Montana: Teri High competes in Superhorse Championships finals
Mixing mounted shooting, breakaway roping and barrel racing serves as a perfect fit for Teri High of Gallatin Gateway, MT. The talented cowgirl just captured the overall Reserve Champion Pro Ladies title on Feb. 26 at the National Superhorse Championships finals in Marana, AZ.
High’s second-place finish is a repeat of her reserve championship finish last year. She even competed on the same horse, French Gold Charm, from Copper Spring Ranch.
Called “Princess,” the 10-year-old registered American Quarter Horse mare was ridden by High in all events which are required under the superhorse competition rules.
Winning the event the past two seasons was Diane Holmes of Darby, MT. She competed in all events on her horse called “Cowboys Overo Legend.”
High and the fast moving mare, by Frenchmans Guy, and out of Easy Charmer on the bottom side, posted 80 points in the final tally last year. Holmes won by a mere three points with a total of 83 points.
This year Holmes collected 275 points as the ladies Overall Pro Superhorse Champion, compared to 242 points for High.
Both women are close friends in the social world, even though they are fierce competitors in the arena.
“Princess was originally purchased by the Bozeman-based Quarter Horse ranch as a calf roping horse,” High explained. She started competing on Princess in mounted shooting competitions and found that the mare loved the exciting action that takes place in the arena during competition.
After this season, the ranch is thinking about putting Princess in the broodmare band. High plans on using Happy Son O Sugar, a six-year-old gelding sired by Four Roan Fly and out of a Sugar Bars mare.
“He loves the excitement as well,” she noted.
Superhorse competition offers some true western challenges for High and the other competitors.
The sport requires running a pattern while the rider blasts balloons at a dead run using a .45 long Colt single action revolver loaded with black powder rounds. In the Superhorse competition, other events include traditional breakaway roping, a combination of shooting and roping and a traditional fast-paced barrel racing course.
High combines her work as Copper Spring Ranch’s office manager with her extensive equine background to help handle the dozens of mares, colts and stallions on the working ranch.
The Superhorse competition is a natural for the tall, lanky cowgirl whose world centers on the Montana ranching lifestyle.
“I just sort of took to it,” she noted. “It all fits together with my background and the way I grew up.”
Growing up in the Gallatin Valley rodeo, horse and ranch community, High has been involved with horses and cattle since she learned to walk. A family photo shows her sitting on a doggin’ horse owned by her father, Delbert High of Belgrade, when she was just one year old. Like other ranch kids, she was involved in 4-H, competed in Little Britches and high school rodeos and was on the college rodeo team at Western Oklahoma State College in all of the women’s events. Like other members of the ranching fraternity, she competed in Montana Rodeo Association events as a barrel racer and also worked to organize barrel racing competition in the Gallatin Valley.
“After college, I got into hunting, so that completed the background for the shooting side of the sport,” she said.
High said the sport provides plenty of speed and excitement for a super adrenaline rush.
The horses also seem to enjoy the excitement. “Once horses get used to the firing, the shooting doesn’t seem to bother them, they just seem to block it out” she said, “We use ear plugs for them, however, to be on the safe and considerate side.”
High is going into her fourth year of competition in mounted shooting sports.
“My biggest challenge at this point, is living in Montana while everybody else seems to live in a gentler climate without the snow and below zero weather,” she said. To get ready for the upcoming cowboy mounted shooting and superhorse season, High worked Princess in the ranch’s indoor arena. The training required dry firing practice to hone her techniques with the single-action hand guns, and time spent to muscle up her fast moving mount. She plans on training Happy in the same successful manner and moving to the outside arena when the Montana weather begins to moderate.
Over two dozen contestants from around the country, including riders from Missouri, Minnesota, Arizona, Texas and Montana were at Marana.
High plans on competing throughout the spring and summer in both the cowboy mounted shooting and superhorse competition.
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