The Duncan Banner

November 17, 2013

Straight shootin’, hard ridin’

By The Banner staff
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — Considered one of the fastest growing equine sports in America, cowboy mounted shooting began in the 1990s, as an organized sporting event. Now, it is coming to Duncan, said Revolvers-N-Rhinestones organizer Donna Rankin.

It is for everyone, she said. People will be able to attend a clinic, or just come watch the action at the Stephens County  Fair & Expo Center in mid-December. Curt Moore, considered a leader in mounted shooting events, will be at the event as an instructor, Rankin said.

He earned an overall win in 2002 at the Winter Olympics in the Salt Lake City Mounted Shooting Expo and since then has won many world and national championships. This year, he was deemed the Cimarron Eliminator Reserve World Champion, as he was in 2012. He will be leading the clinics that kick off at 1 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13. He was encouraged when he learned of the upcoming event being held at the Stephens County Fair & Expo Center. Rankin said it is viewed as a world class facility.  

Moore has been an instructor for CMS events for nearly 15 years.

People should bring their horse if they want to participate and learn more about cowboy mounted shooting, Rankin said. If you don’t have a horse, guns and horses will be provided. The goal is to shoot 10 balloon targets while riding through a challenging obstacle course. It is a timed event, adding to the pace and excitement.

“Bring your horse and we will help you get started learning about this fast paced and fun event,” she said. But even if you aren’t into learning about it, the sport is a fantastic spectator event, she said. While the first day is aimed at clinics and opening up the Cowboy Christmas trade and gift show, the second day, Saturday, Dec. 14, is all about the competition in the arena.

It opens at 8 a.m. with a revolver competition in four levels. At 7 p.m. the Showcase takes place with the top 10 in each revolver class and the top 5 rifle and shotgun shooters competing for the top awards.

Registrations for the competition and classes have just opened, but Rankin said they quickly fill up, because they are geared at all ages. She said an event usually has 100 to 150 contestants and it’s not unheard of to pack the stands.

While Cowboy Mounted Shooting is a fairly new sport, it’s not a new concept. It dates back to the old wild west days. Riding a horse and shooting a gun has been around as long as there have been cowboys. The actual competitive sport began in Arizona  in 1992 with only three contestants. But two years later, an event attracted 26 rider-shooters and not long after that, an association was formed.

According to an article written by Jim Rodgers, one of the original board of directors for the association, the sport continues to grow, with requests for local chapters to be formed throughout the country.

“In a time when private firearms ownership is under attack, Cowboy Mounted Shootings is providing a window to the general public that is humanizing the sale use of handguns in a family-oriented sport,” Rodgers said in his article provided by Rankin.

Rankin, of Crescent, Iowa, has been working for months to bring this event to Duncan and has had great cooperation from Stephens County Fair & Expo Center’s Executive Director Mike Anderson, who is excited about something new coming to the facility. He believes it will give people something fun to attend during the holidays as a family event.

Rankin has made multiple trips to Duncan to help get the event rolling. Also included will be a 4-D open barrel race on Sunday. She wanted it also to be a time where people can do some last minute Christmas shopping away from the frantic retail store crowds. At this time, she has about 25 vendors scheduled for the Cowboy Christmas trade show. To learn more, call Rankin at 402-419-0191. You can also register through that number.

For more information, visit the Revolvers-N-Rhinestones Mounted Shooting Facebook page.