Cowboys show their skill

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Mark Weir, aka Cooch, takes aim in this test of shooting skills.

Cowboys from around the country gathered in Ashburton for the national Wild Bunch Championships.

Thirty sharp shooters, all dressed in Western garb, tested their speed and accuracy over two and a half days of competition.

The event was held at Ashburton Pistol Club’s range on the edge of Ashburton, which has hosted the championships on a number of previous occasions.

The line up featured half a dozen Wild West enthusiasts from Mid Canterbury including Bob McDonald (The Witchdoctor), Ian Knight (Blacksmith), Bede Prendergast (Bumble) and Mark Weir (Cooch).

Other cowboy personas used at the event included Big Un, Dustin Stud, Abbey Cass and Miss Cal.

Cowboys came armed with wooden trundlers, made especially to hold guns, ammo and other equipment and took part in shooting events using pistols, shotguns and rifles, or combined weapons.
Gun handling skills were tested on ranges set up to test both distance and close up shooting speed and accuracy.

Health and safety was strict at the range.