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They shoot for horses, don’t they?

How the West Was Won Trap Shoot benefits horses and children at Carousel Therapeutic Riding Ranch

Posted: April 22, 2009 8:53 p.m.
Updated: April 23, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Four-time Olympic Medalist Kim Rhode practices before her trick shot exposition at the fundraiser.

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Gunfire echoed through the hills above the I-5 freeway as the inaugural How the West Was Won Trap Shoot to benefit Carousel Therapeutic Riding Ranch was held Friday at Oak Tree Gun Club.

The event was a sell out with 12 teams of five participating the in the event with each contestant given a chance to shoot three rounds of 25 clay targets.

The event was founded by Carousel Ranch supporter Wayne Crawford and son-in-law Eric Stroh. Carousel Ranch provides a therapeutic horseback riding program for the disabled.

"We are out here a lot and we thought maybe we could do something," said Crawford. "We thought we could put together a quick fundraiser. We decided to do something different then an elaborate golf tournament."

Participant Don Fleming said the trap shoot was one of the most entertaining events he's attended recently.

"It's a kick. I've never seen so many people having so much fun," said Fleming. "This is different, it is exciting. I think it will be an annual event."

Crawford quickly interjected that he might try to stage the event twice a year.

As the teams competed for trophies, individual shooters were able to compete for T-shirts and other small prizes at a variety of stations that included skeet shooting and an opportunity to shoot a Benelli gun from large-scale rocking horse used at Carousel Ranch for children unable to ride a real horse. A third station awarded T-shirts to individual who could shoot five-out-of-five clay pigeons.

We tried to adopt golf type things that are popular," said Stroh. "Shoot with a pro, nearest to the hole, that kind of thing that is popular in golf. We've kind of made this event up as we've gone along."

Denise Tomey, Carousel Ranch executive director, said Crawford and Stroh get all the credit for the event.

"This is a totally unique event and the creation of Eric and Wayne," she said. "It is made up from scratch and it is a great event, people are having a good time."

The morning shoot was followed by lunch and the auctions. Among the items auctioned were several high-end guns, a private shooting lesson with four-time Olympic medal-winner Kim Rhode and a variety of "guy things" including Dodger tickets, a trip to a hunting lodge, golf balls and an Eli Manning autographed Super Bowl cap.

Rhode, who brought her Olympic medals with her, offered up an impressive shooting demonstration where she blasted a variety of items into tiny pieces as the crowd applauded.

"They asked me to be part of this event and I think its a wonderful thing so I was happy to do what I could," Rhode said. "I think it is wonderful what they do for kids and families."

For information about Carousel Ranch, volunteer and giving opportunities visit www.carouselranch.org.


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