Mounted shooters put on an exciting show for fair goers
SALISBURY, Md. – A competition about safe shooting, good horsemanship, and a whole lot of skill. As the Wicomico County Fair comes to a close, an exciting and loud event, the ‘Mounted Shooting’ competition took place, showing those on the Eastern Shore just how fun it can be. “Shootin’ guns off horses, that’s about it,” says a Mason Dixon Deputy, Meredith Coulbourne.
The Mason Dixon Deputies out of Berlin, Maryland put on quite a show for the last day of the fair. A show that many Marylanders say, they haven’t seen before. “So a lot of the locals aren’t able to come and see what these athletes are capable of,” says Dawn Coulbourne, a fair goer and mother of one of the shooters.
We’re told competitors use two .45 caliber single action revolvers to shoot 10 balloons in a course, all while being timed. The revolvers are actually blanks filled with black powder, making it one of the safest fast action sports.
However, the real stars are the horses who navigate these courses, and withstand the loud noises. Something deputies say, takes a lot of time, training, and patience. “Training is a big part of the day like, just from start to finish seeing how far they get along,” says Meredith. She adds, “They all have their own personalities and it’s just a pleasure to see which horse is which you know what I mean.”
Meredith also tells me, horses have been apart of her life for 14 years, and this opportunity came when COVID canceled her high school rodeo days. She tells us, “We had a couple of training horses in that needed a gun break and that’s basically how I got started and I fell in love with it.” Now her fellow deputies are putting smiles on fans faces, all while trying to get the best time. “They’re fierce competitors, they cheer each other on, they’re fierce competitors, but they’re also friends,” says Dawn. Meredith adds, “The people are great, the environment is great, it’s just a fun opportunity.”
Although the events gave the riders an opportunity to showcase their skills, they say their love for the sport and their horses, is what keeps them coming back for more. “So to be able to see that and to be able to be with her when that happens is just, it’s amazing,” says Dawn. Meredith also tells 47 ABC, “It’s a forever thing, horses have been a big part of my life for forever, so I’m hoping it’ll be able to stay that way.”
We’re told the group usually travels around for their competitions and if you want to follow them on their journey until they return here on the Eastern shore, just click here.
If you’re interested in learning how to ride, you can visit the Rusted Star Ranch’s website to learn more.