Up North: Cowboys and Cowgirls Return to Superior to Test Their Speed in Fast Draw

Eyewitness Sports
July 19, 2017 10:46 PM

Cowboys and cowgirls from the late 1800's invaded Superior, Wis. all to find out who had the quickest shot in this year's fast draw competition.

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It takes them less than a second. Sometimes, less than half a second to hit the target in front of them. Those competing refer to it as drag racing pistols, but the fast draw is any young cowboy's dream.

"When you draw that gun and that bullet hits that steel plate and makes that clang, that's when you're hooked," said Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. native Don Smith.

The sport of fast draw was founded just 15 years ago in Deadwood, S.D. and since then has expanded across the country, including the Head of the Lakes Fair hosted in Superior, Wis. This was the seventh year that the Wisconsin State Fast Draw Championships were held at the fair and hosted by the Black River Bandits. A pair of 2014 champions were back to repeat their title.

"I beat people I really shouldn't have beaten," said Gabrielle Smith of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. "It was so much fun. He won first, and then I won and it was just so amazing. It never happens," Smith added.

Smith whose alias name is "Sassy," and her grandfather Don who is known as "Lefty" won the men's and women's division of the state championships that year. It was Sassy's first time competing in the adult category. She said she got the luck of the draw, but her grandfather says it shows that just about anyone can join this sport.

"It proves that, I'm 74 and she's 19. Anybody of any age can compete in this sport and do good," said Lefty.

It's a sport where everyone has their style from their boots to their holster. They also have their own unique stance when aiming for the target, something Troy Bollock is well known for.

"One day in the barn as we're shooting, jokingly, I got back in this real low laid back stance and man I shot in the threes. I thought, man, this is neat. It's stayed like that from there," said Bollock.

Bollock also known as "Boulder Vaquero," is one of many who have adopted a similar stance. The competitors say this sport isn't like the rest of them. Most of the time, their biggest competitor is your target and the person standing next to them is more like family.

"The people are what make it as far as the comradery. You can see by our motto that safety is primary, fun is the next thing, and competition is third," said Barry Brooks, also known as Papa Bear.

"When you get on the line it's fierce competition, but when you're done it's a hang shake and a hug," said Bolluck.


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