Cowboy shoot-outs, from chasing outlaws out of town to the Gunfight at the OK Corral, are legendary. We see them in Western movies and they always get our adrenalin pumping. And this year at the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association (CMSA) Sundowner World Championships in Amarillo, they will be wearing the color pink.

Tough Enough to Wear Pink Night, featuring some of the best CMSA participants, is Saturday, Nov. 22, 2008 at 7 p.m. in the Amarillo National Center. Tickets are $10 for adults; $5 for children age 5-12; and free under the age of 5. Tickets are available at all Panhandle Tickets outlets, by phone at 806-378-3096 or on-line at A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

“This is an equine event because you come to see the beautiful horses. It is a Western event because it celebrates the cowboy lifestyle. And it is a spectator event because the sport is so fast and so exciting,” Dan Plaster, CMSA President, explains.

“But Saturday night is a benefit event to fight breast cancer,” Lisa Hoff Davis, Executive Director of the Greater Amarillo Chapter of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, says.

Roughly put, the sport of mounted shooting focuses on a cowboy or cowgirl, dressed in historic western garb, riding the length of an arena as fast as possible while shooting small balloon targets with either a revolver or a rifle. Simply, the fastest, most accurate competitor wins.

Balloons are arranged in specific patterns and based on a competitor’s experience, a single run will vary between 10-20 seconds. No live ammunition is used; CMSA participants all use special blank target ammunition designed to reach the target and no further. As the competition advances through higher rounds, leading to the finals, the target patterns change and the runs get faster, all a tribute to the competitors’ ability. More than 400 competitors are expected for the annual event. And the top Quarter Horse at the CMSA Sundowner World Championships will be recognized by the American Quarter Horse Association.

“The result is a very fast sport with the sound of the gunfire and the smoke from the ammo adding to the excitement,” Plaster explains. Tough Enough to Wear Pink Night is just one highlight of the 2008 CMSA Sundowner World Championships, Nov. 19-23 in Amarillo. Early days will feature preliminary rounds of competition and the finals are Sunday, Nov. 23 at 11 am. All other CMSA Sundowner World Championship performances are free and open to the public.


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