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Catching fire

Mounted shooters vie for titles

From Horsetrader staff reports - April 3rd, 2014 - Show & Event News
Madison Berry, 18, competes at the California Mounted Shooting Association's State Championship event in Murrieta on March 22-23.

Madison Berry, 18, competes at the California Mounted Shooting Association’s State Championship event in Murrieta on March 22-23.

CMSA photo

MURRIETA — Shooting skills and horsemanship are making a comeback, and the phenomenon of mounted shooting came to Southern California where nearly 40 contestants from throughout the region mounted up and competed March 22-23 in the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association California state event recently. This fast-action, timed event uses two .45 caliber single action revolvers, each loaded with five rounds of specially prepared blank ammunition. The CMSA has a variety of levels of competition for everyone, ranging from novice levels to the seasoned professional.

Contestants are required to dress western — either in traditional Western style or in the old-time style of the late 1800’s. Traditional style includes a long sleeve Western shirt, five-pocket blue jeans covered by chinks or chaps, western boots, and a cowboy hat.

The CMSA also allows contestants to roll back the clock, trying to look as authentic to the period as possible with shirts without collars, high-waisted pants with buttons and no zippers, and an old-style cowboy hat. Any horse or mule is an eligible mount, although some horses take to this sport easily, others do not.

It is up to your horse’s temperament and your desire to train him or her to get used to shooting, turning, and going fast. Some riders will use earplugs for themselves and their horses.

Kenny Lawson of Valley Center (right) was overall champion at the California State event, as Cathy Hendrick (left) was Overall Ladies Champion.

Kenny Lawson of Valley Center (right) was overall champion at the California State event, as Cathy Hendrick (left) was Overall Ladies Champion.

CMSA photo

Mounted Shooters use .45 caliber single action revolvers like those used in the late 1800’s. Single action revolvers must be cocked each time before firing by drawing the hammer back. A double action revolver can be fired by simply pulling the trigger, without cocking the hammer. Despite the use of double action revolvers in the Old West, the CMSA limits our competitions to single action revolvers.

Riders can buy ‘off-the-shelf replicas’ of the old time gun belts and holsters.

The cartridges fired are .45 caliber Long Colts. The brass cartridge is loaded with black powder similar to what was used in the 1800’s. This load will break a balloon up to about 15 feet.

Live rounds are strictly prohibited at competitions. At each event a CMSA official loads the rider’s guns as he or she enters the arena, and a person to unload the guns after the rider is finished. Riders do not carry loaded guns outside of the arena or when not competing.

Southern Californians Kenny Lawson and Cathy Hendrick have developed a synergy to combine their individual talents to introduce a powerful dynamic. With Cathy’s seasoned involvements in gun handling training, technique, and course management and Kenny’s professional horsemanship skills, they showed what they could do in Murrieta.

The duo consider CMSA a tremendous platform to showcase their talent and ability so that more people in California will consider getting involved in the sport or improve their game.

Cathy Hendrick is a Life Member of CMSA #214 and has been participating in the sport since 1998, capturing a winning position in the 1999 CMSA World Top Ten High Point Cowgirl Championships. After sustaining a serious shoulder injury, she withdrew from competition for a while, focusing on the other facets of the mounted shooting. Cathy served on the CMSA National Advisory Board and was an announcer for the CMSA World Championships in 2001 and 2002. She and her husband, Johnnie Hendrick, founded the Roy Rogers Rangers premiere mounted shooting club in 2001 where she serves as Club President. She also currently serves on the CMSA National Advisory Board for the South Pacific Region.

Most recently the two dominated the 2014 CMSA California State Championships. Kenny won the Eliminator, his division, clean shooter and claimed the Overall Champion title. The competition was high level and his victory was captured by .002 seconds. Cathy claimed the Overall Ladies Championship.

MORE ONLINE: Http://bit.ly/404A_shoot

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