My Life As A Cowboy Action Shooter

Posted By on February 11, 2009

By:Sarah Harp, aka Sage Chick
(Junior Writer  For Kids By Kids)

Howdy, my name is Sarah Harp, and my Single Action Shooting Society (SASS) alias is Sage Chick. Winter Range 08I am 14 and I am a cowboy action shooter. Before I tell you any more about myself, let me tell you about cowboy action shooting. Cowboy action is just what it says it is, pretending to be a cowboy with lots of action. I have done other types of shooting, action pistol, bullseye, and trap shooting, but for me nothing compares to the adrenalin rush I get when shooting cowboy. First of all, you get to shoot four guns instead of just one. AD EvilRoyShootingSchool_Website2009These consist of two single-action revolvers, a lever-action rifle, and either a double-barrel or exposed hammer pump shotgun. All four guns are used as you progress through a series of targets in the correct sequence, or what we call a stage. A match consists of several stages and every one is different. Secondly, your score depends not only on hitting the targets but also hitting them in the correct order and as quickly as you can. Your score is the number of seconds it takes you to complete the stage, plus five seconds for each miss, and/or 10 seconds if you shoot a target in the wrong order. Couple that with the atmosphere of fifty or more people with cowboy names and dressed like they just walked off the set of the most recent western. Then you have stages set up with props and gear to make you feel the excitement of the old west.

sagenews 003I have been shooting cowboy since I was eight years old. I started going to matches before that with my family mostly to pick up brass. I shot my first state and regional contest when I was nine. I was kind of a novelty then and got a lot of attention, especially from shooters from other countries where gun ownership is highly regulated in so much that teenagers are not even allowed to handle a gun. AD1911buffalobrothers_JuniorShootersAnd there I was, about 3-1/2 feet tall with two sixguns strapped on and a rifle that was almost as tall as I was! Every one thought I was cute, but fast forward a few years and suddenly I’m not so cute any more cause I’m kicking most of their butts when the results are posted.

The greatest things about shooting cowboy are getting to travel around the country meeting all the great people who are a part of our sport and spending time with my family doing something we really enjoy. I have been fortunate to be able to travel to Founders Ranch in New Mexico where they hold the World Championships. At this event known as End of Trail, we have met some great folks from all over the world who share a love for shooting and the old west.

XcalibersV21 color website 4-07-09The last two years I have been in the sweet 16 shoot-off, which is the sixteen best women shooters at End Of Trail (EOT). I have also shot the Hell on Wheels Regional in Wyoming, Mule Camp in Georgia, and several state shoots in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Michigan. I have been able to meet and shoot with people like Evil Roy, Holy Terror, Constable Nelson from Australia, and even some of the Wild Bunch. Some of the finest people are right here in Ohio, ones we see at every shoot. They have helped and encouraged me along the way. My favorite shoot is still Guns of August, the Midwest regional. Last year, I was the women?s regional overall champion and was able to go and compete in the 2008 National Championships at Winter Range in Phoenix, Arizona. At Winter Range, I won the junior girls category and was the 2008 Ladies National Champion. Most of the larger shoots take a lot of driving to get to and sometimes I even have to miss some school to participate (YES!)

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DSCF0075_074Surprisingly I do have a life besides shooting! I am in the eighth grade at Delaware Christian School where I also play volleyball and basketball. Both my school and my Church are very supportive of my shooting. At home on the farm, I raise chickens and sell eggs for my college fund. I like participating in 4-H, showing cattle at the fair, and riding my horse Bailey. I plan to study veterinary science in college. Meantime, most Saturdays will find me on the way to a shoot somewhere, so come on out and give it a try.  I?ll look forward to meeting you.

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Copyright and Published By Junior Shooters and Junior Sports Magazines Inc. February 2009

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