Shooters try out for nationals competition

.

By Treena Mielke

The staccato crack of gunfire, lots of black smoke and mounted riders with handguns aimed, cocked and ready set the stage for action at the Rimbey Rodeo grounds Sept. 4.

To the casual observer it could have been a sneak peek into the scene from a wild west movie where gunfire and horseback riders are nothing out of the ordinary.

However, the scene played out at the rodeo grounds did not involve the making of a movie, but was, instead, a group of mounted shooting enthusiasts competing for a spot in a national mounted shooting competition to be held in Nampa, Idaho Sept. 1 to Oct. 2.

Gail Cook from the Wildrose Mounted Shooting Society in Bentley attended Sunday’s qualifier and is one of 12 people from Alberta who will travel to Idaho to attend the competition.

Cook, who lives on the Rainy Creek Road west of Bentley, has been a participant in mounted shooting for about three years and finds the equestrian sport exciting and challenging.

“I like horses, but I want something to do with the horses besides just riding them,” she said. “I have done a little roping. I decided to try this (mounted shooting) after I saw an article in a magazine. It turned out to be great fun and a real adrenalin rush.”

The Wildrose Mounted Shooting Society comprises about 30 members and is the newest shooting club in Alberta.

“The club was formed this spring,” said Cook. “We started out with only four members, Bev and Claud Lawes from Bluffton, Lee Stuckey from Bentley and myself. However, it has grown considerably.”

Cook explained that mounted shooting requires accuracy and speed.

Contestants compete using two .45-calibre single action revolvers (1898 period correct Colt replicas) each loaded with five rounds of specially prepared blank ammunition.

When competitors start the run they draw a gun, shoot five balloons that have been set up for that purpose, holster, draw the other pistol and shoot the remaining five balloons.

The ammunition used in the rounds consists of coarse black powder with a crimped end to hold in the powder.

“It’s the burning embers that break the balloons and the smoldering particles provide the momentum,” said Cook.

Live rounds of ammunition are prohibited during the sport and there is a range master in the arena at all times to ensure the safety of the riders, horses and balloon runners. A restricted firearms license and transport permit is required and all participants must be a member of a mounted shooting club.

The horses used in the competitions have been de-sensitized to the gunfire and are provided with hearing protection.

Cook said mounted shooting has been popular in the United States for many years, but started in Canada about six years ago.

“It’s very popular in the U.S. and we are hoping it grows here as well,” she said.

For more information about mounted shooting check out the website at wildrosemountedshooters.com

Just Posted

Beatty House entertainment

Great musicians to come to Rimbey

Snowfall adds some delay to morning commute

The QE2 and area road conditions in central Alberta were partly snow covered

Ponoka mayor asks for letter of support from Rimbey town council

Ponoka council plans to withhold education tax

Town will monitor ice thickness

Water in storm pond 17 feet deep

Regional fire chief speaks to council

Number of false alarm calls cause concern

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Environment Minister clarifies misconceptions in Bighorn proposal

Minister Shannon Phillips speaks to concerns around the Bighorn Country

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

In limbo: Leftover embryos challenge clinics, couples

Some are outright abandoned by people who quit paying storage fees and other couples struggle with tough decisions

Netflix rejects request to remove Lac-Megantic images from ‘Bird Box’

At least two shows on Netflix’s Canadian platform briefly use actual footage of the 2013 tragedy

Three Ponoka men and one youth charged in assault case

Police obtained a search warrant and located drugs and sawed-off shot gun

Most Read