An Interview by Lauren Woodard
Mounted archery has taken off in the United States like a wildfire. With new chapters springing up across the country there will be a lot to do for the new president of the Mounted Archery Association of America, MA3 in his first year. Cody is from the western part of Washington state and while he rode on and off as a kid, he wasn’t serious about it until about 10 years ago. It was a pleasure to learn so much about Cody and his aspirations as the new president of MA3!
What got you into mounted archery and how long have you been doing it?
I’d been into archery since childhood and one day while browsing the internet in 2001, I stumbled upon the Saluki bow website. That was when I discovered that horseback archery was a thing people actually do! I knew then that one day I would get involved! Ten years later, when I was less broke and had a horse, I finally ordered a Saluki bow. Lukas Novotny referred me to a trainer in my area and after one lesson I was hooked!
What are your goals for MA3 as president?
I want to see the sport grow safely, and in accordance with international standards. I would love to see more Americans in the top 10 at the big competitions in Europe, and I want to see MA3 helping to get our best competitors over there, hopefully with sponsorships that will ease the financial burden of overseas travel. But I also want to make sure that competition is not the only focus of our organization. There is a historical and educational element to our sport that I want to make sure we don’t lose sight of as well.
What are your personal competition goals?
As a competitor, my main goal has always been to be good enough not to embarrass myself! However, I personally enjoy the Hungarian style more than any other because of the challenge it poses. I will spend most of the coming years training this style, focusing on increasing my accuracy at the long front and back shots while maintaining proper riding form and consistent speed.
What are your goals relative to MA3?
As a fan of history, I would love to see more education on historical styles of bows, shooting, clothing, and riding, simply because I find it fascinating and fun. I know I’m not the only one. As a clinician, my main focus is simply to teach safe and effective riding and shooting and nip any early emerging bad habits in the bud. There are many valid styles and I always make sure to express that my way is not the only way. People will explore, and that’s how innovations occur, but it’s good to have a solid foundation before tinkering.
I would love to have enough chapters spread out across the U.S. so that when people write to us from anywhere, asking where the nearest chapter is, I can connect them to someone within a reasonable hauling distance.
What’s close time-wise on your docket?
We have so much coming up! One thing we are working on is a way to track American competitor’s horseback archery competition scores in one place. Hopefully, this will be something fun for everyone and give us a great reference for assessing skill level.
The thing we are most excited about is an upcoming national ranking system that tracks live competition results in Hungarian, Korean, and Polish/Cross Country styles. Besides fun, this will be a great way for us to select US National Teams for IHAA and WHAF World Championship events.
What would you like people to know about MA3?
That MA3 is a non-profit organization. Everyone involved is doing so as a volunteer. All the proceeds go back into the horseback archery community in the form of subsidies for chapters’ insurance, events, equipment, and college scholarships for our youths, among other things.
Many thanks to Cody for participating in this interview as well as the job he’s taken on as president of MA3. There will be many new aspects of the sport developing in the next few years and I hope all of us whether involved closely or on the fringes will do our best to help all the organization blossom.
Learn more about the Mounted Archery Association of the Americas (MA3) >>
About the author, Lauren Woodard: Lauren has been teaching and training for over 40 years and is the author of two books that are pure magic for horsemanship – “Curbside Service” and “Balky, Balky, I Ain’t Goin’”. Find out how to be strategic in your best next steps to Exceptional Horsemanship for Mounted Archery by grabbing her “Wouldn’t It Be Great If ” Quiz to check your perspective and propel your horsemanship on her site: exceptionalhorsemanship.com