The first half of a match between New Mexico and Texas mounted shooters took place Saturday at Roosevelt County Special Events Arena.
More than 50 shooters competed in the event billed as the New Mexico-Texas Border Wars. Shooter skills ran from novice to professional. The event drew contestants from Carlsbad, Dexter, Midland, Texas, and Loving, Texas.
Men and women skilled in either rifle, shotgun or single action revolvers were placed in their skill level class.
For the main match, men and women used two .45 caliber single action revolvers, each loaded with five rounds of blank ammunition designed specifically to take out balloon targets.
The competition is all about speed and accuracy. Ten balloons are set in a pattern, which the rider must hit. The main match included four patterns the rider had to complete.
If the rider missed a target or dropped a gun, a five second penalty was added to their time. Not running the course correctly was a 10 second penalty.
Wrangler class riders — children ages 11 and below — get to follow the pattern of the adults, but no shooting is involved.
Tuff Romero, a wrangler, went through the first pattern slowly trying to get his horse to go faster. The horse would not budge.
Romero made it though the pattern in 60 seconds with a smile on his face.
The rest of the day included two rifle stages and two shotgun stages.
The battle between New Mexico and Texas continues today.