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Mother-daughter duo each win a national mounted shooting championship

The sport of Mounted Shooting requires skills in horsemanship and marksmanship.

UNITY — Unity’s Michelle Pipke and her daughter, Nevada, are both winners in Canadian mounted shooting championshizp.

Cowboy mounted shooting is one of the fastest growing equine sports in North America, according to the Pipkes.

The object of the sport is to navigate a variety of challenging courses. There are more than 80 patterns with the goal of shooting 10 balloon targets with a single-action old-west 1800 revolver and blank ammunition. The fastest and most accurate shooter/rider wins. For every balloon target missed there is a five-second penalty, so accuracy is crucial.

Mounted shooting requires skills in both horsemanship and marksmanship. It is a high-speed, timed and spectator-friendly sport, in which the competitor who rides the fastest with the fewest missed targets wins. Participants require two single-action revolvers, each loaded with five blank cartridges, 10 targets which are arranged in a pattern or course in a horseback riding arena. To level the field, different levels of competition exist for the riders.

For example, the Cowboy Mounted Shooters Association (CMSA) members have women’s and men’s levels one through six and also senior women’s, men’s and women’s levels one through six. In Canada, the Wranglers are 18 and under and are divided into three categories, peewees, novice and junior. The wranglers mimic the actions on horseback, but with cap guns, and if they so choose, can ground shoot 10 targets, under the supervision of two certified adults.

Michelle has been competing in the sport since 2013. Nevada, started in 2015 at the age of five. The mother-daughter duo has travelled all over Saskatchewan and Alberta. Michelle has also travelled to a few competitions in the United Sates, and recently travelled to Amarillo, Texas to compete in CMSA worlds and AQHA worlds.

Pipke says their season began with Agribition in November of 2021 and their last event for the year was Canadian finals held in Staveley, Alta. Sept. 16 to 18. Michelle finished as Canadian ladies’ high point champion, Saskatchewan ladies’ high point champion, Canadian and Saskatchewan ladies four high point champion.

“Nevada finished the year as Canadian high point novice Wrangler and won finals as the Canadian novice Wrangler,” Michelle says.

These wins qualified the duo to go to CMSA worlds as well as enable them to enter the AQHA worlds in Texas that took place Oct. 11 to 15.

“My dream has always been to compete at the AQHA world,” Michelle says.

At CMSA Worlds she finished second in her class and 26th out of 304 entries.

“At the AQHA worlds I made it back into the top 10, then in the final run I won the third-place bronze. I’m so incredibly proud of this. My American quarter horse, Northern Gunner, is one that I raised myself. He has been with me for 15 years and my shooting partner for seven to eight years. I would have never achieved all these achievements without this amazing partnership. I’m truly blessed to own this horse,” she says.

Pipke says her favourite aspect of cowboy mounted shooting is the camaraderie and the family-like setting. Competitors help each other, support each other, and encourage each other, she says.

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