Mounted Cowboy Shooting Comes To Hardy Murphy Coliseum - - No One Gets You Closer

Mounted Cowboy Shooting Comes To Hardy Murphy Coliseum


ARDMORE, OK -- The outdoor arenas at the Hardy Murphy Coliseum in Ardmore held a unique competition Saturday.

It's like something right out of the old west.

Sure these riders are shooting just balloons, but it doesn't mean there isn't something at stake.

"There's a lot of bragging rights on the line today but there's also some money on the line today," said Lou Ciferni, president of the Texas Smoking Guns.

Ciferni says cowboy mounted shooting began in Arizona back in 1991 and has become the fastest growing horse related sport in the nation.

"There's people as young as three year olds and there's people in their seventies competing," said Ciferni.

Steve Williams, a competitor from Glen Rose, Texas, belongs to that older group of cowpokes and says the sport attracts all sorts of folks.

"These are heart surgeons and accountants and lawyers and next door neighbors," said Williams. "Every walk of life and so it's really interesting to hear some of the bios and all of the sudden you realize these are people having fun."

Riders say there is a lot to think about during the run, but the overall experience is exhilarating.

"It's exciting it makes me happy knowing that my horse did it," said Lisa Degeare, a rider from Gainesville, Texas. "I don't know, I don't really think about it."

Saturday's events featured riders from Kansas, New Mexico, Arkansas and Louisiana.

Each pass a display of power and accuracy from both horse and rider.

"There's horsemanship going on, it's a timed event like barrel racing and it's your shooting ability," said Ciferni.

And as quick as a gunshot, it's time to hit the trail.

Ciferni says the Cowboy Mounted Shooters Association has had 10,000 new members join over the last five years.

Three mounted shooting clubs are located in Oklahoma, ten clubs are registered in Texas.