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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On and On….

On we travelled through the 'Land of Enchantment' with its ever changing vast open plains…..

 

to rocky outcrops….

 

taking on sculptural like features on an otherwise desolate landscape.

 

We have now arrived in Cortez for Revenge of Montezuma! A quick trip to the range, a change of hotels, a trip to Walmart and we are settled for the night.

Side matches start tomorrow!

 

Travel safe if you are on the road for EOT! If you're starting Wild Bunch World Champs, go get 'em!

Kat xo

 

Rain Rain Go Away

Supposed to be setting the range, so we can play!

Oops! Storm came through and still going. Should have known better than to leave the umbrellas up and the cushions out!

Jack was to head to the range after an appointment and help set up for the Oklahoma State Wild Bunch match, so he won’t be heading out there yet.

My guess is Arcadia is copping a lot of it as well. Red dirt will now be red mud!

Oh and throw in some tiny hail. Yes I said tiny because this is nothing compared to the baseball size they get here during some storms!

Have a good one!

Kat xo

Stampede At South River

This year The South River Shootists hosted the 2018 SASS Georgia State Championship – Rooster Cogburn and the Lady.

The South River Gun Club in Covington, Georgia is a fabulous facility for multiple shooting sports, a club house and great amenities. It was nice to meet Len (president of the club) and Dun Gamblin' as they roamed the range during the weekend.

The cowboy range is spectacular. Tree lined berms, shade structures, umbrellas on unloading tables, shade over loading tables. The facades were all done with Rooster and Eula, throw in the odd horse, nitro box, wagon etc. Every range has fine gravel base and the paths down to the ranges are all asphalt making for a pleasant guncart expedition.

The weather cooperated (who'd have thought!?!?) and other than a fine misty shower or two it held out for the whole match!!

Thursday we shot 4 stages of Wild Bunch Posse'd with Cardboard Cowboy, Foxy Filly, Bo Dacious, Doc Kemm, Doc Who, Knot Hardly Dunn, Shamrock Sadie, Three Gun Lady, Silver Pistols, Slippery Stew, Doc Southerly, Kontankerous Tee, Rolan Kraps, and Schofield Twin. We then went our separate ways with Jack doing 6 stages of Black Powder while I spent the afternoon doing warm up stages. A big thank you to Reno Mustang and Dodge City Dixie for letting me rest my guns in your guncart!

 

That night Georgia Gypsy and Pale Ale Rider invited us into their home. Along with some other cowboy's and cowgirl's we enjoyed some great German food by Chef Gypsy. (she is an actual chef!) We thank you both for your fabulous hospitality.

Friday and we are into the main match with 6 stages today followed up with ice cream social, couples and team shoot. A great day, a few fumbles, a miss for each of us but tomorrow's another day as we say. Great Posse, everyone worked, some newer shooters as well – Jack and I, Shamrock Sadie, Knot Hardly Dunn, Double Tap, No Limit, Mt Zion Gypsie, Mt Zion Yellowboy, Maverick Fitzpatrick, Tucker T Fudpucker, Fancy Fillie, Buckshot Collins, Hambone Hannah, Doc Kemm, Doc Who, Dollar Down, Gatlin Glennie and Ranger Law.

 

Saturday comes around and we have the final 4 to do. With that out of the way we had lunch and headed down for the shoot off. An 'anyone can enter' shoot off, Shamrock Sadie and I decided to join the Open category ie: we shot wih the men and if we both hadn't fumbled with shotgun reloads we would have made it past our first rounds!

 

Good fun and it freed up the other ladies to enjoy a shootout. Congratulations to Sue Render and Red River Ray for winning the shootout!!

Back to the motel and it's time to get ready for the banquet and awards. The banquet was held at the Georgia International Horsepark in the Carriage Room. What a beautiful facility with a gorgeous rose garden, bridge, pond and a summer house/pergola – perfect for the LOCAS picture.

 

Had the opportunity to enter the costume contest this time wearing my silver and purple saloon outfit I won first place. Congratulations to all the other winners and spectacular costumes!

 

The banquet had a full service bar and staff attending to a beautiful buffet dinner. The food was amazing.

Into the awards and the match hosts certainly go all out with their awards, prize draws etc. Jack and I won the couples shoot. A buckle with a timber insert laser engraved with the logo etc.

Wild Bunch – I managed a clean match and was the only one who did. haa haa haa cracked me up! So a neat clean match pin, I won Ladies Traditional and Ladies Overall. Jack won Senior Modern, well done man!

 

Black Powder – Jack's rifle played up on the final stage of Wild Bunch which turned out to being a lost firing pin. He went to use the rifle on his first stage of the Black Powder match (thankfully rifle was first) and it wouldn't do anything. Believe it or not he found the pin up on the stage where he last shot for Wild Bunch too. As is the cowboy way, another shooter then says 'here, use mine, here is some ammo' and Jack is able to continue to shoot. Thank you Palmetto Traveller for loaning Jack your rifle. Jack placed 3rd in Senior.

Main Match – Jack finished a credible 2nd place in Senior category! Congratulations to Double Nickle 1st place, Mustang Dave 3rd place, Rooster Ray 4th place and Georgia State Champion and 5th place, Dungannon Gunner! Congrats gents.

 

I won Lady Wrangler with congratulations going to Georgia State Champion and 2nd Place Dixie Pistols, 3rd place Alchemist Belle, 4th place Cotton Tail, 5th place Pinky Pistols! Congrats ladies.

 

Congratulations to Georgia State overall men's Christian Mortician and Maggie Darlin' over all ladies. Christian Mortician and myself men's and ladies overall match champions!

 

The Top 20 also received a pin – for me, 14th overall.

Thank you again to all involved with the match, volunteers, sponsors to the match, etc. Stampede at South River was a great match and I would recommend it to anyone! It's a must do match!

Kat xo

 

Bienvenue en Louisiane

Welcome to Louisiana!

 

We arrived in Louisiana on Wednesday afternoon to pleasant weather albeit a little overcast.

It's time for Ambush at Tomahawk Pass, the Louisiana State Championships hosted by the Jackson Hole Regulators.

Thursday, we are ready for Wild Bunch and Side Matches. Had some good runs during side matches and considering how long it had been since we've shot Wild Bunch, it wasn't bad either!

It was warm and humid which brought on a big change with some storms coming down from the North.

It bucketed down towards the final stage. The ground was getting slippery and not looking flash for today (Friday).

 

With the tornado warnings for the North and the massive rain dump, thunder and lightning last evening, we were set to start the match in wet and muddy conditions.

This morning we awoke to cloudy skies but no rain. It is cold and such a stark contrast to yesterday!

 

At times I think we were breathing more steam clouds than Mustang Toni's black powder loads!! 🙂

We got through it though – look at the range! Empty! It's darn cold!

 

Banquet and side match awards tonight. Final 5 stages tomorrow. So far – Jack and I are both clean.

Kat xo

 

Vaquero

I've been procrastinating a little on this one but finally worked out what I was going to do and got it done.

The order was for a vaquero jacket but 'I don't want it shiny! I want it to look worn in' was the request. Okay……so I had to start thinking dyeing and distressing, shouldn't be a problem.

Eventually I found the right colour fabric we were after in a sturdy medium.

I sourced a braid that goes really well with it and different to other soutache braids I had been working with previously. This worked extremely well with the curves I needed. It's a little coarser than the usual soutache but worked well for this project.

I wanted to include some sort of studs or riveting this time but thinking of the 'non shiny' scenario, it was back to the Internet to look at techniques for distressing nickel.

One hundred, shiny nickel rivets spent a good 2 hours soaking in some vinegar, then tipped that off, didn't seem to do anything.

 

Next step, hydrogen peroxide and salt! Holy cow, don't want to leave it in that too long unless you want stuff completely rusted! I think I did that for a bout 15mins maximum getting the desired result.

 

In the meantime, it was time to put the pieces together. Chalk pouncing (well baby powder in this case) and drawing up the designs with chalk. I could now get on with pinning and stitching the braid in place.

 

Next came the lining and something didn't look right. Well actually it wasn't looking right before that and I had kept going back to the pattern trying to work out where I'd gone wrong. Finally the light bulb goes off! Thankfully nothing major and nothing that a quick unpick/seam ripper, a pair of scissors, a different pattern piece couldn't fix! AND it didn't involve redoing the braid. Phew!

 

Everything is now together and it's onto the riveting. Yee haw looking fantastic! Hand sewing to the hem done. Frogs made, stitched on and my special silver buttons that I gave up to this project.

 

I love it but it's still too 'shiny' so taking a scrap piece I start playing with bleach to trying get some areas to take on a sun damaged effect. Different strengths appear to not have made a scrap of difference to the overall colour. So this morning I mixed a sprayable mix of white and cream acrylic paint to simulate some sweat marks.

 

I'm going to have to play more with this procedure. Stay tuned!

Kat xo

 

Wild Wild Christmas

Fourteen of us turned up to have a crack at some Wild Bunch stages today following the Cowboy Christmas shoot yesterday.

With the new rule's in place with 7 in a mag, it certainly made for a bit more thinking and exploring the world of tactical reloads. Sorta got to know what you're doin'! The sequence worked out better on some stages but need to know the finer points of mag changes etc for it to become smoother.

 

We shot 5 stages finishing around 2pm. Then we sat down for beer, brats. cowboy beans and sauerkraut. Special thanks to the Cowboys that hunt and make summer sausage and andouli venison sausage! It was divine!

 

Thanks Hondo Tweed and the crew for a great day, oh and the awesome fudge!!

Have yourself a wild Christmas!

Kat xo