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Girls With Guns: North Texas Cowgirls Show Off Mounted Shooting Skills

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SANGER, TX  -- Lisa Jean DeGeare and her sister Shelby don't hate balloons, they're just really good at popping them.  You know, with guns.... from horseback.

Yeah, it's a sport called mounted shooting, and these North Texas cowgirls are some of the best in the world at it.

"We're kinda like barrel racers on steroids," Shelby said with a laugh.

The so-called steroids that separate mounted shooting from barrel racing?  Well, .45-caliber pistols loaded with black powder blanks.  They may not be bullets, but they can pop a balloon from up to 15 feet.

"A horse show judge showed it to us," Lisa Jean said of the sport. "And we've been hooked ever since."

That was 10 years ago, but the DeGeares were riding horses long before that.  Lisa Jean started before she was four. Shelby was riding before she could walk!

Now, Lisa Jean is 20 and travels the country competing. And winning.  A lot.

"She has won just about everything there is to win in mounted shooting," said their mom, Sissie.

She's broken five world records, but only holds four since one of the ones she broke was her own.  In 2014, Lisa Jean was the high-point overall champion -- the first-ever female winner of the title.

But 17-year-old Shelby came in third in that race and is always nipping at her sister's heels. They won't admit to having a rivalry, though.

"I love it when she wins," said Lisa Jean. "If she beats me, I am completely happy with it."

"I'm definitely gonna give her a run for her money," laughed Shelby.

The sport takes a lot of practice, and today that practice is hosted by Jim-a-Dee Ranch, just outside Sanger, north of Denton.

The girls are gearing up to compete in the Mounted Shooters of America World Championships in Dallas in September and the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association worlds in Amarillo in October.

Something tells us a lot of balloons are going to die between now and then.