North Dakota State Mounted Shoot draws 78 competitors

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Seventy-eight competitors from across the United States and Canada are participating in the North Dakota State Mounted Shoot.

These riders fire blanks to pop balloons and are timed on their runs through a course. They receive five-second penalty for missed shots. It's all part of a sport called Mounted Shooting.

"Your own competitors will come to you. They'll loan you a gun if you've got a problem. They'll hold your horse for you. They'll cheer for you when you might be outrunning them, and that's the kind of sport that mounted shooting is," said Jaye Kukowski, Arizona Mounted Shooter.

Competitors run through one of 70 patterns and they have categories for all age groups. The youth group is called the wrangler division; they just run the pattern and can't use guns yet.

"I enjoy mounted shooting because I can go fast on my horse. I like it because you always have to think about the pattern, because they're all different," said Ejay Duke, Utah Wrangler Rider.

Duke is currently ranked second in the world in the Wrangler division, touring the country with his father to compete in more shoots.

"It keeps that family atmosphere. They pull in, they unload all the horses, and they throw some kids on and they go compete, then mom and dad compete. Sometimes we have grandma and grandpa competing too," said Kukowski.

This is the biggest turnout the state competition has ever had.

Challengers came from across the Midwest, Utah, Arizona, and Saskatchewan.