What is Mounted Shooting?
MSA is a national organization dedicated to holding the finest, most exciting mounted shooting competitions in the US and beyond. Mounted shooting events are similar to other timed rodeo events like barrel racing and many timed cattle events. Founded in 2001, MSA is dedicated to earning a reputation of integrity, fairness and continuing excitement generated by innovating and pioneering within the sport of mounted shooting.
Competitors dress in cowboy attire dating from modern rodeo attire, all the way back to the old west era and the classic old west apparel. They are mounted on horses of any chosen breed and size, while most mounted shooting horses tend to be quarter horses with some cow experience in their breeding.
Competitors engage in courses of fire which consist of elevated balloon targets of various color combinations, usually made up of one light and one dark color, for a total of ten balloon targets per course. The competitors shoot the first five random targets with a single action .45 caliber firearm similar to those used in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s by the American cowboy. Then, after holstering the first revolver, they engage the five targets in the "rundown".
Ammunition used for engaging the targets is made from black powder and the rounds are blanks, with no projectile other than the hot embers that travel ten to fifteen feet and dissipate in a shot gun round type pattern. MSA ammunition is safe for horses, competitors and spectators while used as intended Courses of fire are designed to test riders ability to control their equine partners at various speeds, while making lead and direction changes similar to those seen in barrel racing and other speed events. While speed is important, accuracy within any given course or stage, is also very important to a competitors success. For every missed balloon target, a competitor is assessed a five second penalty, to be added to that particular run. Additional penalties include five second penalties for knocking over a barrel and a ten second penalty for not running the course in the proper order. The range master has the final call on all arena activity and there is no over riding process.