Cowboy Mounted Shooting Competition - 2009
We arrived at Du Quoin State Fairgrounds in Du Quoin, Illinois to meet friends a couple days prior to the 2009 HitchHiker International Rally. Mary Lou found on their Web site that the Renegades Cowboy Mounted Shooting Club was going to hold a competition at the fairgrounds. The club is affiliated with the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association (CMSA).
Sixty-four shooters were competing for trophies, belt buckles and a purse of $6,042 in total.
Cowboy Mounted Shooting is one of the Fastest Growing Equestrian Sports in the Nation. Mounted contestants compete in this fast action timed event using two .45 caliber single action revolvers each loaded with five rounds of specially prepared blank ammunition. The C.M.S.A. has a variety of levels of competition for everyone, ranging from novice levels to the seasoned professional. Courses of fire are set in a variety of patterns.
The arena was ideal for the competition.
There were several patterns used for the five white and five red balloons. The white balloons were in a staggered pattern for the shooter. The shooter used his first revolver for these. The red balloons were set up in a straight line for the race back to the finish line. A second revolver is used for the red ones. The patterns are specified by the CMSA.
The balloons were inflated using reusable an 'air tube' that had an opening for the balloon on one end and an automotive valve stem on the other. The quantity of 'air tubes' and the balloons were assembled and ready for insertion in the holders. The balloons were inserted by people on horseback or on foot. Well over a thousand balloons were used.
Before the pattern was changed for the next round, people picked up the balloon pieces. They did a good job cleaning up.
All shooters were timed electronically. If they missed a balloon, five seconds was added to their score for each missed balloon. Considering that the runs were generally less than 20 seconds (points), missing a balloon was a killer.
Like an enthusiast in any activity, they enjoy talking about the sport. This cowboy was standing by the rail on front of us. So, Fred walked over and talked to him for quite a while. He gathered a lot of information about the sport and the equipment.
The following are photographs of the shooters in action.
Let the sparks fly . . .
Rifle competition . . .
Of the sixty-four shooters,
only a handful shot a rifle on the race to the finish line.
Several women participated in the 'cowboy' competition.
Some of the cowboys were very young. Like all activities that children participate in, the adults showed their support with cheers and applause. This cowboy is five years old. He didn't fire a revolver, rather guided his horse through the course.
As we were leaving, one of the cowboys was near the entrance. He explained the two different revolvers he uses. One was modified for this use. The one he is holding was designed for this type of compitition.
It was an event we had not seen previously. Considering that the admission was free, it was good entertainment for us during the days prior to the HitchHiker Rally. Look for and enjoy Cowboy Mounted Shooting in your area.
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