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1st Ohio History

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By Linda Miller, aka Turquoise Sue, CMSA # 1023 The word Cowboy has stood for independence, honesty, and freedom for over one hundred years. Though the pinnacle of the free range cowboy has long since passed, the romanticism remains undeterred in the minds and spirits of Americans everywhere. In and around Miamitown Ohio, the 1st Ohio Cowboy Mounted Shooters of America come together to pay homage to that hard ridin’, straight shootin’ hero of the Old West. CMSA allows today’s cowboys and cowgirls to compete on horseback, shooting a prescribed pattern, with the fastest, most accurate rider walking away with the prize. Hard ridin’, and straight shootin’. But for the 1st Ohio CMSA club, that’s just part of the story. Since the very beginning, competitors have been organizing trail rides, competitions, raffles, and auctions for various charities and worthwhile causes. Although 1st Ohio has some of the best riders in the country, they cheer hardest for their competitors. Veteran riders give their best advice to anyone asking; a broke bridle or forgotten holster is nothing to worry about, as a rider will soon find offers from others to “use mine, go shoot.” Cowboys and cowgirls lend their guns and holsters for new competitors to “try before they buy;” some of the top horses in the country have carried dozens of different riders through patterns, as the owners loaned them out when a competitor’s horse was suddenly lame or not feeling well.

The Cowboy Way

Old-fashioned family values have been the epitome of The Cowboy Way of Life. A handshake, nod of the head or a man’s word was as good as any written and signed contract; it was a sign of a man’s pride and his honesty as a human being. 1st Ohio icons Dan App, Bobby Ruwe, Dick Ulen, Ron Pope, Wayne Cole and all the officers and directors over the past decade have embraced that cowboy way of thinking and integrated it into building and maintaining a reputable organization based on the winning formula of honesty, integrity, pride, and commitment.

The Beginning of CMSA

Jim Rogers, a prominent member of the Single Action Shooting Society (SASS), came up with the idea of expanding the ground shooting to mounted shooting. The very first mounted shooting exhibition was in April 1993. The first CMSA World Championship was in 1994 with 29 contestants at the Festival Of The West in Scottsdale Arizona. This new equine sport was once described as a “Raging wildfire burning out of control.” It quickly spread across the nation, over the banks of the Mississippi River, and into Ohio.

Mounted Shooting Reaches Ohio

The history of 1st Ohio CMSA began to unfold at a SASS cowboy ground-shooting event held in Indiana. Dan and Connie App were in attendance, along with two hombres by the names of Ron Pope and Dick Ulen. There was a whole lot of talk around Big Rock Camp that particular day about shooting pistols off the back of a horse. Many of the cowboys had heard of the event; Don and Kay Burress, Denny Shewell, Darius Ward, Mike and Barb Bryant, Butch and Lee Bryant, Tom and Linda Miller….all of them had something to say about what they’d heard or seen. It seemed exciting, something new and different. It’s pretty safe to say that two mounted shooting clubs were born that day, 1st Ohio and the IOK (Indiana-Ohio-Kentucky) Rough Riders. As for 1st Ohio, Dick Ulen thought mounted shooting sounded like a good idea; Dan App had the horses and Dick had the guns. Several Ohio cowboys met the following week to test this new idea in an open-ended polo field. Have you ever tried a brand new sport with no idea how to do it? Throw in horses and noisy guns, and you’ve got a first rate rodeo! The riding area was large that day, as horses carried riders over hill and dale to remove themselves from the sound of gunfire, breaking balloons, and powder smoke. Even so, the sport was in the blood of those participating, and there was no turning back.

Prominent Members

Of course, there can be no club without some very important members. Dan and Connie App organized and planned many of the events that transpired in the early years of 1st Ohio. Dan has been a leader in 1st Ohio since the beginning, serving as President, Vice-President, and Director throughout the years. Dan and Connie have supported SASS and CMSA though their store, the Buffalo Trading Post in Wilmington, Ohio. On August 29 and September 19, 1999, The Apps hosted CMSA timed riding events at their Oakwood Run Farm, featuring 3 stages of Cowboy Mounted shooting for each event. It was on September 25 & 26, 1999 that 1st Ohio joined forces with the IOK Rough Riders for the September Stampede at the JB Ranch in Miamisburg, Ohio. The clubs began their tradition of giving, and the competition was a special fundraiser for Candle Light, an organization providing services for children with cancer. The top ten cowboys were; Terry Martin, Richard Gabbard, Bob Ruwe, Ron Pope, Darius Ward, Ron Norton, Dick Ulen, Mimi DeBurger, Travis Martin and Don Burress. Bobby Ruwe has been another prominent figure in shaping the direction of 1st Ohio. His background brought on board years of experience in rodeos, organization and planning. A former barrel racer, Bobby has risen through the ranks of CMSA to the top level, winning dozens of local, regional and national competitions. A cowboy on the national level, Bobby was elected to the CMSA Hall of Fame in 2005. He has served in every Officer capacity in 1st Ohio; and is currently serving as CMSA National Advisory Board Chairman.

1st Ohio CMSA is Born

On November 6, 1999, 1st Ohio Cowboy Mounted Shooters hosted its first CMSA World Point Qualifier at Miamitown Ohio. There were 25 competitors with the top ten shooters consisting of; Terry Martin, Darius Ward, Richard Gabbard, Dan App, Ron Pope, John Fichtner, Justin Gabbard, Bob Ruwe, Don Burress and Tom Miller. Ever since, 1st Ohio CMSA has been holding CMSA sanctioned events in Miamitown and all over Ohio. 1st Ohio has hosted the Ohio State Championships and the Midwest Regional Championships. 1st Ohio traditionally hosts from ten to twelve shoots per year, and the members travel to other area clubs to compete and support those clubs. During any given weekend from April to November, 1st Ohio members can be found somewhere competing and participating in CMSA.

Today’s 1st Ohio

The membership has grown, with several cowboys and cowgirls winning state and regional events, as well as placing in the top ten in national and world events. In 2009, 1st Ohio president Eric Nelson placed 6th overall at the National Championships in Amarillo, Texas; Stephen Wilson took first place in both the Pro Division and the Rifle Division, cementing his standing as one of the best up- and-coming shooters in the country. Other 1st Ohio members traveled to Texas and had excellent showings. However, the awards and accomplishments don’t tell the whole story. 1st Ohio traditionally hosts a “pink shoot” in October to raise money in the fight against breast cancer. At the Memorial Day shoot in 2009, 1st Ohio hosted a True Grit shoot, with proceeds from the shoot and auction going to the John Wayne Foundation. 1st Ohio participates in fairs and other equestrian shows to demonstrate the CMSA sport and promote the Cowboy Way. Most important, 1st Ohio is a family; we look out for each other, we do for each other. And in the end we all strive to be the best Cowboys and Cowgirls we can, inside and outside the arena. Linda “Turquoise Sue” Miller  CMSA # 1023
1st Ohio History
By Linda Miller, aka Turquoise Sue, CMSA # 1023 The word Cowboy has stood for independence, honesty, and freedom for over one hundred years. Though the pinnacle of the free range cowboy has long since passed, the romanticism remains undeterred in the minds and spirits of Americans everywhere. In and around Miamitown Ohio, the 1st Ohio Cowboy Mounted Shooters of America come together to pay homage to that hard ridin’, straight shootin’ hero of the Old West. CMSA allows today’s cowboys and cowgirls to compete on horseback, shooting a prescribed pattern, with the fastest, most accurate rider walking away with the prize. Hard ridin’, and straight shootin’. But for the 1st Ohio CMSA club, that’s just part of the story. Since the very beginning, competitors have been organizing trail rides, competitions, raffles, and auctions for various charities and worthwhile causes. Although 1st Ohio has some of the best riders in the country, they cheer hardest for their competitors. Veteran riders give their best advice to anyone asking; a broke bridle or forgotten holster is nothing to worry about, as a rider will soon find offers from others to “use mine, go shoot.” Cowboys and cowgirls lend their guns and holsters for new competitors to “try before they buy;” some of the top horses in the country have carried dozens of different riders through patterns, as the owners loaned them out when a competitor’s horse was suddenly lame or not feeling well.

The Cowboy Way

Old-fashioned family values have been the epitome of The Cowboy Way of Life. A handshake, nod of the head or a man’s word was as good as any written and signed contract; it was a sign of a man’s pride and his honesty as a human being. 1st Ohio icons Dan App, Bobby Ruwe, Dick Ulen, Ron Pope, Wayne Cole and all the officers and directors over the past decade have embraced that cowboy way of thinking and integrated it into building and maintaining a reputable organization based on the winning formula of honesty, integrity, pride, and commitment.

The Beginning of CMSA

Jim Rogers, a prominent member of the Single Action Shooting Society (SASS), came up with the idea of expanding the ground shooting to mounted shooting. The very first mounted shooting exhibition was in April 1993. The first CMSA World Championship was in 1994 with 29 contestants at the Festival Of The West in Scottsdale Arizona. This new equine sport was once described as a “Raging wildfire burning out of control.” It quickly spread across the nation, over the banks of the Mississippi River, and into Ohio.

Mounted Shooting Reaches Ohio

The history of 1st Ohio CMSA began to unfold at a SASS cowboy ground- shooting event held in Indiana. Dan and Connie App were in attendance, along with two hombres by the names of Ron Pope and Dick Ulen. There was a whole lot of talk around Big Rock Camp that particular day about shooting pistols off the back of a horse. Many of the cowboys had heard of the event; Don and Kay Burress, Denny Shewell, Darius Ward, Mike and Barb Bryant, Butch and Lee Bryant, Tom and Linda Miller….all of them had something to say about what they’d heard or seen. It seemed exciting, something new and different. It’s pretty safe to say that two mounted shooting clubs were born that day, 1st Ohio and the IOK (Indiana-Ohio-Kentucky) Rough Riders. As for 1st Ohio, Dick Ulen thought mounted shooting sounded like a good idea; Dan App had the horses and Dick had the guns. Several Ohio cowboys met the following week to test this new idea in an open-ended polo field. Have you ever tried a brand new sport with no idea how to do it? Throw in horses and noisy guns, and you’ve got a first rate rodeo! The riding area was large that day, as horses carried riders over hill and dale to remove themselves from the sound of gunfire, breaking balloons, and powder smoke. Even so, the sport was in the blood of those participating, and there was no turning back.

Prominent Members

Of course, there can be no club without some very important members. Dan and Connie App organized and planned many of the events that transpired in the early years of 1st Ohio. Dan has been a leader in 1st Ohio since the beginning, serving as President, Vice-President, and Director throughout the years. Dan and Connie have supported SASS and CMSA though their store, the Buffalo Trading Post in Wilmington, Ohio. On August 29 and September 19, 1999, The Apps hosted CMSA timed riding events at their Oakwood Run Farm, featuring 3 stages of Cowboy Mounted shooting for each event. It was on September 25 & 26, 1999 that 1st Ohio joined forces with the IOK Rough Riders for the September Stampede at the JB Ranch in Miamisburg, Ohio. The clubs began their tradition of giving, and the competition was a special fundraiser for Candle Light, an organization providing services for children with cancer. The top ten cowboys were; Terry Martin, Richard Gabbard, Bob Ruwe, Ron Pope, Darius Ward, Ron Norton, Dick Ulen, Mimi DeBurger, Travis Martin and Don Burress. Bobby Ruwe has been another prominent figure in shaping the direction of 1st Ohio. His background brought on board years of experience in rodeos, organization and planning. A former barrel racer, Bobby has risen through the ranks of CMSA to the top level, winning dozens of local, regional and national competitions. A cowboy on the national level, Bobby was elected to the CMSA Hall of Fame in 2005. He has served in every Officer capacity in 1st Ohio; and is currently serving as CMSA National Advisory Board Chairman.

1st Ohio CMSA is Born

On November 6, 1999, 1st Ohio Cowboy Mounted Shooters hosted its first CMSA World Point Qualifier at Miamitown Ohio. There were 25 competitors with the top ten shooters consisting of; Terry Martin, Darius Ward, Richard Gabbard, Dan App, Ron Pope, John Fichtner, Justin Gabbard, Bob Ruwe, Don Burress and Tom Miller. Ever since, 1st Ohio CMSA has been holding CMSA sanctioned events in Miamitown and all over Ohio. 1st Ohio has hosted the Ohio State Championships and the Midwest Regional Championships. 1st Ohio traditionally hosts from ten to twelve shoots per year, and the members travel to other area clubs to compete and support those clubs. During any given weekend from April to November, 1st Ohio members can be found somewhere competing and participating in CMSA.

Today’s 1st Ohio

The membership has grown, with several cowboys and cowgirls winning state and regional events, as well as placing in the top ten in national and world events. In 2009, 1st Ohio president Eric Nelson placed 6th overall at the National Championships in Amarillo, Texas; Stephen Wilson took first place in both the Pro Division and the Rifle Division, cementing his standing as one of the best up- and-coming shooters in the country. Other 1st Ohio members traveled to Texas and had excellent showings. However, the awards and accomplishments don’t tell the whole story. 1st Ohio traditionally hosts a “pink shoot” in October to raise money in the fight against breast cancer. At the Memorial Day shoot in 2009, 1st Ohio hosted a True Grit shoot, with proceeds from the shoot and auction going to the John Wayne Foundation. 1st Ohio participates in fairs and other equestrian shows to demonstrate the CMSA sport and promote the Cowboy Way. Most important, 1st Ohio is a family; we look out for each other, we do for each other. And in the end we all strive to be the best Cowboys and Cowgirls we can, inside and outside the arena. Linda “Turquoise Sue” Miller  CMSA # 1023