The scene was set with proper cowboy attire and an environment created right out of the ‘Wild, Wild West’ at the Oakdale Sportsmen’s Club earlier this month. For the second year in a row the local Fast Draw club, the Cowboys, hosted an event, this time the 2019 California State Cowboy Fast Draw Championship.
The competition was staged in cooperation with the Cowboy Fast Draw Association. Gene Dias aka ‘Stanislaus’, Marshal of the Cowboy’s fast draw club and his wife Teresa aka ‘Six Iron Butterfly’ have been involved with the Cowboys since 2011.
“Overall the shoot was a great success, the Second California State Championship put on by the Cowboys in Oakdale,” stated Dias. “It should be noted that we stand side by side, in pairs three to a line at a time, and shoot at targets with sensors that record hits to the thousandth of a second.”
Dias explained that the Cowboys are the sixth largest fast draw club in the nation and growing. The club is called the Cowboys because they are in Oakdale and Oakdale is known as the Cowboy Capital of the World.
Everyone participating must have an alias and dress in the appropriate period clothing, Dias added. All shooters use period correct revolvers in a .45 caliber which is the ammunition that the host club supplies.
Ms. Lily Belle has been competing for about three years and enjoys getting dressed up in cowgirl gear. She shoots a Ruger Vaquero .45 long Colt.
“My favorite part about the whole sport in general is it is a family,” said Belle. “It is a big family.”
Tennessee Tim made his way here from nearby Escalon; he is a competitor and has been part of the Cowboys for about five years. After an injury he was unable to trap shoot so someone from the club suggested he try Fast Draw. He gave a try and has been hooked ever since.
Events began on Friday with a practice shoot, a contest, and a men’s and women’s Jackpot shoot. For these events, shooters used their own ammo and used a format called the Nevada eight. Dias explained that this is where you must beat your challenger in eight shots or you both receive an X. If you get three X’s then you are out of that competition.
A dinner was provided by No Daisy and Crew which was a Mexican style meal. On Saturday they had a shooters meeting and then the competition began to see who would make it to the Magnificent 7. The men and women shot in separate groups to get to the Magnificent 7. The winners received trophies and cash. Supper was then served which was provided by the Cowboys. Both days they also had a “Shoot for the Stars” fundraiser.
“The sport teaches Safety First, Fun Second, and Competition Third,” said Dias. “We have at some shoots people from eight to over 80 years old.”
The bracket shoot began on Sunday morning and then the Magnificent 7 Championship Finals for youth, ladies, and gentlemen. All mothers in attendance were given a red rose in celebration of Mother’s Day. After the finals they had an award ceremony that wrapped by 2 p.m. so that everyone could get on their way.
“We shot another competition where men and women were split up into three groups according to the relative speed ability,” added Dias. “We gave plaques and money to the top five in each of the three ‘brackets’ then it was on to the shoot off for the Magnificent Seven Women and Men.”
Next stop for the shooters that travel will be Caldwell, Idaho on May 24.
For more information call 209-523-3683 or visit www.cowboyfastdraw.com.
Club officials said that Cowboys members Tennessee Tim (Tim Brown), The Gray Fox (Robert Moore) and Yosemite Sean (Sean Morgan) did well at the local competition. The match brought in over 70 shooters, including many from out of state.
Tennessee Tim was third in Friday’s practice match; The Gray Fox was fourth in Sunday’s bracket shooting. Also on Sunday, Yosemite Sean took fifth in the top bracket, Master Gunfighter, and placed seventh overall in the Magnificent Seven competition.