WITH a silver pistol at his hip, a snow white beard and a Sheriff’s badge stuck to his lapel, Nundle’s Danny Ponton looks like he’s just stepped out of a John Wayne movie.
Part of the Single Action Shooting Australia (SASA) group who describe themselves as “interpretive living historians,” they are bringing a little of the American Wild West to Gunnedah this weekend.
About 50 members are camped out on Nioka, a property in the foothills of the Kelvin Ranges near Gunnedah, and with old-school rifles and pistols in hand, they will compete to be the fastest gun in the North West.
Dressed to impress in full western regalia, they travel in posses from all over Australia with kids and families in tow to camp and compete in one of the fastest growing shooting disciplines in the world.
“A shooting discipline for the discerning time traveller” reads the SASA website, and with a competition nearly every weekend in Australia, one or two of these lovers of American western tradition are probably living in your neighbourhood.
Events have been held in Armidale, Scone and Tamworth this year and good sportsmanship is valued more highly than gold dust.
Organisers state that preserving the “spirit of the game” is the code by which all SASA members compete and although they can’t guarantee competition success, they do guarantee a good time had by all.