Modern-day cowboys bring speed, excitement to the rodeo

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Members of the Southeastern Mounted Shooters Association are passionate about accuracy, speed, and the excitement of their rodeo-like sport. Their performances are an experience unlike any other, for the riders and spectators.

Riders race around a course, shooting blanks at balloons with 1800's-style revolvers. The fastest time wins.

If a rider misses a balloon, the judge adds seconds on to their time.

“Surely, not for the money. It’s fun!” smiled professional horse trainer and member of the group, Bolo Hunt.

Hunt says the sport is addictive. He first started as a way to acclimate his horses to loud noises but soon, he was hooked.

“The next thing you know, I’m buying guns, buying holsters, and the rest is [history],” he told FOX 13.

Tegan Zealy, who has been riding since she was a little kid, said, “I enjoy always pushing to see how much better we can do the next time out.”

The group meets weekly and periodically goes to competitions. If you want to see the Southeastern Mounted Shooters in action, they will be performing at the Hillsborough County Fair during the rodeo on October 19 and 20. The rodeo starts at 7 pm.