Monday, July 7, 2014

End Of Trail The Cowboy Action Shooting World Championship

Dodge City Dixie and Reno Mustang hitched up their wagon  and drove it to my ranch early on June 21st. After getting my gear loaded we pointed the wagon west and headed to Edgewood, New Mexico and EOT. We stopped just outside of Oklahoma City that night and headed on toward Moriarty, New Mexico the next morning. We rolled into Moriarty Sunday evening and decided to check out the range even though everything was over for the day. We looked on the SASS website and saw the address 215 Cowboy Way, Edgewood. NM, only to find out that the office is not at the range. After going to the directions tab we found the range and it was impressive. We were in awe walking the range for the first time, the scenery is fantastic and the range looked great.

Monday morning we headed back to the range to sign in and check out the vendors and the stages. Everyone we talked to was really helpful and tried to make us feel at home. The shooters packet came with chap stick and everyone said us it and don't wait until you're thirsty to drink water. I think I averaged about 10 bottles a day the whole time we were there.

While walking the stages we met T.A. Chance, the Match Director, and discussed the stages with him. He was a pleasure to talk to and all the stages were fast and fun, with one moving target each day. One stage had pistol and rifle knockdowns but T.A. included a stationary target where you could make up any pistol or rifle KD misses with a shotgun. If a target didn't go down you could still end up with a clean stage.

I ran into Split Rail and he said to use sinus rinse before you end up with bleeding sinuses and that was some of the best advice along with Mose and Bella telling us to drink Pedialite. Sheriff Frank Canton from home had told us to use Shot Bloc's which helped as well.

We decided to pace ourselves and try to get used to the altitude, nearly 7000 feet above sea level, so we didn't shoot on Monday.

Tuesday morning we shot a 4 stage Warm Up Match and if you haven't been there you wouldn't believe how winded you are after a 25 second stage. After lunch we checked out the vendors and just hung out.

Wednesday was Side Match day and we shot a little and got to see some amazing shooters. I shot the speed rifle in 3.43 seconds and that is about as good as I can do. Waterloo came up and shot a 1.84 and I thought no one could beat that, until Matt Black came up on the first run and shot a 1.80. It was amazing to watch him shoot that fast and I heard he came back later and beat that time.

Reno and Dixie went to Albuquerque to meet Papa Dave's flight and I stayed and worked the Long Range Side Match for a couple of hours. When they got back Papa signed in and we went to the Opening Ceremonies, Which included a flag presentation from every country represented and a big welcome from all involved with the match We were warned to be careful where you walked, especially at night, see my pictures. We decided to walk the first days stages for the Main Match. In the process we happened upon a party at Hot Tamale's Stage where we spun the prize wheel and somehow I ended up with a margarita.

Thursday was the first day of the main match and we shot the late wave. We had a 12:30 Safety Meeting and then headed to the Posse shoot where the entire posse lined up with pistols and rifle. One person shot a plate rack, one was designated to put the last shot on a clay bird the rest lined up to shoot a 4x4 in to. We did it in about 16 seconds but the winning team did it in under 6 I think. We really had a great posse including Amaduelist (Posse Marshall), Deadly Sharpshooter (Assistant Posse Marshall), Calhoun Kid, Dixie Rebel, Dodge City Dixie, Estancia Kid, Hotshot Harley, Irish Leadslinger, Kalamity Kae, Kansas City Sneed, Oklahoma Dee, Papa Dave, Posey County Lefty, Posey's Lefty's Lady, Purdy Sharp, Randy Saint Eagle, Reno Mustang, Smokey Shane and Sundown Tex.

After finishing the day stages we headed back to the bunkhouse to clean up and hit the road for Sandia Peak Tramway in Albuquerque. It is a fantastic ride up to 10,378 feet above sea level and High Finance  restaurant. The view is really nice and the food is really good, thanks Papa Dave.

Friday we shot the mid-day wave and stages 1-4, including the swinger on stage 3 and pistol and rifle knock downs on stage 4. After the days stages Dodge City Dixie, Reno Mustang and I were still clean so the pressure was on.

In the afternoon we were able to watch "Badlands Bill" Ogelsby, Exhibition Shooter and it was a great show. He shot 2 balloons with a single action revolver that sounded like 1 shot. He also show how to shoot like the movie cowboys, slinging the bullets out to get extra velocity. He told jokes and my favorite shot was the mirror shot where he split a bullet on a knife blade and busted 2 balloons, did I mention he did this in about a 20 mph wind. If you ever get the opportunity to see him I think you'll enjoy it.

Saturday morning we shot the middle stages on the morning wave and after being clean for 2 days I was really nervous. Stage 8 we shot a combined pistol and rifle progressive sweep on 6 targets, which required a rifle reload, then 4 shotgun KD's. When we got to the final stage Reno shot first and finished with a Clean Match. Dixie shot third and also finished with a Clean Match so now the pressure was really on. I was watching the loading table and was a nervous wreck by the time someone relieved me so I could shoot. I shot the stage in slow motion and was so happy when the last pistol shot hit steel I missed a shotgun KD and had to make it up. I finished with a Clean Match as well.

After the match was over we decided to try the Cowboy Clays. I'd never tried Sporting Clays before, but Papa Dave and Reno were good coaches. We shot the first half of the course, 50 shots, and then shot the 5-Stand Team Match. Both were lots of fun but after shooting the final 4 stages of the Main Match and 75 shotgun rounds we were ready for lunch.

Dodge City Dixie posted a daily report on the Ocoee Rangers Forum and Judge'em All Duncan said while we were there we had to try Chili Hills Restaurant, By Saturday at lunch I think we had been 5 times. If you go to EOT or to Edgewood for any other reason make sure you stop by for a great meal and ask to speak to Debbie Goss, the owner and pie chef extraordinaire. Debbie gave SASS members 15% off during EOT. She also developed the Bighorn endorsed SASS pie, be sure to try a slice. It's hard to have a meal there and not top it off with a slice of her delicious homemade pies. Between Dixie, Reno, Papa Dave and I we tried several of them.

Saturday night we went back to the range for the Saturday Night Bash featuring the Dooley Gang. The most exciting part of this for us was when they called out the Top 16 Cowboys and the Top 16 Cowgirls. I think Dodge City Dixie needed oxygen when they called out her name. She had a great first EOT, shot "Clean" and made the "Sweet 16 Shoot-off".

Sunday morning we loaded the wagon and headed back to the range for the Shoot-off, I think Dixie was a little nervous. They had the Ladies and Men Top 8 Wild Bunch Shoot-off first and it was lots of fun to watch.  Then they reset the tables and started the Top 16 and the Sweet 16 shoot-offs. They alternated Cowgirl and Cowboy runs 20 knockdowns for pistol and rifle combined and 3 shotgun KD's plus the crossover with exploding centers attached, it was a real hoot to watch. When the smoke had all cleared Lead Ringer was the Top Cowboy and Holy Terror was the Top Cowgirl. The final match was between the 2 of them and it was really close. It looked like Lead Ringer had a substantial lead going into the shotgun knock downs but Holy Terror kicked it into high gear and we had to wait for the smoke to clear to see that Lead Ringer had indeed won.

The Awards started shortly after and it moved quickly (all Dooley Gang Award Ceremonies do). T-Bone Dooley, Ringo Fire and the gang did a great job.

Cobra Cat was the Top Gun and Cowboy World Champion; followed by Lead Ringer, Wrangler World Champion; James Samuel Pike; Sass Kicker, Ladies Top Gun and Junior Girls World Champion; Savage Sam; Prestidigitator; Phantom, 49'r World Champion; White Lightning Jack; C.S.Brady; and Hells Comin, Senior World Champion rounded out the Overall Top 10.

As noted earlier Sass Kicker was the Ladies Top Gun; followed by Slick's Sharp Shooter, Cowgirl World Champion; Holy Terror; Two Sons, Ladies Silver Senior World Champion; Texas Tiger, Ladies 49'r World Champion; Hey You; Shamrock Sadie; Bent Barrel Betty; Dew R Dye, Ladies Wrangler World Champion; and Really rounded out the Ladies Top 10.

From Wartrace, Dodge City Dixie was 3rd Ladies B-Western with a Clean Match.
Randy Saint Eagle was 3rd Senior Duelist with a Clean Match.
Papa Dave was 3rd Cattle Baron.
Reno Mustang was 9th Senior Gunfighter with a Clean Match.

Complete Scores

Also from Tennessee, Iron Maiden, Ladies Duelist World Champion; Mae Berry, Ladies Frontier Cartridge Duelist World Champion and Dew R Dye, Ladies Wrangler World Champion.   Congratulations Ladies.

After the results, we hitched up the team, loaded the wagon and headed home but we couldn't get through Edgewood without making one more stop at Chili Hills for more good food and of course pie.

Reno manned the reins the whole round trip, 2889 miles and I want to thank he, Dixie and Papa Dave  for a fantastic trip. I think they and Papa Dave will join me in saying if you can go to EOT, it is a great experience. I also have to thank Misty Moonshine, Mose and Bella Spencer, without them making it possible to win entries this trip would not have happened this year.
I also have to say a big Thank You to the Wild Bunch, T.A. Chance, SASS employees, the Waddies and everyone involved in making my first trip to EOT  one I'll never forget.   I hope to get back to EOT someday and hopefully it will once again be with Dodge City Dixie, Reno Mustang, Papa Dave  and hopefully we can recruit  some more Wartrace Regulators to make the trip.                                                        
Here are some links to videos and pictures.

Videos by Dodge City Dixie

Photos by Dodge City Dixie

Videos by Reno Mustang

Photos by Randy Saint Eagle

Videos by Randy Saint Eagle