Roughly put, the sport of mounted shooting focuses on a cowboy or cowgirl, dressed in authentic western garb, riding the length of an arena as fast as possible while shooting small targets with either an 1873-style single-action revolver or a lever-action rifle. The fastest, most accurate competitor wins.
"This is an equine event, because you'll see handsome, athletic horses. And it is a Western event, because it celebrates the heritage of the cowboy of the Old West. But mainly, it is a spectator event because this action-packed sport is fast paced and very exciting," Phil Spangenberger, CMSA Director and co-founder, explains.
The 2014 CMSA Tony Lama World Championships will be at the Amarillo National Center. Early days start at 8 a.m.
Friday night's Starline Showcase at 7 p.m. brings the world's top ten professional competitors in each of six divisions together to determine the CMSA's best horse and rider. And Saturday afternoon's competition will decide who wins the CMSA World Championship title.
Western vendors selling cowboy hats, boots, clothing and tack will be open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday night.
Mounted shooting is a timed-event with each competitor firing 10 shots at 10 balloon targets arranged in a specific pattern. Based on a competitor's experience and the pattern, a single run will vary between 10-25 seconds. Special blank target ammunition, designed to reach the target and no further, is used by all CMSA competitors. As the competition advances through higher rounds, leading to the finals, the runs get faster and the action is really stepped up.
The CMSA's Championship Series are held with the competitors riding as part of "Team Duke" on behalf of the John Wayne Cancer Foundation, in order to raise awareness in their fight to cure cancer. The Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association is the governing organization of the sport and promulgates the rules and tracks the competitors of more than 100 affiliated clubs.