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Shooters fire from horses


A television Western wouldn’t be a television Western if at least one character didn’t shoot a six-gun while riding a horse at full gallop.

If a group of southern West Virginia horse enthusiasts have their way, they’ll get the chance to experience what they’ve seen on TV so many times. They met over the weekend in Beckley to organize a group called the West Virginia Six-Shooters.

“We were chartered by the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association in December,” said club leader Larry Moorman. “As of now, we have 27 members.”

Those members came mainly from a demonstration conducted Nov. 15 near Talcott by Moorman and fellow mounted shooting enthusiast Bobby Knight.

“It’s a little like barrel racing and shooting combined,” Moorman said. “You shoot at five balloons on the way out, switch guns, turn around a barrel and shoot at five balloons on the way back.”

As in cowboy action shooting, contestants must dress in cowboy regalia and shoot firearms that are replicas of those used in the Old West. The guns fire blanks, but at close range even the blast of a blank cartridge is enough to break a balloon.

“It’s a timed event. The rider with the shortest time and the fewest misses wins,” Moorman said.

The Six-Shooters are the first West Virginia chapter to be sanctioned by the national Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association. Moorman said he has received inquiries from riders as far away as Ripley, Point Pleasant and Elkins.

“Our first few events will be held at the Raleigh County Horsemen’s Arena,” he added. “We don’t plan to hold any officially sanctioned events for a while. It will take some time to get our riders used to shooting from horseback, and to get the horses used to hearing the gunshots.”

On the Net:

West Virginia Six-Shooters Club:

www.wvsixshooters. club.officelive.com

Distributed by The Associated Press

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