Robert Morris of Arizona Cowboy Mounted Shooters Association shoots his target at a recent match.

Bring your cowboy hat!
Free mounted shooting workshop to be held in February 10th, 2007
by LeeAnn Sharpe

NEW RIVER – Fast horses and quick‑on‑the‑draw gunfighters defined the Old West. As they faded into history, the gunslinger and his trusted steed became the stuff of legends.And those legends live on.These days, mounted shooting with single action pistols isn’t a matter of survival–it’s a fast‑growing, action‑packed sport.

“I personally could not even ride when I saw my first mounted shooting event and decided to get started. I want others to experience the fun and sense of accomplishment that I feel a couple of years later,” said Robert Morris, a member of a local mounted shooting club, Arizona Cowboy Mounted Shooters Association (ACMSA).   He recently won his division at the Cowboy Mounted Shooting World Championships held in Las Vegas/

The association is sponsoring a free workshop to attract more people to the sport.

Mounted shooters fire single action revolvers just the ones used in the late 1800s. They ride their horses through a barrel race course firing blanks at balloons that are affixed to poles. Mounted shooters are judged on their speed and accuracy.Although they are firing blanks, the muzzle blast from the revolvers is sufficient to burst the balloons.

The workshop is for beginners who have never participated in a mounted shooting event and will be held on Feb. 10 at Larkyn Memorial Arena in New River.  Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the workshop starts at 9 a.m. The workshop will last two to three hours.

“It looks like a lot of fun,” comments Curt Schulz, an electrician from Cave Creek. “I’ve been into horses all my life, a hunter and shooter all my life. When a friend took me to a mounted shooting match and the people were all so friendly, I knew I wanted to give it a try.”

Schulz signed up for the free workshop even though he doesn’t own a horse yet. “I have a horse property already, so now I’m looking for a good horse.” Owning a horse will be the realization of his lifetime dream. It’s a trend the organization sees often with new members. The viewing of a competition prompts adult spectators to finally purchase their first horses. The social group provides an opportunity to get together with like‑minded adults who saddle up to a fast‑track course on horse ownership. A good number are in or nearing their senior years with resources and time to travel to club events around the country. The hobby keeps them feeling young.

Prospective mounted shooters can either bring a horse to ride or audit from the ground without a horse. The purpose of the workshop is to provide information, advice and contacts to people of any age or ability who want to get started in this fun sport that celebrates the Old West. Attendees without horses will be advised on finding a horse and training. ACMSA has many members who started with just a cowboy hat and a desire to learn.

Cave Creek’s own 2005 World Champion, Annie Bianco‑Ellett, and New River’s 2006 Arizona State Champion, Dan Byrd, will be on hand to offer instruction. Attendees will not be shooting at this workshop.

Information and a sign‑up link can be found at Updates and any changes necessitated by weather can also be found there. Contact Robert Morris at (480) 563‑9015 or

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