July 1, 2014

Erhardts riding high in shooting competition

By Suzanne Werre

Nice guys don’t always finish last. Sometimes they finish third. And sometimes, like this past Sunday in Grand Forks, they even finish first.

Local cowboy Dale Erhardt took first place at a shooting competition in Grand Forks this past weekend, riding his trusted mount, Otis, to the overall championship for the weekend. A couple weekends ago in Medora he loaned Otis to a friend. The friend went on to take the overall title that day, and Dale wound up in third. Partly because he let his friend use such a good horse, and partly because Dale missed one of the targets he was aiming at.

"That’s just part of the competition," said Dale.

"It was a good thing," he added. "It showed me actually what that horse can do."

Dale, his wife Wanda, and daughter Sara (Schank) and son Jason are among the growing number of athletes who are getting into mounted shooting, touted as the fastest growing equestrian sport in the country.

Mounted contestants compete in the timed events using two .45 caliber, single-action revolvers, each loaded with blanks. There are 60 different patterns the riders can be challenged with at each event, the goal being to shoot out all 10 of the balloons that are set up around the course.

The Weather Network