Aug 14, 2013 - By Eric Blom, Staff WriterThe public is invited to watch and participate in a mounted shooting competition Saturday at the Lander Old Timer's Rodeo Association arena.
In mounted shooting, riders race around an obstacle course on horseback while shooting 10 balloons with blanks out of a .45 caliber single action revolver.
The competitors run the obstacle course and try to hit all of the balloons as fast as they can.
The ammunition contains no projectile, but the cinders and hot gas pop the targets 10 to 15 feet away. Balloons are arranged in different patterns around an arena for each of the four stages in a competition.
After the pistol competition, there are two rifle stages.
Saturday's event will be free for spectators and will run from 10 a.m. to about 4 p.m. People also are invited to participate, and guns, horses and holsters will be available to borrow. There is an $80 fee for the pistol competition and a $40 fee for rifles.
Participants must be Mounted Shooters of America members, but can join the organization online at newmsa.com or on the day of the competition. Competitors will have to complete an untimed trial run to ensure they can complete a stage safely.
Riders also are required to wear Western dress and use ammunition provided at the competition.
The Big Sky Gunrunners, the Montana chapter of the national Mounted Shooters Association, is putting on the event with help from the Wyoming Desperadoes chapter and shooters from Wisconsin.
Lisa Grimley, of Catawba, Wis., said the idea came about with the help of Lander mounted shooter Dan Schultejann. Schultejann was putting together a pilot episode for a TV show about mounted shooters from Friday to Monday. Some of the shooters featured in the show will take part in the competition in Lander that weekend.
The film crew will be shooting at Saturday's event.
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