Jump to content
SASS Wire Forum

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Bronc

SASS Mounted Shooting

Recommended Posts

Bronc    7

Ok. Perhaps I have a unique, objective viewpoint to offer. At Winter Range there was a rider in a tank top and ball cap!. This was not in the AZCMSA match on Sunday but rather on Saturday in a match run by Kenda Lenseigne. This match had no clothing requirements. In 1994 when Jim and I incorporated the CMSA it was an historically oriented horse sport and direct offshoot of SASS and CAS. As soon as people wanted money involved the die was set for the ruination of what was a unique combination of horse and shooting sports. The money has removed the historical element as anything other than a novelty. At WR I saw 2, yes, 2 old west style saddles and only a few ladies and 2 men in period clothing, out of 125!!

Perhaps the saddest was the obvious separation between the CAShooters and the Mounted Shooters. When I was done with the Main match on Saturday I wandered over to the arena to see what had become of the organization I had helped start those many years ago. It was sad. No old west flavor at all, none. At first glance it looked like any bid jackpot roping anywhere. Firearm safety was non existent, riders went to a common area and retrieved their blanks from a common box w/ no supervision. Riders were un holstering guns and muzzling  well, everything everywhere I looked. It really is only a matter of time before there is a serious disaster. I saw a rider in period clothing have a minor wreck and fall from his horse. Even though there were litterally dozens of people with a fey steps of this man not a single person offered to lend a hand or assit him with catching his mount. I found this a bit disturbing.  I visited with Jim at length about the growth of the organization and it was rather obvious that money was the only concern. In 1997 SASS decided to run it's own program at EOT. This was the first separation, of SASS and the CMSA. It is sad to see that the gap has only widened. I asked Hipshot who ran the SASS Mounted shooting at EOT and he replied "the CMSA". Well that seems a little sad! The only hope for SASS Mounted Shooting is a return to the original, old west themed, NO MONEY, only prizes and awards game of yesteryear. The CMSA, MSA are feuding, lawsuits abound and the owners of the CMSA seem only interested in selling the organization for their own monetary gain. The hope of some back in the day was for mounted shooting to be an actual rodeo sport it was never going to happen, then, now, ever. Not even a little respect is being paid to the old west.

Once there was dream, a handful of Cowboy Action Shooters who had horses wanted a horse sport with an Old West orientation, they came together for pure fun and a deep seated love of the Old West. Now it appears that taco hats, silly impractical gun rigs, sponsor patches on clothes, and money, lots of money have ruined that dream, but money usually ruins most things! I hope SASS Mounted shooting can do better.

 

Just a thought

Bronc, SASS # 1885 CMSA # 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for your reply!!I couldn't agree more, Bronc. I've even discussed the concept of taking out the timer and scoring on clean shooting and costuming. or put 25 balloons out with varying point values. ways to make it about fun and the old west again All I get is, with out payback no one attend, which I don't believe. I know people that spend thousands to win ribbons. And I hear that SASS gives no support (such as Insurance and point tracking) to the mounted shooters. I think there are ways to bring this back. CMSA recently dumped Outlaw Annie from their payroll. There's some one that could get the promotion done and get this thing going again.

No it won't be as big as CMSA and no it won't draw the super stars and that's fine. We can go play with them elsewhere if we want to.

But we need support, and that's my question, how, who, where?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bronc    7

Annie came on board after I left. While I am not sure, she did come from a rodeo background. Rodeo means cash paybacks, period. We got along well before the money came in. 1993,94,95,96,97 and 98. Plenty of great competitors who did it for the love of the game and the Old West. If SASS would support it with insurance, prize sponsorship, etc. It could be brought back. The CMSA with lawsuits and other power struggles cannot last long in it's current form, (just my viewpoint). In the beginning we were SASS shooters with horses and we devised away to play on horseback! it could be brought back in an old west form. The regular horse people who want to ride for cash WILL NOT dress, ever.  Attempting to attract them is pointless. We have rockstars in CAS w/ no cash involved. There is some sponsorship and support for some of them but it is in the background and not really part of the sport in and of itself. If SASS really wanted "SASS MOUNTED SHOOTING" then it needs to be a SASS event with an emphasis on the SPIRIT OF THE GAME and all that that entails. I am talking about an actual SASS event as part of EOT, with acknowledgement. In the early days we (Jim and I) were encouraged to do our own thing and the WB looked at it as a novelty side match. When we formed the CMSA (Oct,1994) we were still welcome to EOT and part of the match with acknowledgement, etc, In '97 the WB decided to un invite us and out on their own event. Political divisions became ugly and the rest is just sad history. it could be done, a return to the Old West themed Mounted Shooting. Not much needs changing. Minimal costume requirements were sufficient back in the day for peer pressure to do the rest. No reason to turn anyone away who doesn't have costuming merely put them in the minority and natural selection will do the rest. Without money the contemporary (taco hat) riders will not come, I'd bet on it. I'd be happy to help with the resurrection!! I am near retirement and need something to do! SPREAD THE WORD, slick fork riders unite!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome. That's good news. I've been in touch with some others that feel the same way (Including Annie, who actually came from horse showing and modeling for Colt firearms believe it or not.) There is still one SASS Mounted group active at Founders Ranch so there's still an ember or two left. I need to get some of them back here to the SASS wire to let folks know what's going on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bronc    7

I an earlier post Buckskin mentioned "point tracking". A points system in very detrimental to bringing things back to a fun Old West Game. With a points system anyone with the time and money or sponsorship to afford to be on the road constantly will win. Just the way a points system works.

I CAS/SASS any one can arrive at WR or EOT, win the match and become to National or World Champion.

There is another format that rewards consistency and doesn't require the same money and time for travel as a points system. That is a "Series". Commonly called a "buckle or saddle series. With a series there are a fixed number of events over a period of time, one per month for say 3 months.

There are certainly different ways to go. As long as significant amounts of money are involved for competitors there will never be any reason to return to an old west love of the game. Money will eventually corrupt anything! SASS shooting remains true so long as money in in the background, as soon as money becomes more important than the game itself then all is lost.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bring point tracking because that was a sticking point for many people in 2007 when Chiz tried to make SASS mounted shooting "as big as" CMSA. People wanted to see their accomplishments listed on the SASS website and SASS could never quite get it done. Call it what you want< I guess it's results tracking more than anything else.

 

Speaking of money, do you know why the Wild Bunch no longer supports Mounted Shooting?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You know, it would be interesting to find out "straight from the horse's mouth" as it were. I have been told it's because they don't make enough profit on mounted shooting. The cost of needing new targets every run, and setters to place them, and providing ammo, and facilities for horses and so on and so forth that just aren't a factor in cowboy action shooting. Plus the cost of insurance and such makes it more costly than it's worth.

 

As I said I have been told that, I have not heard that directly from any "Powers that be."

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bronc, Good to see you are still interested in the old west. We haven't looked at this wire in long time.  It used to be booming.  My first out was winter range, 1995.  We are so glad you brought up this topic.  We really enjoyed the mounted shooting, because of the clothes as much as the shooting.  Loved going to the "town" at EOT in Norco.  Everybody dressed and it was like going back in time.  We knew when the money came, it would all change.  We saw how money changed the horse shows.  The first time we saw someone join to just win, was at a big match the  man had a fiberglass saddle and very minimal clothing.  We was all using the old style heavy hi back saddles, and old west bridles. We wore all the clothes, and yes, sometimes it got hot!  Ha ha.  Most were riding common horses. It was fun.  I am talking mainly about the monthly practice matches.  Balloon setters used to be done by horseback, riders learning, or teaching their horses.  Everybody helped everybody.   There was about 40 people there.  I am talking about CA  We saw it coming.  Money brings people who don't love the sport, they just want to win.  When EOT left Ca, we got out shortly after.  Our family would dress up old west and spend the day and loved it.  Heard it said, some dress to shoot and some shoot to dress.

  Tinker and Irish Cowgirl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The main reason I joined SASS was that I wanted to compete at EOT in it's mounted shooting completion. I had been a CMSA member and competed in a quite a few matches. I was first a shooter , second a rider.  I was not very good. The CMSA matches that I attended showed almost zero interest in historical accuracy at all. It was just disappointing to see folks meeting a bare minimum in tack and dress requirements.  I honestly don't think the money had a whole lot to do with it. Maybe for the top shooters but the vast majority of folks wanted to compete knowing they were not going to make any big bucks. Having a "low bar" to get more participants will enventually hurt mounted shooting. I can't tell you how disappointed I was when I started planning the cross county trip to EOT for the purpose of riding in it's mounted shoot when I discovered it would be ran by CMSA . I just stayed home. I like mounted shooting but I love mounted shooting where attention is paid to tack and dress. I would bet good attendance at EOT if a hard line toward to equipment was held irregardless of any prize money offered at all. Just my two cents.  Slow the game down, make it as much about shooting as riding. Not a barrel race .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nuevo Mike and I started Mounted Shooting in CA. We went to EOT many times before we moved to New Mexico hoping that Mounted Shooting would be as popular here as it is in CA. The big difference in CA was that the Main Arena was right at the main gate. Spectators would stop at the arena to watch the Mounted Shooting and the Wild West Show.

EOT Mounted had riders from all over to where there were anywhere to 110 to 150 riders at EOT. There were 3 arenas set up to accommodate the event in a timely manner.

Mike and I tried many times to get The Wild Bunch at Founders Ranch to move the arena up to the town area so that there would be better access for the public. It made  sense to us if Founders Ranch Set up Mounted Shooting as people came in like they had in CA there would get more spectators resulting in more gate money. But, they wouldn't budge since they had everything set up down in that hole behind the Town where it floods every time it rains, where many horse trailers and trucks got stuck trying to go up that steep hill in the mud. The area up by the Town is dryer and more stable. There is lots of room to accommodate riders and horses.

The spectators find the arena by accident most of the time since the are no frequent signs directing folks to the arena.

It is true that SASS feels there is no money to be had in Mounted Shooting so therefore they don't support it. Chili Cowboy has been trying hard to keep SASS mounted

going but members are dwindling away. Is it Money, Distance,  Location or the fact that most everyone has gone to CMSA, MSA?

 

  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Mike and Lucy!! Part of what went wrong was when they ran you two off!

 

I continue to flog the proverbial deceased equine I know - but if the Wild Bunch would put some effort into keeping SASS mounted alive I believe it could thrive and make them money. But the expenses of MS as opposed to action shooting just make that seem impossible for them to comprehend. Not surprising it's a totally different animal!

 

An affordable insurance policy, such as other organizations provide, and other support such as a point system that actually gets maintained and low cost awards and such, I feel would bring people back. I know the powers that be have a bad taste left from some folks that spent a bunch of money and didn't produce as promised and that may be insurmountable, but if I knew who to talk to about it - I honestly believe that there are a bunch of mounted shooters that would come into the fold of a group more interested in LOW COST, fun mounted shooting. I know they still exist, I meet them all the time.

 

And you're right about the arena setup at FR, it works OK for events like last weekend but it won't carry a true world class event. At least as is. But who knows what can be done with a little nation wide support!?!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×