Cowboy mounted shooting, or simply mounted shooting, is a sport of the equestrian discipline, that involves shooting at targets while riding a horse. The sport requires a combination of superior horse riding and shooting skills. The sport originated rather recently in the late 1990's and as of 2015 is played only in the United States.
Events are conducted on a specially designed course, where balloons are used as targets. Riders use an old western style single-action revolvers, with blanks to shoot the targets. Each course has ten targets and pose a variety of challenges. The objective is to complete the course at the least time possible and hitting as many targets as possible.
During a competition, each ride is timed. The time in which a rider finishes the entire course is recorded as the raw time. All missed targets will be penalized by adding additional time, based on the difficulty of the target. Additional penalty time is also added if barrels are knocked off, or if a rider misses the course direction. The rider with the lowest adjusted time is declared as the winner.
The sport is governed by multiple bodies, all of which allow both men and women to compete in competitions.
- Horseback Archery — shooting arrows at targets while riding a horse.
- Cowboy Action Shooting — involves shooting targets with a variety of guns that were typical of the late 19th century
- Cowboy Polo — similar to regular Polo, though riders compete with western saddles, usually in a smaller arena and with an inflatable rubber medicine ball.
- Jousting — competitors on horsebacks with long lances try to knock down each other (extinct sport)
- Mounted Orienteering — participants navigate from start to end through control points, usually on horseback.
- About Shooting Sports — about the many sports which involve shooting at targets using guns like pistols and rifles.
- List of all sports involving horses
- Complete list of sports
- The Encyclopedia of Sports