to rustic furniture, and authentic firearms from Taylor’s and Company.

Find full details of the CMSA National Championship and results at:

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