Sent by Nancy Peterson
Once again, Morgan’s own, Joel LaBorde has garnered high honors at the SASS National Cowboy Action Shooting competition held this past February at the Ben Avery Shooting Range in Phoenix, AZ. Mr. LaBorde, shooting under the alias of J.T. Wild, competed with top shooters from around the world. Competitors came from all over the globe, including Australia, Canada, Norway, England, Italy, Germany, New Zealand, and nearly every state in the USA. All competitors either choose or are given a alias, Joel’s was given to him by his friend who introduced him to Cowboy action shooting.
This year Joel finished 2nd in the Wild Bunch National Competition. This sport is loosely based on the 1969 Warner Bros. movie, “The Wild Bunch”. Each competitor uses a 1911 pistol, a lever action rifle, and an 1897 pump action shotgun. Joel is very proud that he uses guns all patented and designed by Morgan’s own John M. Browning. He shoots a Colt Gold Cup 1911, Winchester 1873 rifle, and a Winchester 1897 shotgun.
A Wild Bunch match consists of 12 stages, each stage or scenario with 30-40 rounds shot in a precise order. The shooter is timed with penalties incurred for each target missed or shot out of the designated order. This sport is a fine balance between speed and procession. Joel was the only competitor of 900 plus to shoot both main events at this years world championships with no misses or penalties.
This is not Joel’s only victory in a Wild Bunch competition this past year. He finished 3rd in the World Wild Bunch competition, first in the Utah State and New Mexico State SASS Wild Bunch competitions. He also was first overall at the four corners regional championships.
Winning top honors in a SASS competition is nothing new to Joel. In 2008 he finished first in the SASS National Competition and this year turned his sights to competing in Wild Bunch.
Joel’s love of the shooting sports began very early, starting at his grandfathers home in Michigan when he was so small that he had to lay the Winchester twenty two rifle over grampa’s barnyard fence rail.