Mounted Archery Association of the Americas (MA3)

By Joey Ogburn and Diana Troyk


MA3 President, Diana Troyk

1,000-800 years ago the horse, bow and arrow combined forever. Throughout history Horse Archery has traveled through Asia, Europe and finally into the Americas. As far back as Genghis Khan the thumb release has been a method of shooting arrows with speed. Being one of the newest countries to be involved in this ancient tradition, it is the main style of horse archery practiced and taught by the Mounted Horse Archery Association of the Americas (MA3).

Native American Indians hunted and fought with a long bow, however, when the Spanish introduced the horse, things began to change rapidly. The horse propelled the Native American Indian first into hunting and then, as wars within tribes and the arrival of the white man grew more hostile, shooting off the back of a horse just became natural. Several of the plains tribes became very adept, such as the Comanche, being known as the rulers of the Great Plains in the 1800’s but also known as the Lords of the Southern Plains.

They were renown for their horsemanship and could ride faster and father than almost anyone. They could do tricks on horseback such as shooting underneath their horse’s necks. They were known to be the fiercest warriors in North America, also being known as the largest hunting empire in the history of the continent.

They developed the famous War Wheel, where they would ride down upon a wagon train in two circles, joining each other and therefore shooting many arrows, similar to a Gatling gun.

There are many stories of them hanging onto the side of their war ponies to escape the enemy then popping up and shooting their arrows at those on the ground. Historians say that the white man would have been pushed back to the East if not for the repeating rifle. The Sioux were the Lords of the North.

Today, this ancient sport made a come back in the US in about 1999 when a group of David Grey, Jaap and Kay Koppedrayer, David and Meg Beshey and Lukas Novotny. They held the first horse archery instruction in 1999 with Kassai Lajos from Hungary as the trainer. In 2000, they came up with an idea of an International Archery Event that would include training in horseback archery, at the Festival at Ft. Dodge, Iowa. This is important, as it was the 1st organized effort in modern times to introduce & train participants in horseback archery. Kassai trained horse archers from 1999 1o 2001. In 2001, the second event was called the IHAF, International Horse Archery Festival.

lukas-navotnyIn 2002, Lukas took over training with the help of Dana Hotko, Lukas was head trainer from 2003 & 2005. In 2005 Lukas and David Grey began the footwork for the official Mounted Archery of the Americas Association, Inc., or MA3. Becoming official in 2005, MA3 became the first and only Horse Archery club in the US.

The first US International Competition was held in Bend, OR in 2010, organized by Holm Neumann. It was a great success and hosted nine International countries. Since then, MA3 has grown exponentially throughout many states in the US.

We do teach the ancient style of the Mongols with the thumb release and no shelf horse bows.

Training facilities are more redolent and able to introduce our archery style to the general public. These include specialized events to peak local interests. Our very passionate and dedicated horse archers are reaching out to our communities to get the youth involved, motivated and reach goals of their untapped potentials.

Stimulating our horse lovers and youth is our goal to build character and self esteem in those that yearn for a more challenging bond with their horse, thus enriching our youth’s heritage of past culture and skills used for survival. Initiating a purpose to motivate them in a fast yet graceful, strong and spirited sport will help with their mental and physical health also. Their performance is a self-lifting appreciation of the goals one can reach and this extends to the encouragement of others to do well also. The next best thing is to cheer on your friends.

A competition, a bonding with your horse, learning new riding and shooting skills every day, dressing in costumes and making best friends around the world, is the soul food that keeps Horse Archery alive.  Our hope is to open the doors of opportunity and education to the ancient and graceful art of becoming one with your horse, just as the kings intended in an era of the long forgotten past.

Beesh Lotspeich, first woman to win overall International Competition on US soil Photo by Bill Edgar

Beesh Lotspeich, first woman to win overall International Competition on US soil
Photo by Bill Edgar

Sharing ideas and building friendships across the globe is a highlight of traveling internationally and promoting goodwill.

Last but not least, horse archers across the US are able to take advantage of venues supported by competitions to hold fundraisers for charities such as our very own Military Warrior Vet’s.

Having Horse Archery in the first Martial Arts Masterships is an honor to all horse archers around the world. Our gratefulness for all the hard work and the heartfelt goodwill by so many to make this happen is the true warrior spirit in each one of us.


MA3 offers the chance to be a part of a community, building friendships and creating opportunities for growth as a person and an athlete. This exciting sport allows riders to experience what it is like to navigate a horse, reinless, through the course while shooting arrow after arrow.

Come visit us at our next competition, event or clinic.

For lessons or competitions contact:
Joey Ogburn 602-400-0826

Diana Troyk 414-617-3843


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