Cowgirl of Honor Awards
This was only my second time at Winter Range and it was quite different from the first time. This time was very special for me because I was going to shoot of course, but what was really on my heart was the privilege of presenting the Cowgirl of Honor awards, and the support we received from Misty Moonshine, The Rough Riders, Ricochet Roy, for donating his beautiful leather work, and our fellow cowgirls, and cowboys!
I tried to coerce my BFF and partner in crime Leverin’ Lucy to present and do all the speaking in front of our audience of what seemed to be a million people. Well, she was not going for it, so, on went my big girl pants. You can call me a sap (because I am) but it truly meant a lot to me to have Misty Moonshine beside us, along with Evergreen Rose who was a Cowgirl of Honor recipient at the Western Divisional in 2016. She agreed to present our first place buckle on this special night. During the presentation the crowd responded so positively that it gave us all such a great feeling. There were 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, place winners and as each name was called out our cowboys and cowgirls cheered for their Cowgirl of Honor recipients. Let me tell you this, this is one of the most touching experiences of my life. To be able to call out a cowgirl’s name and give her an award that is not based on her shooting ability but is solely based on her character, her honor, and how she gives back to her shooting community, and to see the look in her eyes feels like nothing else!
The room erupted with hoots and hollers when Shamrock Sadie was called up for third place to receive her plaque. She was absolutely beaming! Sassy Dancer as second place winner was unable to be with us that night due to an emergency at home but was equally excited and blessed to receive her plaque and the beautiful buttstock created by Ricochet Roy. When I called Barbwire’s name as our first place winner, our cowboy community roared with applause and cheers. I can still see Barbwire’s face in my mind with tears in her eyes, and how Evergreen Rose embraced her and graciously gave her the Cowgirl of Honor buckle. WOW! Just priceless! These three ladies definitely have the hearts of cowgirls with honor, kindness and integrity.
The enthusiasm our cowboy brothers and sisters displayed that night and that entire week touched my heart deeply. Leverin’ Lucy and I made new friends and reconnected with old ones too. We are so grateful to belong to this wonderful cowboy community and for the opportunity to present the Cowgirl of Honor awards at Winter Range. Again, our heartfelt thanks to Misty Moonshine, The Rough Riders, Ricochet Roy, and our cowboy community! We look forward to many more awards going out in the future!
Winter Range Costuming
With 750 shooters wandering in and out of ranges and vendors tents, it is a sea of colour for every palette. From traditional subdued earthy and monochromatic tones to the subtlety of colour to the brightest of brights. Winter Range was again filled with every colour way imaginable.
It doesn't matter if you shoot well or how you look - really - as long as you are comfortable and loving every minute of your shooting and/or costuming experience.
For some it's as simple as pants and a shirt with as many or as little accoutrements they feel like applying.
For others it's all about the hats - hats matching boots, hats matching shirts, hats matching skirt ensembles, cowboy or cowgirl style it is totally up to the wearer. Like I'm often inclined to do, one day it could be my usual short hair and a cowboy hat. The next a curled wig and top hat or long braids and sombrero. Nothing like keeping it interesting.
For many it includes chinks, fancy belts, and boots. It really doesn't matter if you are shooting a costume category such as Classic Cowgirl or Lady B-Western, there are some who choose to wear them just because you can. I have admired many beautiful chinks over the past years and I particularly loved Whirlwind Wendy's red pair she had on this year. Evergreen Rose has a gorgeous pale blue pair, Echo Meadows a gorgeous pale green and the likes of Hey You, Shamrock Sadie, Marie Laveau, Sassy Dancer, Bonnie MacFarlane, Hot Tamale, to name a few, all favour wearing chinks on a regular basis.
The many ladies who frequent Workin' Ranch come out with all sorts of colour nowadays which makes for a visual spectacle with just about any colour of the rainbow you could think of. Skirts, corsets, tops and many with the signature coordinating hat to go with. A kaleidoscope of colour can be seen on many including Runamuck Kate, Pistol Packin' Pami, Complicated Lady, and Agarita Annie.
I can't go without mentioning the women who make their own shooting costumes, (Singin' Sue, Miss Weev, myself and many others) from shirts, split skirts, bloomers and chemisettes, bustle skirts and much more but it would be totally remiss of me not to mention a particularly crafty lady I have admired for a long time for actually shooting in full Victorian skirt, overskirt and bodice - every time - and that would be Pinto Annie. I save those for banquets only!
Banquet and saloon evenings offer up a whole new world of costuming for those that desire to change it up completely. Victorian gowns, B-Western extravaganzas from silver screen idols and even Indian 'extras' as in Dixie Bell's wonderful interpretation this year. The most delightful costume this year in the best dressed contest would have to be the Norwegian couple in full traditional 'bunad' with their story of immigration to the northern state of Minnesota.
I also admire our smallest and precious impressionable juniors, some seeming to have no fear! Happily chatting, shooting and even rocking up to the costume contests with confidence and little stories. These are who we need to keep on encouraging and help our sport continue to grow. Longhorn Lizzy was a pleasure to chat with on a couple of occasions this year. This little lady has a huge amount of confidence!
At the end of the day if you are totally new to this whole 'costuming thing' I would suggest looking at as many websites, Facebook posts, attending as many shoots as you can outside of your own club and work on finding a style that suits you, works for you, gives you joy and makes you just want to keep on coming out to play.
After all, costuming was two thirds the reason I decided to take up Single Action in the first place!
Rangers at Winter Range
By Singing Sue
Shanley and I have been shooting Winter Range for 8 years. We decided last year, it was time to give back...so we registered as Rangers. To be a WR Ranger you must give a minimum of 7 days to the task, with two of those days being Sunday and Monday of breakdown, after the match. There is a reduction in your match fee...and many perks throughout the match, for your hard work. You are given plenty of time to relax and ready for your shoot time, as well as wind down after.
Now, only three of the 12 structures are permanent...so on day one...everything comes out of storage. Bay by bay, all facades are dropped at the bay, while all its frills are being organized by the Beautification Committee. It is a fast and hard day, and some of the facades can start going up on day one. Wednesday through Saturday prior to the WB match is hard full 8 hour days...but the most fun you can have working hard. The majority of Rangers come back year after year, and we become a close-knit family. We may kid around about the chores, but we really do enjoy them.
The greatest reward is hearing THANK YOU from the match director(s), board members and the competitors! It makes all the work worthwhile to be appreciated. Even for the small things, like decorating the ladies’ bathroom. How many enjoyed the new wall hanging???
We Rangers are given a great dinner out, after all is put away, and a day of rest is had.
Great prizes, food and fun. If you are interested in being a WR Ranger, just contact Nine Toe Joe on the WR website. It will be the most rewarding tired, you will ever know!
The Doily Gang Ladies Shooters Clinic at Winter Range
By Shamrock Sadie
What a great turn out for the Winter Range Doily Gang Ladies clinic! We limited the clinic to 40 shooters to ensure we had a good student to teacher ratio (10:3) for when students broke out into their specialized posses. We had a last minute cancellation, so ended up with 39 shooters! We keep the cost of the Doily Gang clinics low to minimize the expenses of the shooter’s attending the match. After expenses and a club shooter fee, as always, proceeds went to the SASS Scholarship fund. This year’s Winter Range Doily Gang clinic raised $820! We started with registration where each student received an agenda, a cloth doily, and a Giddy-Up card of reminders for shooting. Many ladies purchased Doily Gang badges at the clinic and throughout the week. What does the cloth doily and badge represent? Any cowgirl wearing the cloth doily and/or badge shows cowboys and cowgirls that they honor the cowgirl way as members of the Doily Gang.
Encourage ladies, regardless of their level or style of shooting
Encourage the development of women’s knowledge and skills of cowboy action shooting
Bring awareness of various shooting styles, equipment, and techniques of cowboy action shooting
Promote opportunities available to ladies (especially new shooters) that might help them overcome any anxieties about shooting
Be a dedicated participant/helper at all shooting events
Celebrate achievements of lady shooters
Encourage friendly competition
Once registration was completed, we promptly started right into the shooting tips with 12 instructors at the helm. Be sure to thank them for volunteering their time to help other shooters.
This year at Winter Range, we changed the format having a shorter general discussion (with just a handful of instructors giving tips), then we broke into two groups (SxS and 97 shooters) for tips on shooting shotguns according to the students preference. Lastly, each student went to their designated posse to get specialized tips on their shooting style. We had 11 cross-draw shooters on one posse, 6 gunfighters (woo hoo!) with 2 Traditional shooters, and 20 traditional shooters across 2 other posses. Of course there was a mix 97 and SxS (and rifle) shooters, so we had instructors on each posse who were proficient with the shooting styles and different types of shotguns (and rifles).
The shooters received a plethora of tips, and then shot 3-4 stages as instructors gave one-on-one critiques on what the shooter could work on to help them with their game. If you haven’t attended a Doily Gang clinic, it is certainly worth your time in not only getting great tips from top shooters, but spending time with the cowgirl shooting community. Here are the upcoming Doily Gang Ladies clinics:
May 2017: Ohio State (Piqua, Ohio)
June 2017: End of Trail World Championships (Founders Ranch, New Mexico)
August 2017: Western Regional (San Luis Obispo, California)
November 2017: Southeast Regional (Lakeland, Tennessee)
Stay tuned for exact details and dates by going to the Doily Gang website at www.DoilyGang.com, Doily Gang Facebook page, and of course the LOCAS Facebook page.
See you on the trail!