The Missourian reports that 16-year-old Katie Smith is gunning for the national championship in the growing sport of cowboy mounted shooting.
Cowboy mounted shooting, if you haven’t heard of it, is a sport that will pique the interests of just about any gun owner. Modern-day cowboys dress up in authentic cowboy garb, hop on a horse, and shoot at balloon targets with .45 caliber revolvers. Every aspect of the sport (well, except for the bright blue plastic balloons) replicates mounted shooting from the Wild West.
Contestants race against the clock to ride a horse through a course and hit targets. Missed shots add seconds to your time, and whoever has the shortest adjusted time wins the match. But don’t worry about the fourth gun law (always be sure of your target) — the contestants use blanks instead of live ammunition to ensure that a bullet doesn’t accidentally go through a balloon and into an unsuspecting audience member.
Katie Smith is a relative newcomer to the sport with only four years of experience under her belt, but she’s decided to take her training to the next level.
Smith was introduced to the sport by her parents and she quickly fell in love with it. She said, “I always like to find things that set me apart from people. I’ve found that shooting a gun on a horse is as good as it gets.” She added, “I worry about different stuff than other girls do. I worry about my animals, my farm and my sport while they worry about school sports and boys. I’m very goal orientated and I put all my time towards mounted shooting.”
We can definitely understand why her parents introduced her to the sport. Getting a teenage girl more interested in gun skills rather than rebellious high school boys is like a dream come true.
Smith trains three to four times a week with her parents, galloping around the course with her faithful horse, Lulu, and her favorite Ruger Montado. She’s currently ranked fifth in the women’s category for Missouri, but she’s hoping to change all that with a Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association National Championship.