CALIFORNIA RANGE RIDERS
Cowboy Mounted Shooters Club
Reliving the Old West Cowboy Mounted Shooting
Have you ever dreamed of riding the trails
with Hopalong Cassidy, Roy Rogers, The Duke, the Cartwrights, Wild Bill Hickok,
Buffalo Bill Cody, Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, even Billy the Kid, Jesse James or
Red Ryder? Have you ever dreamed of shooting the bad guys, while saving the
damsel in distress, stopping a stagecoach holdup or riding in from a dusty
Well, now you can make that dream happen!
Cowboy Mounted Shooting is a re-enactment of the Old West of the 1880s, an
exciting equestrian sport in which competitors race against the clock through a
gymkhana-type course while wearing two single-action .45 caliber revolvers and
firing at balloon targets. This sport requires the ability to control the horse
through many turns and speed changes while cocking and firing the revolvers,
holstering one when it's empty, and then drawing the other to complete the
course of fire.
Revolvers are similar in design to the legendary 1873 Colt Peacemaker. They
fire black powder blanks, capable of popping balloons on poles at a range of 10
to 15 feet. There is no bullet, and no live ammunition is allowed in the guns
or gun belts. Safety is of the utmost importance. Each competitor carries two
pistols on his or her gun belt or in a pommel holster mounted on the saddle.
Some use one of each. Twirling or spinning of guns is not allowed.
Horses of any breed may be used, but their temperament is very important. The
initial challenge is to acclimate your equestrian partner to the sounds of
gunfire and balloons on poles blowing in the wind. Two methods are commonly
used to accomplish this. The first is to gradually expose the horse to loud noises
with cap guns or by slapping two boards together. Then, move up to a starter
pistol with .22 caliber blanks. After you are sure the horse will accept these
noises, you can move up to .45 caliber blanks. Some riders use neoprene or cotton
ear plugs made expressly for horses. The second method is to use the horse's
herd instinct, and place it in an area with calm, mounted shooting horses. When
your horse realizes the gunfire is not bothering the other horses, it usually
remains calm with them. A horse that neck reins is advantageous, because you will
have a revolver in one hand and need to control your horse with the reins and
leg cues. Horses that excel in barrel racing, gymkhana, team penning, and
roping tend to do well in this sport.
Competitors usually create an alias or persona to fit an old western character,
such as Billy the Kid, Wild Bill Hickok, Hopalong Cassidy, The Duke, a Union or
Rebel soldier, and others.
We have quite a few Western characters in our posse, including Old Buckaroo,
California Girl, Kactus Joe, Buck N Wyld, Frisco Bob, Frisco's Gal, Laura Belle
Starr, Widowmaker, Mustang Sal, Ricochet Rog, Concho Kid, Kid With No Name,
Scarlet Shooter, Diablo Di, JD Cowgirl, Wruthless Belle, Expressman, Tenacious
Tiffany, Levi Hensel, Lonestar Kid, Bronco Cody, Marv Diamond, Sassy Brown, Pete
Hammer, Mustang Bobbie, Doc Cheatham, Gatling Lady, Outlaw, Abilene Jack,
Scarlet Angel, Johnny Longknife, Sierra Rose,
Cherokee Rose, Two Buck Chuck, Duster, Old Haywire Marshall, Dragonfly West,
Dangerous Di, The Under Taker, Lady Muleskinner, Potlicker Pete, Turnkey Floyd,
Lady Roughrider, Duster, Deadeye Joe, Oklahoma Doolin Outlaw, Monsignor Paul
Regret, Old McDonald, Cottonmouth Jack, 8-Fingered Jim, Wicked Ways 2 C, Belle
Star, Long Rider Lil, Sure Shot Skeeter, Mustang Gal, Quickdraw Cowboy,
Calaveras Kate, Barbwire, Hopalong, Snowy River, Sunny River, Little Chance, Ron
Wayne, Kid Concho, HH Cowgirl, Dangerous Dean, Dutch Carlson, Cuervo Gold,
Jicarilla Kid, Ruger Rose, Jeffrey James, Bobby the Kid, Bittercreek, Two Guns
Talkin', Dusty, Sister Sarah, Sioux City Sue, Lady Godiva, One Tuff Rose,
Sheriff Roger Hill, Ten Gauge Taylor, Bang Bang, Tombstone Trish, Thisle-dew
Justfine, Tumbleweed, Cecil the Kid, Code of the West, Merry Widowmaker,
Cowgirl, Lightupyerlife Di, Sure Shot Skeeter, Longrider Lil, Jeffrey James,
Troubador, Miss Fire, Haywire, Hossman, Rowdy Gaits, Last Ride, and many
La Honda, California
At large matches, participants compete for ribbons, buckles, and occasionally
jackpot type events. There is even a competition for mounted rifle shooting.
Riders compete in class levels 1-6 for Men, Women, Seniors, Juniors, and
Wranglers (the latter formerly called Pee Wees).
The California Range Riders (CRR)
are members of three national organizations that promote this fast-growing
These organizations organize monthly, regional and world championship matches
The California Range Riders hold monthly practice sessions and horse
indoctrination clinics several times each month in various California
locations — Gilroy, Novato, San Jose, Sacramento, Livermore,
Waterford, Sonora, and Ceres.