Horse Showing

Cowboy Mounted Shooting

February 6, 2013

It’s almost time to shoot ’em up at the 2012 Pfizer Versatility Ranch Horse and AQHA Cowboy Mounted Shooting World Championship Show.

chad little and hickorys irish gold

Chad Little and Hickorys Irish Gold

won the first AQHA open cowboy mounted shooting world championship in 2012 at the 2011 AQHA Cowboy Mounted Shooting World Championship. Journal photo.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

Last year was the first year cowboy mounted shooters riding American Quarter Horses had the opportunity to ride at the 2011 Pfizer Versatility Ranch Horse and AQHA Cowboy Mounted Shooting World Championship Show. This year’s Pfizer Versatility World and the Cowboy Mounted Shooting World are right around the corner. To clarify, the shows carry the previous year in their titles, as the qualifying period occurs in the prior calendar year.

The shows are February 28 to March 2 in Houston as part of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. The shows will consist of the most competitive versatility ranch horses and cowboy mounted shooting horses in AQHA, and they will be ridden by some of the best horsemen and -women in the industry.

Cowboy mounted shooting joined the AQHA family of world shows in 2012, making the world show competition even more exciting. Competitors race against the clock as they run through a pattern of 10 balloons and at least one barrel. The competitor to complete the pattern with the fastest time and most balloons shot will take home the world champion title.

As the voice of the American Quarter Horse industry, The American Quarter Horse Journal provides its readers with coverage of great AQHA events, including the upcoming 2012 Pfizer Versatility Ranch Horse and AQHA Cowboy Mounted Shooting World Championship Show.

One competitor, Chad Little, had the necessary skills and speed to take home such a title from the 2011 Pfizer AQHA Versatility Ranch Horse and Cowboy Mounted Shooting World Championship Show in Houston. With a time of 10.031 seconds, Chad won the very first AQHA open cowboy mounted shooting world championship.

It was about five years ago that Chad, of Saint Michael, Minnesota, met up with his world champion mount, Hickorys Irish Gold, owned by Pat Little also of Saint Michael, Minnesota.

“I got her when she was coming 3,” Chad recalled during his Journal Winning Run interview with Journal Editor Christine Hamilton.

Bred by Lindy Barron of Okotoks, Alberta, Hickorys Irish Gold is a 2004 bay mare by Hickory Ginnin Peppy and out of the Peppy Badge Olena mare JBS Golden Nugget.

When it comes to possessing qualities needed in cowboy mounted shooting, Hickorys Irish Gold fit the bill perfectly.

“She’s got a little run to her; she’s plenty fast, but she has got the ability to turn,” Chad said. “She’s got a lot of rate when I ask for it. Mainly, she’s just broke and in my hand. When I ask her to do something, she’s willing to do it.”

Open cowboy mounted shooting wasn’t Chad’s only win of the night – he and Hickorys Irish Gold also won the rifle class, which currently is not an AQHA-approved class.

With a subscription to The American Quarter Horse Journal, you will have access to coverage of some great AQHA events, including the upcoming 2012 Pfizer Versatility Ranch Horse and AQHA Cowboy Mounted Shooting World Championship Show in Houston.

Chad’s quick-firing ways trace back to one fateful day in 2000, when Chad’s neighbors rode over and introduced him what would become his life’s passion.

“Some really good friends of ours – they had been doing (cowboy mounted shooting) for a year or so – came over and said, ‘You gotta try it.’ So, I tried it once, and that was it, and here we are.”

To watch Chad’s winning run with Hickorys Irish Gold, play the video below.