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CMSA National Championship


Article & photos by Nancy Brannon

The Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association’s (CMSA) Jeffers National Championship was held, once again, at the Expo Center in Tunica, MS, April 17-20, 2019. This is one of the biggest shoots of the year! The event is open to all CMSA members and is also one of the highest point value events of the year. The CMSA National Championship has been coming to Tunica for over a decade and attracts riders from all over the “lower 48” U.S. and Canada. Just about every state was represented here, except Alaska and Hawaii. There were 243 entries at this show, which included four Wranglers.

Jeffers Equine is the title sponsor, and the show is not only affiliated with CMSA, but also has a breed alliance with AQHA and the American Paint Horse Association (APHA). The show offered over $32,000 in cash and prizes given away.

There are several categories of shooting offered: pistol, rifle, shotgun, and cavalry class, in which riders dress in uniforms and tack of the Civil War era. This year one competitor dressed as Nurse Clara Barton.

On Thursday and Friday nights, starting at 7:00 p.m., were the Starline Showcase classes. On Thursday were the Senior Incentive Limited finals, the Top 5 Cavalry finals, the Top 10 EMF Pietta Shotgun finals, and the Cimarron Eliminator with the Top 10 Limited division.

On Friday night were the Double Bar KZ Ranch Senior Incentive Open Finals, featuring the top 10 senior riders 50 and up; Taylor’s & Company Top 10 Rifle Finals, and the Cimarron Eliminator for the Top 10 Open Division.

The finale came on Saturday with the Wranglers Classes and the Montana Silversmiths Double Down Incentive Finals.  The Double Down is the last main match, the final state of competition with the Top 10 of each division. Riders have the chance to win a portion of the $10,000 added money.

One of the top riders at this show was John Giannasi, a Brazilian former bareback bronc rider who now heads the CMSA Futurity program. When he retired from rodeo, he looked for a new riding pursuit, which eventually led him to mounted shooting. He and his Palomino stallion Spark Silver Dust were the 2018 Open AQHA CMSA World Champions. Last March (2018) in Houston, Texas, Giannasi related to the AQHA Journal: “I won everything I entered. I won my class, senior men’s overall, men’s overall, overall and double down, plus the AQHA title. My horse was on fire,” he added. “We came home with six or seven buckles...”

Results from the National Championship are posted in the CMSA website: Just click on the Jeffers National Championship photo and go to the tab “times.”

Just prior to this show, also at Tunica, the Tennessee CMSA affiliate held their annual show April 14-15, 2019. Find more information about TN Mounted Shooters on facebook.

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