Shooters ages 4 to 82 take aim in Abilene for Mounted Shooting World Finals

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) — The best shooters from across the country and Canada have made their way to the Taylor Telecom Arena in Abilene to showcase their marksmanship.

Competitors ranging in age from 4-82 are all in one place to keep a cowboy’s entertainment alive.

Among that group is 14-year old Alexa Herrington, an Argyle native who never dreamed of shooting Colt .45s off the back of a horse.

“I didn’t really like horses before I started shooting,” Herrington said. “I was scared of them.”

But after she continuously watched her friends compete and succeed, she gave in.

“This is what I want to do,” Herrington said..

She pushed aside her fears of getting hurt and pursued mounted shooting.

“It’s worth the risk, right?” Herrington said.

However, there was a small problem: she had never ridden or shot before.

Herrington learned how to shoot and ride at the same time and is now competing in the U.S. Mounted Shooting World Finals against some of the world’s top marksmen.

Denny Lemons, a former bareback and bull rider, grew up around the rodeo as a kid, and is the senior statesman at the competition at the age of 82.

“I got too old for that [bull riding], the ground got too hard,” Lemons said. “So I said, ‘You know, I can do that, I love guns.’ So, I started and fell in love with the sport.”

He’s been competing in mounted shooting events for 15 years, and won the Texas mounted shooting state championship this year.

Although he’s seen his fair share of success, he’s as humble as can be, but still loves to compete.

“Well, I don’t know if I’m a better shot, but I like to try,” Lemons said. “I like to beat them, too, if I can.”

Lemons said he doesn’t see himself slowing down anytime soon, either.

“As long as the Good Lord keeps me healthy, I’ll be shooting when I’m 90,” Lemons said.

Both Herrington and Lemons come from very different backgrounds, but expressed the same love for mounted shooting, saying the ‘family atmosphere’ draws them closer to the sport.

“You can’t go anywhere in the world and find better people than mounted shooters,” Lemons said.

Herrington says the people have made the mounted shooting experience for her, and now she wants to pursue it as a career.

“I never pictured myself doing something like this,” Herrington said. “But, I thank the Lord everyday that I can.”

The U.S. Mounted Shooting World Finals will run through Saturday, October 23 at the Taylor Telecom Arena at the Expo Center, or you can watch online, here.

Mounted shooting is a cowboy’s competition dating back to the early 1900s, when shooting competitions ran the West.

They became a staple across the United States, as Buffalo Bill’s traveling show featured one of the nation’s greatest sharpshooters, “Little Sure Shot” Annie Oakley.

Oakley beat Frank Butler, one of the best marksman in the country, at his own game when she was only 15.

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