Some guests flinched — others cheered — when the loud bang of a competitor’s gun echoed on Jan. 25 at the John Justin Arena, 3400 Burnett Tandy Drive.

Ninety-three competitors split into 44 different classes within three categories — main match, rifles and shotguns. They all had the common goal of popping all 10 balloon targets as fast as possible.

The guns use specially prepared blank ammunition, according to the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association, the host of the competition. Only single-caliber pistols like Colt Single Action Army or Bisley Model, Smith & Wesson Schofield, Russian or Remington Models 1875 and 1890 and their reproductions, and Ruger Vaqueros, Bisleys or Montados.

Results will be posted by the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association.


The riders are scored on time and accuracy. There is a 5-second penalty for each missed balloon, a 5-second penalty for dropping a gun, a 10-second penalty for not running the course correctly and a 60-second penalty for falling off your horse. Speed is important; however, accuracy is usually more important than speed. A typical pattern can be run in 15-35 seconds, so penalties can really hurt.

Source: Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association

Cristian ArguetaSoto is the community engagement journalist at the Fort Worth Report. Contact him by email or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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Cristian ArguetaSotoCommunity Engagement Journalist

Cristian is a May 2021 graduate of Texas Christian University. At TCU, ArguetaSoto served as staff photographer at TCU360 and later as its visual editor, overseeing other photojournalists. A Fort Worth...