It is hard riding and straight shooting that counts. The fastest competitor with the fewest penalties and missed targets (balloons) wins.
Cowboy mounted shooting is growing in popularity. It is a fast paced equine sport involving orsemanship and shooting skills.
“It is expensive to get into. Everyone needs the proper equipment (including horse and gear and equipment), and their restricted firearms license and transport permit, as well as a membership in a mounted shooting club,” says Gail Cook from Bentley, “but the sport really is growing.”
The sport has only been in Canada for about six years but in some areas of the United States since the Nineties. This is the second year for the newest club in Alberta, the Wildrose Mounted Shooting Society (WMSS).
At the shootout Aug. 11 at the Bentley Fair & Rodeo, there were 14 contestants who ran three stages (rounds) each, up some in numbers from last year.
The overall winner and winner of division 1 was Lee Stuckey from Bentley, John Townsend from Breton was second.
In division 2 Gene Stuckey from Stettler captured first, and Kendra Sinclair from High River second.
Twyla Stuckey from Stettler won division 3, and Ken Wick from Crossfield took second.
After completion of two stages of Shotgun Shootout, Cam Fleury from High River was top, and Kyle Townsend from Breton second.
Contestants also came from Magrath and Rimbey.
Harry Foley helped out as the announcer at the last minute when the regular announcer was called away.
The Bentley Ag Society donated toward prize money and Velocity Hydrovac donated toward the Blindman Valley 4-H who were the balloon runners putting out the balloons on the course for each contestant and picking up the pieces afterward.
The range master, who had made sure all the rules were followed, was Gail Cook from Bentley.
On Sept. 1 and 2 at the Rimbey shootout, members will get their last chance to try to qualify to go on to the finals Sept. 28 to 30 in Nampa, Idaho.