Mounted Shooting: Balloon Carnage at the Rodeo

Erica Love
Cowboys who know how to work a gun while riding their trusty steed? The above picture is only the first glimpse of the rootin' tootin' cowboys at the HLSR's Mounted Shooting competition. This past weekend, the top 15 fastest riders in the country gathered to compete at the rodeo.

These cowboys (and a few cowgirls) ride their horses through a wide obstacle course while firing two .45 caliber single action revolvers at balloons strategically placed around the field. Not only is the speed of the rider and horse on display, but also the rider's pristine eye to hit the target while riding full speed.

"I've been doing this for about eight years now'" said rider Mike Thomas. "When you have a match coming up, we try to practice at least three days a week."

This competition is a quick one, only varying in about one hour to an hour and a half, so for many of the riders, the event is a pastime, not a full-blown career.

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"I also work as a home inspector," Chris Guideo said. "This is only a fun hobby."

Check our video of the fast-paced event below.

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