Tammy Sronce: Mounted shooting World Champion overcomes adversity, teaches and inspires
Australian-born Tammy Sronce, is a Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association World Champion, survivor of a serious car accident caused by a drunk driver, and mentor and friend to women who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and other violent crimes. She also teaches horsemanship and mounted shooting skills at her ranch outside Stephenville.
Her story is a fascinating, circuitous one with twists and turns that have brought her to where she is today, and it hasn’t been easy. Ironically, Sronce’s father was killed by a drunk driver when she was very young.
“I was just four when he died; he was only in his late twenties. Because of that, I grew up knowing that life is short and if I want to do something, I need to just go ahead and do it,” she says.
She had studied psychology at the university in Australia, which would later come into play when she began working with battered women in an organization called Freedom Horses.
“Working with horses gives them something constructive and fun to do and helps move their recovery along. And the relationship works both ways. They get a lot out of it but so do I. It’s very rewarding all the way around.”
Of course they have horses, rodeo sports and the like in Australia, so what led her to America and our neck of the woods in the first place? She explains, “I’d always had a lot of horses, but I realized that in order to take it to the level I wanted to reach, it just couldn’t be done in Australia. Everything in the United States offered a bigger opportunity for equine activities and professions so I decided to leave Australia and come here.”
She continues, “I knew I wanted to work with someone who was going to go out and win, someone I truly admire. Because in the end, the amount of work is the pretty much the same whether you’re working for a non-pro who’s not committed, or whether you’re working for a big trainer.”
Sronce says she found exactly who and what she was looking for in Weatherford.
“I went to work with Lindy Burch, at Oxbow Ranch who was the president of the NCHA (National Cutting Horse Association) at the time. I have the utmost respect for her and she’s been a huge factor in my horsemanship. I stayed there for several years and then kind of branched out on my own in my mounted shooting.”
“I just have such a competitive personality. It doesn’t matter if we’re playing Scrabble, I’m going to win somehow.” she says with a laugh. “So that’s how I started out at the lower levels. I placed in some competitions and just decided that I wanted to be the best I could be and really threw myself into it.”
Sronce says the rounds used in mounted shooting are crimp-load black powder.
A lot of people get a little too relaxed with gun safety with those because they think, ‘Oh, they’re just blanks,’ but they can really do a lot of damage. I’ve heard of shooters getting injured badly enough to require skin grafts. I often do a demonstration at the clinics where I’ll shoot a soda can to show people just how powerful these loads are. It is just black powder but it comes out with such force that it has about a 15-foot reach.”
In rifle class mounted shooting, the men and women compete against each other and Sronce is the only woman to have “beaten the boys,” as she puts it and won a world or national title in rifle class. For readers who would like to see her in action with a rifle, you can go to YouTube and type in Tammy Sronce Rifle and have a look.