Arena All-Star

Story by Kyle Partain
Photograph by Sharon Fibelkorn

Typhoons SunsetDespite the fact she’s 22 years old, Sunset still runs faster than rider Tom Wilson can fire his gun in mounted-shooting competitions. The two have never set the mounted-shooting world on fire, but that hasn’t stopped them from having fun in the sport.

There were 29 horses and riders who took part in the first Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association World Championships in 1994. Tycoons Sunset, was just 7 years old at the time and was competing in her first competitive event.

Fifteen years later, Sunset has reached a ripe old age of 22, and is still carrying Tom Wilson into the arena at mounted shooting matches along the West Coast. Wilson is 69, so the pair would definitely qualify as the oldest horse-rider tandem at just about any match they attend. Make no mistake; Tom and Sunset haven’t exactly set the mounted-shooting world on fire with their accomplishments. The pair is mostly in it to have a good time and hang out with old friends.

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La Pialada

Pablo LazanoAt an Argentine ranch roping, the author reconnects with the gaucho life he once lived and reflects on gaucho gear and techniques.






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Trail-Course Tips

ImageAvid ranch-horse-versatility competitor Jimbo Humphreys (featured in March's "Returning to the Ranch" story) routinely teaches trail-course clinics at Stock Horse of Texas Association events. He's a top competitor in the open division in both SHOT and the American Quarter Horse Association. And he believes many competitors make the trail course more difficult by failing to prepare mentally for the class.

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Big Sky Vaqueros

ImageThis Montana-based organization brings together working cowboys and weekend ropers in friendly competitions, while celebrating the ways of the early California vaquero.

It is almost dark by the time I reach Bozeman, Montana. While reading the directions I had scribbled on a small piece of paper, I navigate through an upscale neighborhood on the edge of town. After one last turn, I try to read the street numbers in the dim light. Looking ahead, I see dark silhouettes in cowboy hats roping a dummy right in the middle of the street.

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