Cowboy mounted shooting competition
Cowboys and cowgirls compete at Willow Brook Farms.
Photos and text by Tom Brenner
Almost every weekend, cowboys and cowgirls from across Maryland and around the country come together to compete against each other in some high-speed gunplay. The catch? Shoot out ten balloons in less than twenty seconds while riding on horseback.
The Pennsylvania based group, known as the “Keystone Cowboys” competes at Willow Brook Farms in the small town of Catasauqua. The group is part of the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association, the organizing body for one of the fastest growing shooting sports in the country. Riders, as young as 12, are equipped with two single-action revolvers that fire .38 caliber black powder cartridges. The objective is to shoot out the balloons attached to stands inside the course. If a rider misses a balloon or drops their pistol, it is a five second penalty on their overall time. The rider with the lowest time in their age group wins the stage.