JULY 2018 THE RIDER /21 Wild West Comes to Ontario

By Ellie Ross. The days of the wild

west were full of fast horses and fast shooting. While the days of the old west are long gone, the love of that era, is still very much alive. A sport was created called Cowboy Mounted Shooting (CMSA) about 20 years ago and its immensely popular across the USA and Western Canada. It was first intro- duced to Canada by a man named Jim McIntyre, of Al- berta, back in the early 2000’s. On Saturday June 2nd, history was made with the very first ever, Cowboy Mounted Shooting competi- tion in Ontario. Cowboy Mounted Shooting involves

traditional cowboy attire with Chaps or Chinks. The attire options are part of the attraction! You can find Sa- loon Girls, Bandits, Cow- boys with high waisted pants and suspenders and corset shopping can lead to a whole lot of fun! Helmets are always welcomed. While most of the horses competing are mainly Quar- ter Horses, they can be of any breed or background in- cluding Mules and Gaited Horses. Whatever breeding the horse is, the horse should well broke. Most of the competi-

tion is based on using two, single action .45 caliber Long Colt revolvers that are

in Canada, must posses their Restricted Possession Ac- quisition License and that is obtained by taking an RPAL course, which is offered by most Gun Clubs, then filing for their license application. Riders wanting to get started in this sport in Ontario, don’t have to wait for their RPAL license. Beginner mounted shooting clinics are offered monthly and an RPAL is not required to par- ticipate. OCMSA president, who was the 2016 Canadian Highpoint Level 2 Cham- pion, Britt Needham, offers some good advice for those interested in this exciting sport. “You need a horse that is of sound mind and

them on and find what you feel suits you best. The average number of en- tries in Cowboy Mounted shooting can be between 10- 100 but at the World Cham- pionships, it can be over 300 and last five days. Needham predicts the sport will be- come just as popular here in Ontario, as it is in Western Canada. The biggest challenge

Mark Hallink

real guns, shooting black powder blanks, while riding a horse shooting at ten bal- loon targets set on various patterns against the clock. Riders enter the arena a des- ignated point, one at a time and their score is based on their time, plus any added penalties. Penalties are in- curred for missing targets (balloons not popped), knocking down targets or barrels and failing to follow the course of direction. Rid- ers are encouraged to dress in old west 1800’s attire or

reproductions based on firearms prior to 1898, but there are also classes for lever-action rifles and side- by-side double-barrelled shotguns that are used in combination with a re- volver. There are six levels, based on number of wins as well as different age groups. This sport provides an im- pressive display of horse- manship, athleticism, focus and even strategy as the courses often allow the rid- ers to choose how they run their pattern. Competitors

body. One that is sensible and maneuverable since this sport has over 80 patterns to negotiate”. Alice Hallink of The Blue Mountains On- tario, who made history in 2017 being the first woman to become the Overall High- point CMSA Shotgun Champion, offers some ad- ditional advice and that is to not rush out and buy hol- sters right away. She sug- gests trying out the variety of available holsters and to ask ,the more than willing competitors at events, to try

the sport faces presently in Ontario, is the lack of facil- ities that are licensed to per- mit shooting on horseback . Only licensed ranges can host events and practices. Presently there are only a handful of places approved in Ontario and those loca- tions include, Drumbo, Or- angeville, Owen Sound and The Blue Mountains. There are currently other applica- tions in the works and if anyone is interested in pur- suing this process, they are encouraged to contact the OCMSA via their Facebook page, for guidance. It should be understood that the range approval is not for Live Ammo shooting. Many people are often confused about what is being shot and how it works. The ammo used is black powder (just as what was used in the 1800’s) blanks, which means there is no projectile. The balloon targets are burst by the burning embers of the blackpowder so riders must still aim and be within range, which is on average at the most, 20 feet. Often people are concerned about safety and the risk of being shot, but once all of this is understood, the comfort level increases. This past weekend’s

event in Blue Mountain, at the farm of World Cham- pion Mark Hallink and his wife Alice, hosted riders from as far away as Ten- nessee and Michigan and as far North as Lion’s Head Ontario. When Mark Hallink was asked what has been your biggest win in Cowboy Mounted Shooting, he responded “The biggest thing that ever happened to me was that I met my wife

Alice in this sport so that was my biggest win of all’. Anyone interested in

this exciting new sport, should start with the clinic. Dates and information can be found on the OCMSA Facebook

page ontariocmsa/ or on the web at

Alice Hallink

Ellie Ross The results of the June

2, 2018 Blue Mountain Shootout are as follows; Overall Results by Class of the Blue Mountain Shoot at Springwell Farm

• L1 Jessica Puccia • L2 Jamie Lloyd • L3 Laura Wallace Reserve Britt Needham

• L5 Alice Hallink • M1 James Davidson • M4 Jim Wallace • NCC Jordan Heron • SL1 Maryanne Parker Reserve Ellie Ross • SL3 Cindy Savage • SL4 Barbara Munn • SM1 John Seymour Reserve Doug Krziyzek • SM5 Mark Hallink

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