End of Trail 2018

It's that time of year where cowboys and cowgirls come together for one of the biggest weeks of shooting.

 

The World Championship of cowboy action shooting is the agenda at Founders Ranch, New Mexico. Five countries – Australia, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand and United States of America competed for the top honor's in both Wild Bunch and Cowboy matches.

This year, as previously reported, we decided to forego Wild Bunch and headed to Cortez prior to this week.

Monday: picked up packs, caught up with friends and readied ourselves for the week ahead. A pleasant surprise was my picture on The Independent for Cowboy Days in Edgewood/Moriarty. Thanks to Cat Ballou the photo BT Blade took of me during Wild Bunch last year was used for their front cover!

 

Tuesday: we did 6 stages of warm up and attempted to get acclimatised to the altitude whilst running uphill or across some of the stages.

Tuesday evening we had a great trip up Sandia Tramway with dinner beforehand at Sandiago's grill with the Range Riders (from Australia) – Pearl Starr, Charlie Wagon, Judge Ruger, Tumbleweed Wagon, Sarah, Stan Wellback and Dallas Roarke.

 

Wednesday: Doily Gang Clinic was on, instructing with Honey B Quick, Shamrock Sadie, Lefty Jo, Two Sons. We had 18 ladies attend the transitions clinic, some returning for the 2nd or 3rd time and others their very first.

Plainsman, shotgun clinics and side matches were on. Cowboy swap meet, vendors are open and the crowds are starting to increase.

The evening kicked off with the opening ceremonies, Tumbleweed Wagon carried the flag for Australia.

 

The Wooly Awards were announced with Texas Jack Daniels receiving one as 2017 Governor of the year and The Territorial Marshal's with match directors Missouri Mae and Flat Top Okie took 2017 Match of the Year for Red Dirt Rampage.

 

The class of 2018 Regulators were announced! Congratulations to each and every one!

 

Thursday: first day of main match and we had the late wave start. It's hot, dusty but ready for action! Stages 1-4.

 

Friday: second day of main match, mid wave, stages 5-8, shopping with vendors and we're still having fun!

 

Saturday: it's the final 4! With the cooler very early start we were soon done and all up to the total scores to see where we all finished. We had a great posse – Posse 25 with posse marshal Chickamauga Charlie, Polly Penny Bright, Coffee, Shotgun Boogie, Hell Hound, Rephil, TinTin, Slow Hand Don, Dutch Bear, Justice Ann, Coal Train, Buck Garrett, Chantilly Shooter, Hot Rock, Hud, Hawkeye Kid, Pearl Starr, Charlie Wagon, Jack and myself.

With the posse shoot done, it was lunch, ice cream and head back to get ready for the banquet.

 

I attended the costume contest and was 2nd place in the new Steampunk category. Congratulations to EZGZ in 1st place. Congratulations to all other category winners and placings! There were some fabulous costumes!

 

The beer flowed, the music played and some showed off their dance skills.

The top 8 Wild Bunch men's and ladies were announced, as was the top 16 cowboys and cowgirls. Clancy and I were the only two Australians to make the shootout this year for cowboy match and RC Shot for the Wild Bunch shootout as an alternate.

 

Sunday: the shootout gets under way. Congratulations to Idaho Sixgun Sam and Last Chance Morales for winning not only the shootout but overall top lady and man for 2018 Wild Bunch.

The cowboy shootout is run and final finish was Holy Terror for the ladies and C.S. Brady for the men.

Jack finished 10th in his category with 1st place going to Long Swede, 2nd Hell's Comin, 3rd Silver City Rebel, 4th Angry Tom, 5th Lucky Thirteen, 6th Texas Mean Gene, 7th Fast Eddie, 8th Kansan and 9th El Lazo. Congratulations Silver Senior's on your placings!

 

In Lady Wrangler category, 10th Wild Cattle Kate, 9th Ms. Laurie Darlin, 8th Ex Sighted, 7th Young Lady, 6th Ruby Jewel, 5th Idaho Sixgun Sam, 4th Legally Loaded, 3rd Clancy, 2nd Echo Meadows who cheekily offered to hold my World Championship trophy again. Lol! Congratulations ladies!

 

Out of 22 Aussie's 14 placed, 2 received Spirit of the Game awards, 2 placed in costume and if I remember correctly, 6 or 7 got clean matches.

Overall winners this year were Matt Black and Holy Terror. Congratulations to two fine young shooters!

 

For everyone who attended End of Trail 2018, may it have been with goals achieved. Whether your first ever or multiple entry, I sincerely hope you enjoyed the experience.

Kat xo

 

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Land Run 2018

When we first visited Oklahoma for Land Run back in 2012, we found it to be one of the best matches we had ever been to. We met many amazing, funny and wonderful people, knowing from the start that it was something special.

This year Land Run had its 25th Anniversary combined with the SASS SW Regional (previously Red Dirt Rampage) with one enormous effort by many of the Territorial Marshal's. It is the third largest cowboy match in the US behind End of Trail (World Championships) and Winter Range (USA National Championship).

 

With 408 shooters from 22 states put into two shooting waves, 10 stages were quickly completed across 2 days.

Thursday was side match day with everything from Wild Bunch, Warm-Up, Long Range, Cowboy Clays, speed pistol/rifle/shotgun/derringer/pocket pistol/duelist/gunfighter and .22 rifle/pistol. It was a feast for play, practice and testing of guns with your first run counting for time. Congratulations to all side match winners!!!

Friday was the start of Main Match and we were met with cool clear skies and sunshine. Eventually we could leave the coat off and enjoy some warmth and less wind.

 

We were with Posse 18 headed up by Posse Marshal, Cooncan. Jack was a Deputy, as was John Bear and the rest made up of myself, Bertie Winchester, Hicock Holly, Dodge City Dixie, Reno Mustang, Renegade Roper, Sixgun Schwaby, Coyote Cole, Loose Cannon, Grady County Kid, Road Runner, Fannie Kicker, Titus A. Gnatsass, Doc Hurd, Silver, Kent and Fort Worth Dallas.

 

Five stages – 8 The Church, 9 Stagecoach, 10 The Range, back to 6 Fort Courage, 7 OKc Corral. Fun, quick and varying.

 

Friday evening ended with an 'all in' shootout. I chose not to enter this year but set to cheer on the fellow lady shooters, opting to spot with Jack and Hurricane Deck for each shooter on the north end. Four ladies and 29 men participated with the winners being 'Ima Quickshot' and 'Matt Black'.

This was followed up with a dinner in the pavilion catered by John Elder's restaurants. No one went hungry and it was efficiently done.

I was introduced to chocolate cake shots too – thanks Complicated Lady!! Yum!

Late that evening (as was expected) it started to rain and Saturday we all awoke to a very, very, wet and gloomy looking morning. Cowboy up we did and headed out to complete the final 5 stages. Hand warmers, coats, scarves, slickers, umbrellas, towels, everyone scrambling for what bit of cover there was.

The final five – 3 Mercantile, 4 The Mine, 5 Livery, 1 The Depot, 2 Saloon

 

Done and dusted! A clean match for me and Jack a few misses, it was up to the scoring system now to see how we faired against a tough pack of players.

The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum is the famed setting for Land Run banquets and you couldn't find anything more appropriate for a bunch of cowboy's and cowgirl's. Served meals and waited tables it certainly is in a class of its own and pleasantly surprised a number of new Land Run attendees.

 

The costume contest ran well and whilst I registered and encouraged entrants, my judge's for this year – Cheeka Bow Wow, Two Gun Johnnie, Shotglass and Tacky Jackie did an exceptional job of getting everyone through and we were all sitting down to hot meals with other halves and friends. I sincerely thank you all again for giving your time to do this.

There were many great costumes and some very excited winners in the categories of Couple, Men's, Ladies, Young Man, Young Lady, Military, Silver Screen and Soiled Dove. Congratulations one and all!

The presentations went off without a hitch as Flat Top Okie does an exceptional job of delivery and keeping to time. Everyone's friends and match photographers, Fly and Just L, chipped in for a raffle of a beautiful cowboy quilt Mean Mary had made. Grizzly Dave won it and promptly donated back for auction. On top of the original $3075 raised, an additional $800 by the generosity of Tacky Jackie and Bois D'Arc who then also gave the quilt to Just L and $500 from a rifle Mean Mary won and donated back for auction. Gorgeous people, all of them and that will go a long way to Just L's continued medical expenses.

 

In the Silver Senior category Jack finished 5th alongside Don Jorge taking 1st place, congratulations sir!, Aberdeen 2nd and SW Regional champion, congratulations to you sir also!, 3rd Greasy Creek Slim, 4th Lefty Wheeler, 6th G.W. Ketchum and 7th Creek. Congratulations gents!

 

Jack also came 2nd place in the Best Dressed Men's category wearing his 1890's sack suit!

 

Out of all the shooters there were only 54 clean shooters which goes to show the conditions on the second day probably had a lot to do with that.

In the Lady Wrangler category, 1st was myself alongside 2nd place Renegade Roper, 3rd Calamity Di Bar and 4th Cheeka Bow Wow. Congrats ladies!

 

I accomplished an overall ladies win for the Regional this year and with a clean match, finished 14th overall! Matt Black won the men's overall, congratulations!

 

To all that placed in their categories, won side matches, clean matches, won guns etc (thank you Bond Arms for the .45 derringer) a hearty round of applause to one and all.

To the Territorial Marshal's, Match Director's – Missouri Mae and Flat Top Okie and all the other Marshal's for your assistance during the past week and weekend, without you all, this shoot would not run like the well oiled machine that it is.

Looking forward to next year and if you've never been here to Land Run, get it on your calendar or bucket list!!

 

See you on the range somewhere.

Kat xo

 

Comancheria Days

What a sensational weekend with the Texican Rangers for Comancheria Days 2018, Texas State Championships.

Thursday was met with fine and glorious weather. We shot 4 stages of Wild Bunch and then cowboy side matches including the ever entertaining 'Blazing Saddles'.

Jack finished 8th overall in Wild Bunch and I was 15th overall.

Friday we were on the late shift and the weather again proved to be fairly warm with a moderate breeze. Shooting stages 7, 8, 9, 10, then 6. It was all over and both Jack and I had finished clean for the day.

 

Catch ups, drinks and eating BBQ dinner at the range that night with side matches. It was still quite warm and there was a good turn out.

I won a few side matches and decided that even sharing with Jack, I didn't need all the cups I won. My new little mate, Givem Hale was going to get one when I saw him Saturday. That kid just pulled at my heart strings for sure!

 

Our shooters on Posse 14, made up of none other than Tex, Cat Ballou, Chee-ee, Toothache, Texas Mac, Texas Flower, Brett Cantrell, Wild Sage, Ramblin Rose, Mad Dog Too, Ranger Tays, Abilene, Little Bowly, our Posse Marshal – Bootstrap Richard, Mysterious Mc Rae, my new little gem – Givem Hale, Jackaroo and myself. Thanks to Mindy (Givem's Mom) for keeping score for us all weekend!

At times I have attracted 'small gems' as I like to phrase it and Friday when I heard this sweet little voice ask Tex (and you really couldn't get any better than one of the youngest asking one of the founding SASS members!!!!) 'is this Posse 14 sir?' And Tex obliging in telling him it was and if sure was to be on it then he had found the right place. To which an answer of 'yes sir I am' followed.

My head spun and my heart did a backflip when I heard it and I headed over to say hello and find out just how old this little man was. He is 8! Givem Hale is his alias, I love it! and all the while we spoke he had his hat off across his chest and it was yes ma'am, no ma'am, pleased to meet you and all. That kid had me wrapped around his little finger straight away. ❤

I went back and told Jack how sweet he was and headed straight back over to give him an Australian hat pin, his first on his new hat. Might I add right now, Givem has only been shooting for 4 and a half weeks and I think everyone on our posse was amazed at how this young man was shooting his .32 pistols, a .22 rifle and ….. Wait for it…. A 20 gauge single shot shotgun. We were all in awe!

 

We were into it on Day 2, with a stiff cool 20mph wind hitch seemed to get colder as we progressed through stages 2, 3, 4, 5 and back to 1 before the sun decided to come out and stay out. However, we were much better off (extremely!) than those that decided to attend the Nebraska State match!

 

Jack had a few unfortunate events during this half of the match and I finished strong with a clean match. It was now up to score tally's to see where we placed overall.

 

The banquet was held at the Lady Bird Johnson Pavillion, costume contests were held and awards presented. Congratulations to all who entered and those who placed, there were some great costumes and many good stories. (I'm still giggling about Scarlett Mascara and Rhett Valet!! Very clever Hawkshaw Fred and Annie D Vine with your skit!)

It was on to prize drawings, giveaways and awards! To everyone that participated I hope it was the match you were wanting and you finished well.

Jack finished 6th in his category, congratulations to his fellow Silver Senior competitors, 9th , 8th , 7th , 5th , 4th , 3rd , 2nd and in 1st place and the 2018 Texas State Champion – Aberdeen.

 

Congratulations to all my fellow Lady Wrangler competitors. In 4th Okie Fenokie, 3rd and the 2018 Texas State Champion is One Chance Fancy, 2nd Misty Moonshine and 1st was myself.

 

I finished 1st lady overall and 6th overall from 318 shooters. Was very happily surprised to hear my name in the top 10!

Jack was also awarded 1st overall out of state champion at 36th place, so he was pretty pleased that we were able to have a photo together.

 

Congratulations to the 2018 Texas State Champion's – 1st overall men's Matt Black and for the ladies Panhandle Cowgirl.

 

A huge thank you to the Texican Rangers for hosting another fabulous Comancheria Days!

Kat xo

 

Gunfight In Dixie XV Part 2

A total of 222 cowboy's and cowgirl's turned up for the Gunfight and by yesterday it was all over bar the shouting.

Jack and I both finished with clean matches and no major dramas, so we're very happy. I've got to say that we really enjoyed the stages. The weather held out, still a little on the cool side but was sun shiny magic!

 

After lunch, the shootout was held for the Top 16 men's and Top 8 ladies. A great stage of all rifle knockdowns, the Texas star for pistol and then shotgun to makeup and take out the final decider plate.

 

We visited with many great shooters this weekend and enjoyed catching up with some we hadn't seen for a very long time and making new acquaintances with others! Good times!

The banquet last night was set in the Shriner Club, with stage, dance floor, band and photo corner. Prizes were drawn and awards given. A white steer head pin was given to 36 shooters who shot the match clean!

Congratulations to all shooters who placed in their categories this weekend, won side matches and enjoyed the team match and shootout.

The Regional winners were given a category plaque with the Memphis Gunslingers signature steer head and region map on it. 1st Place winners of each category (within region or not) got a really nice silver and gold accented buckle, with 2nd receiving a white/silver and 3rd on, a bronze coloured/silver buckle.

Jack finished in 2nd Place for Silver Senior Category! (Mistakenly 3rd last night) Congratulations to Fast Eddy 1st Place and SE Regional Champion, 3rd Place Two X Tom, 4th Place Max Payne, 5th Place Three Sheets, 6th Place Badlands Charlie.

 

I finished 1st Place in Lady Wrangler category! Congratulations to Dew R Dye, 2nd Place and SE Regional Champion, 3rd Place Belle Vaquera.

 

The shootout was won by Prestidigitator (Tator) and myself. We thoroughly enjoyed shooting with him over the weekend.

 

Congratulations to Tator for taking top honours! 1st cowboy overall and SE Regional Champ with Dodge City Dixie being the SE Regional Champion cowgirl. I was ecstatic to place 1st lady overall. Lots of awesome shooters and many world champs at this match!

 

Thanks again to the Memphis Gunslingers and everyone who helped put on the shoot.

 

As Elvis would say 'thank you very much!'

Kat xo

 

Tennessee Travellin’

Jack and I headed south to Texas over the weekend to visit with the Texas Ten Horns. It was a great weekend and a good opportunity to get a decent practice in for the upcoming SE Regional.

After having both barrels of my shotgun going off at once on the odd occasion (and I was starting to get good at ignoring it and keep going) it decided to totally give up the ghost with a piece inside that connects the butt stock to the rest of the mechanism, cracking and breaking. Oops!

 

Thankfully Roy's Creek Dan was able to work his magic and fix it for me and we should be back in business.

We got the gear packed up, Jack organised some Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale to be delivered to the match, car projects are in and we are ready to head out for Memphis/Lakeland, Tennessee.

It is an overcast day but a good day for travelling. Across Oklahoma, into Arkansas and eventually into Tennessee.

 

Car project achievement today – hand stitch two edges to corset. Put lacing in – check! Make hat base of buckram and wire – check! Raffia needs to be damp so it can be shaped before I can proceed with that.

 

We've checked in to the hotel and are ready to head to O'Charley's and meet up with some other cowboy's and cowgirl's.

Tomorrow is match check in, clinics, side matches, warm up etc. It should be good! We are ready for the SE Regional hosted by the Memphis Gunslingers!

Have a great time, wherever you may be shooting or relaxing this weekend!

Kat xo

P.s. It's a day or so late!!

 

‘The Green Behind The Gold’

Tuesday we took a short trip up to Mt Tamborine to take a casual stroll down 'Gallery Walk'. We wandered in and out of small boutique shops and stopped in at the Gallery Cafe for Devonshire tea.

 

After our coffee, scones, jam and cream we kept on up the street to the 'Fig Tree Roundabout'. As the plaque states, the fig tree marks the site of the original home of one William Henry Crawford. He planted the tree across the road from his homestead to provide shade for the many walkers who passed by.

 

Across the road we ventured into a little shop called 'Bygone Days'. I could hardly contain myself as I looked through the various laces they had. Gorgeous, beautiful stunning laces at decent widths that would lend themselves to the most gorgeous 1800's gowns. They also had the most beautifully crafted reproduction velvet flowers for hats. Prices were excellent. I will be back!

As we meandered back down the road we stopped in at Le Chile Cafe for lunch and had beautiful bruschetta. I wanted Empanadas but they had run out.

 

Onwards to the 'Castle Glen' distillery, 'Fortitude Valley' brewing company for some liquor and beer tasting. The Lazy Knight was a winner – whiskey, white chocolate and ginger. We had a tasting paddle of 5 brews at the brew house.

 

Back in the car and we headed for the Mt Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk. A 40 minute walk through tracks of trees, figs, vines, and overhead walkways through rainforest canopy. There were various trees from palms, figs to the straightest, whitest, huge and beautiful gums I have seen in a long time. There were no orchids flowering at the moment either.

 

The cantilever platform was fantastic and we could see down to the floor and trickling little creek, listening to the sounds of cicadas and other forest noises……probably frogs.

 

That's it, back into the air conditioned car and headed back for an afternoon swim.

Kat xo

http://www.tamborinemtncc.org.au

https://www.facebook.com/Castle-Glen-wines-and-Cocktails-Montville-350574531728427/

http://fortitudebrewing.com.au

 

Brinkley, Arkansas

We hit the road before lunchtime today looking to make it, NOT at Conway, but somewhere between Memphis (Hi Marty and Gina! And Erik and Michelle!) and Fayetteville, TN. Plans change quickly, gotta keep up! Me included! Haa haa haa.

Anyway so we shared driving and were tracking okay but just past Little Rock we headed into a storm which had been skirting around us for some time. Wooooo what a ripper!

I gave up hat making, we were in the midst of eating snicker doodle cookies – thunder and lightning, very very frightening! Galileo, Galileo……… Sorry having a Queen moment. It was a pretty impressive light show, managed to get a pic.

 

However, the torrential rain after, was not cool! We were down to 40-50mph, everyone going slow, hazard lights on as we travelled the road.

And here we are. Stopped at Brinkley, AR, sitting the storm out. Sounds like Little Rock got hit with some very strong damaging winds after we went through there too according to the weather report on the tv now.

Stay safe Cowboys and Cowgirls.

 

Kat xo