Exclusive—13-year-old Cowboy Mounted Shooting Prodigy Sam Andress Speaks to Breitbart Sports
While Bull Riding has been outdrawing barrel racing and other equestrian events at rodeos, arming barrel racers with Colt 45s and making them take out 10 targets is growing in popularity as “Cowboy Mounted Shooting (CMSA, see footage here)." The sport may now have a star in 13-year-old qualifier Sam Andress (photo courtesy of Joe Spikes), who told Breitbart Sports the sport is as legitimate as football, baseball or track, and came across as more balanced than many youth stars.
"Cowboy Mounted Shooting is as legit as football, baseball or track, and I appreciate my Principal and teachers' support," Andress told Breitbart Sports, adding with a laugh, "Meeting Ricky Skaggs in May inspired me to use some of my shooting match winnings to buy a banjo. I'm spending a lot of time trying to master Foggy Mountain Breakdown, but that might get put on hold since school starts this week."
There are six levels of Cowboy Mounted Shooters, and in just 18 months since his first competitive match in 2012, Andress has already defeated Level 6 shooters - the top adults - and may be the youngest shooter to ever achieve an overall Level 4 rating. (click here to see him shooting balloons in a practice setting with blanks at the age of 10).
He will be back with fellow eighth graders as school begins this week, before returning to his next competition against adults in a September event.
“Everyone in this sport is so friendly and genuine--from the star Men's and Ladies' Level 6 shooters all the way down to the new competitors. They've all been very generous to give me tips and mentor me on riding and shooting techniques," said Andress, who also enjoys squirrel and deer hunting and jug-fishing with his dad.
While Andress will be the youngest in his class now that he has qualified at the next level, his mother was thinking more about how old he could be when still doing this event.
“How many 60-year-olds do you see still playing football?,” asked Shannon Andress, Sam's mother and the director of the State Shooting Sports Program for 4-H in Alabama. “None, but you see 60-year-olds still riding horses. How many 70-year-olds do you see playing basketball? Not many, but you see 70-year-olds still getting out there and shooting competitively or hunting.”
She added that Sam will have to keep his grades up in his International Baccalaureate classes to keep competing, as he enters the 8th grade at Carr Middle School in Montgomery, Alabama.
The shooters use blanks, and are credited for how fast they complete the course and if they successfully take out all 10 balloon targets.