Q&A on Cowboy Mounted Shooting
Cowboy mounted shooting is a popular equestrian sport, which is gaining popularity. It involves shooting, 1880s style, with two single-action 45-caliber revolvers while mounted on a horse and racing against the clock. The riders fire at balloon targets using five rounds of special, blank ammunition. They are scored on the time it takes and penalized for missed balloons and barrels overturned.[emember_protected custom_msg=”Click here and register now to read the rest of the article!”]
Central Florida Ag News (CFAN) talked with Chuck “Lone Wolf” McCrary, president of Florida Peacemakers Mounted Shooting Association, about the sport.
CFAN: What is behind the popularity of this sport?
McCrary: Anyone who has tried cowboy mounted shooting will tell you it is the most fun you can have on a horse. It is a sport for all ages, young or old, and all levels of riding ability. Competitors will loan you guns, holsters, even their horse if need be. While it is competitive, it is also fun and friendly. Everyone roots for each other. You won’t find that in any other equestrian sport.
CFAN: Can you tell us about the sport’s history?
McCrary: Cowboy mounted shooting was the dream of one man, Jim Rodgers. He was competing in ground shooting gun competitions, but wanted more. Being a horse enthusiast, shooting off his horse was the next step. Along with some loyal, hard working friends, he started the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association (CMSA) in 1991. The first match was held in February, 1992, with three competitors. It has grown to what it is today.
CFAN: Do many cowgirls participate in the sport?
McCrary: There are as many cowgirls as cowboys in the sport. Maybe more. Competition is gender based, so cowgirls only compete against other cowgirls.
CFAN: Where can Central Florida residents see matches?
McCrary: All matches are held at the Lady Lake Equestrian Center in Lady Lake, FL. With the exception of April and October, matches are on the third weekend of the month. It is in a covered arena with large fans that keep it cool, even on hot days. There is an air-conditioned restaurant on site that has the best country cooking around.
CFAN: What are the prerequisites if someone wants to try the sport? Do they need to own their own horse?
McCrary: The only prerequisite needed is the desire to try it. It is preferred that you own a horse, but it is not required. We will loan all equipment to new shooters, including a horse if need be.
CFAN: Are there places anyone can practice?
McCrary: The Florida Peacemakers have monthly practices. These practices are for new shooters and new horses. There are some individuals who also practice at their homes and are willing to help new shooters.
CFAN: Is training offered in the Central Florida area?
McCrary: Peacemaker practices are usually held in Lake County because of availability of arenas, but they can be in any arena large enough.
CFAN: What does the Florida Peacemakers Mounted Shooting Association do? Who can join?
McCrary: The Florida Peacemakers hold monthly competitions and practices. We will occasionally do demos when asked. We have done demos at rodeos, festivals and horse-related benefits. Membership is open to anyone wishing to participate. For more information about mounted shooting, visit flapeacemakers.com.