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'Border war' comes to fairgrounds

 


Oregon Mounted Shooting Association and South Sound Mounted Shooters are hosting a Cowboy Mounted Shooting Competition May 25 to May 28. The Klickitat County Fairgrounds will be the site of this “Border War” between Oregon and Washington.

Cowboy Mounted Shooting is the nation’s fastest growing equestrian sport, and has been described as “equestrian NASCAR.” Mounted contestants compete in this fast-action, timed event, using two .45 Colt caliber, Old West-style single-action revolvers, each loaded with five rounds of specially prepared (arena safe) blank ammunition.

Courses of fire are set in a variety of patterns. The first half (five balloon targets) of a course of fire will vary with each run and could require the horse and rider to stop, turn, change leads and/or accelerate rapidly. The second half (five targets), called the "rundown," is a straight, forward motion course, with targets set at 36-foot intervals.

Typically, a competitor crosses the timing beam at a full gallop and engages the first pattern of five targets. After a shooter fires the fifth shot, he or she returns the empty revolver to a holster—then, while drawing the second revolver, the competitor rides to a turn-around barrel, located at the far end of the arena. That barrel is rounded, then the five remaining targets of the rundown are engaged at full speed.

Scoring is based on the elapsed time, plus a five-second to fifteen-second penalties for each target missed, any barrel(s) knocked over, a gun dropped once the stage has been engaged, or failure to follow the prescribed course properly. An average course of fire normally takes a contestant between 15 and 25 seconds to complete.

There are various levels of competition. There is a Men’s Division, a Women’s Division, and a Senior’s Division—with Classes 1-6 in each of those divisions. There is also a Wrangler Class for those 11 and under. All riders start at Class 1. When a rider wins Class 1 four times, they advance to Class 2. When they win Class 2 four times, they advance to Class 3 and so on to Class 6 otherwise considered the pro level.

The riders in the Wrangler class ride the same pattern that the grown-ups do, Wranglers in the Limited class ages 3 to 10 are not required to carry a revolver, however they may opt to shoot toy cap pistols, engaging each target as if they were shooting real blanks. Wanglers in the Open group at age 10 to 11 a required to carry toy cap pistols or empty .45 revolvers and engage the course like an adult. Pointing at each target and changing guns after the first five targets. They then shoot .45’s with blanks at balloons, from the ground, while standing stationary with mom, dad, or a CMSA-approved adult at their side.

 

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