Mounted archery to hit targets

READY, AIM, FIRE: Hayley Larrykin riding bareback bridleless archery.
READY, AIM, FIRE: Hayley Larrykin riding bareback bridleless archery. Contributed

MOUNTED ARCHERY: When Hayley Chambers-Halt first started horseback archery, she’d never picked up a bow and arrow before.

Fast track two years, and she’s riding bareback and bridleless while firing multiple arrows at a target at a steady paced canter.

Mounted archery isn’t a common sport, but Hayley is working towards the adrenaline-pumping sport to becoming more ‘well known’.

Currently there’s only a national organisation which run a championship event annually, but Hayley has begin hosting clinics, training days and small competitions at her Mt Whitestone home.

“We decided last year that we would host competitions here,” Hayley said.

“For the students it helps them to prepare for the national event, otherwise they’d only be competing once per year.”

Although a common sport overseas, Hayley said horse archery was a “developing sport” in Australia, with more people coming interested in firing a bow from a moving horse.

The average course can have up to three targets, where the rider fires three bows at each one.

Distance from the target is usually 7m and is normally done by riding the horse down an alley or fenced off lane.

Imagine firing them at a canter, where you are forced to let go of the horses reins and guide the animal with your legs.

“In the states they tend to have canter only classes, but in Australia we’ve got walking and trotting classes,” Hayley said.

Hoping to get more riders involved, Hayley, along with fellow coach John Downes. The duo will next host a competition on August 21 at Mt Whitestone.

Participants are required to have gone through safety and regulations with Hayley and John prior to competing.

“We are hoping to run four competitions each year,” Hayley said.

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