Back to top

KOOTENAY SMOKE N’ GUNS!

Nearing its second anniversary, the Cowboy Mounted Shooters Association of BC is hosting an event at near Creston on Canada Day. — Photos courtesy Janice Storch Photography

Submitted by Pamela Sabo

Interested in finding out more about the Cowboy Mounted Shooters Association of BC?

Then don't miss the The demonstration set for Canyon Park, Canyon, BC from 9 – 9:45 am on Canada Day — Saturday, July 1st, 2017.

The, CMSABC, nearing its second anniversary of the creation of this non-profit society and this was the very first CMSA sanctioned event ever held in this province, held a meet recently at Creston Flats Stables in the heart of the beautiful Kootenays.

Horses of various breeds and their riders, ranging in age from 10 to 65+, participated in this exciting, fast paced and noisy sport on Saturday, May 27th at Creston Flats Stables

Members of our local CMSABC, along with competitors from Alberta, Saskatchewan and the US, were able to indulge in the enjoyment of fast horses, gunpowder, and bursting balloons. Within their various skill levels/classes, participants attempted to achieve the fastest time, with fewest missed balloons, in their efforts to accumulate points, awards and prizes!

The day began with the Cowboy Prayer read by John Solly, our excellent announcer for the day. This was followed by a lovely rendition of O Canada, beautifully sung by some lovely young ladies and the playing of the US anthem while two young gentlemen rode the Canadian and American colours through the arena.

The competition kicked off with Wranglers (youth under 18) ground firing at their targets, while under direct supervision of an appropriately licenced adult.  This was followed by the Main Match, consisting of three stages, where competitors individually ride a specific pattern while addressing the balloon targets with their revolvers. Youth competitors also ride the pattern for timed scores. They do not shoot from the horses, but they “address” the target with cap guns. 

One of the highlights of the day is the exciting Shotgun and Rifle matches! In these classes the competitors ride and shoot the first half of the pattern with revolver, then holster the revolver, and with both hands on either the rifle or shotgun, and their horse often running with only the guidance of their legs, shoot the remaining balloons in the “rundown”. 

Firearms used are replicas of pre-1890’s 45 calibre six shooters, which requires users to have completed specific firearms training, testing and licencing for restricted firearms. There are, however, NO projectiles permitted in this sport, and balloon targets are burst ONLY by the hot embers from blank ammo.

Horsemanship and safety are of the utmost importance in developing the skills required by both horse and rider. Horses are desensitized and carefully trained to become skilled partners in the sport and are highly valued.  Their comfort and safety is of primary importance and both horses and riders wear hearing protection. 

CMSABC would like to express our deep appreciation to all our members who worked endless hours to create this event; the tireless help and support of members of Alberta’s CCMSA (Canadian Cowboy Mounted Shooters Assoc) who guided our efforts to produce this event; the competitors who travelled long distances to support our efforts; Janice Storch Photography for travelling from Alberta to capture the event in photos; Horse Council of BC for making grants available that have helped us to purchase equipment necessary to produce this event; RDCK and Area Directors Larry Binks and Tanya Wall for grants in support;  all our wonderful volunteers for their support and hard work; all the wonderful businesses  and sponsors who donated prizes and funds for all the awards and Creston Flats Stables for maintaining an excellent facility that makes it possible to hold events like this here in the Creston Valley.