MA3: DragonRiders Mounted Archery

The Dragonriders are an official chapter of Mounted Archery Association of the Americas (MA3)
By Amy Price

Schaefer and Amy Price

Over their children’s winter break in 2014, Amy and Schaefer Price, both retired from their respective careers in biotechnology, traveled with their children from their home in Skillman, New Jersey, to go on a trail riding adventure in Scottsdale, Arizona where they met their trail guide and future friend, Joey Ogburn. During one of the first rides, Joey offhandedly mentioned mounted archery, and like two ponies that had just heard someone open the cookie bin, the Prices’ ears perked up.

Schaefer and Amy Price

So Joey took them to the range of the Desert Warriors of the Southwest (DWSW) where she and her husband Greg were members, and showed them how to nock an arrow, aim, shoot, and eventually, how to sit on a horse while doing all three. Once the hook had been set, she reeled them in by inviting Amy to join her at the Amazon Gathering, a women’s only competition, held in Washington at Katie Stearns’ Flying Duchess Ranch. After shooting her first arrow from a cantering horse, Amy knew this was going to be their new sport.

The Dragonriders

Soon after, the Prices constructed a course of their own in NJ, and began training Schaefer’s horse, Dakota. They commissioned their friend to create a practice “horse” out of an empty oil drum mounted to a small trailer, much like the ones used by many other mounted archery chapters. The Desert Warriors have one named Magic, in memory of a beloved horse of chapter founder, Di Troyk that has a wooden horse’s head and Magic’s tail. The Rogue Mounted Archers (RMA) in Oregon have a similar one named Spot, because of course. The Prices, in honor of their love of the fantasy fiction of J.R.R. Tolkien and Anne McCaffrey, chose to adorn theirs with the head and tail of a dragon – which is how the chapter eventually found its name.

The Prices, in honor of their love of the fantasy fiction, chose to adorn their “practice horse” with the head and tail of a dragon

In 2016, the Prices finally attended their first competition at the RMA course, taking their twin then 12 year old daughters along to cheer them on with “Yay, Daddy!” and “Go Mommy!”. At the time, the Prices were affiliated with DWSW and competed as members of that chapter. Their chapter mates, Greg and Joey Ogburn, attended the competition as well, and a friendship of four began. The foursome competed together as teammates again at the DWSW Duel in the Desert later that year.

The fun of those competitions, along with the friends they had made from chapters all over the world, led the Prices to decide that the sport was with them to stay…

…and so the Dragonriders Mounted Archery (DMA) became an official chapter of the Mounted Archery Association of the Americas (MA3). In 2017, the family, and the chapter, relocated to the town of Windsor in Northern California’s Wine Country.

Greg Ogburn on his dragon Titus

The next year the Prices again attended the Duel in the Desert, but this time, as Dragonriders.  In 2019, looking for a change of pace, the Ogburn’s spent the summer training at the new Dragonrider course, affectionately called the Dragon’s Lair. Greg and Joey spent lots of time helping Amy and Schaefer tune up and prepare for that year’s Duel in the Desert. In return, the Prices convinced the Ogburns to become official Dragonriders. The Ogburns returned home and the four made plans to compete together as a team that December. Sadly, the Kincade Fire ripped through Northern California and consumed all of the ground vegetation, and many trees on the Price’s property. All of the structures and the course survived the fires with only feet to spare.

When Amy told Joey that the course, and all of their bows and arrows, had been spared while the land around it had been reduced to cinders, they both agreed aloud, it was the work of “Dragons”.

So that year, the Ogburns represented the Dragonriders alone.  After the fire, Greg, who is an Airbus Captain for American Airlines, accepted a base transfer to LAX and the Ogburn’s made the decision to join the Dragon Riders and move to Sonoma county full time.  The Ogburn’s, who both grew up separately with horse riding experience, bring over 13 years of combined Mounted Archery experience to the Dragon riders.

Joey Ogburn on her dragon Hana

Joey Ogburn

Joey started her Mounted Archery journey with the Desert Warriors of Scottsdale Arizona in early 2013. After participating in a couple of Mounted Archery Demos with the Desert Warriors, Joey attended a “Bow Camp” at Holm Neuman’s residence in Bend Oregon featuring Mounted Archery Great, Lukas Novotny. Joey’s inaugural season was capped off by participating in the 9th World Horseback Archery Championships in Sokcho South Korea. Since then, Joey has been improving her skills each year where she has earned a Horse Archer Level 4 Grade and is currently Ranked number 9 on the USA Ranking chart which is based off of live Competition results from the last two years.

When Joey is not training for Mounted Archery she is running a Non-Profit organization named Mini Angel Eyes that she founded. Mini Angel Eyes uses rescued Miniature Horses as Certified Therapy Animals to help heal Veterans, Seniors, and Children. This is the second Non-Profit organization that Joey has started, back in 2004 she founded the Luv Shack Horse Rescue where the organization saved over 350 horses from abuse and neglect. Today that organization operates as Triple R Rescue in Cave Creek Arizona.

“I look back when I began this sport and smile at all the people I’ve influenced to try a traditional practice of mounted archery as a sport and a way to bond with their Dragon, beast, steed- PARTNER! I’m honored that I get to practice with my husband and the power couple Amy and Schaefer!” says Joey.

Greg Ogburn

Greg’s path to Mounted Archery was much slower than Joey’s, after nearly a year of casual observation he shot a bow for the first time in his life after receiving a lesson in late November 2013. After about a week of ground shooting, Greg took his first canter run and even though he hadn’t ridden seriously in quite some time he was instantly hooked. Greg’s 2014 inaugural season proved to be a breakout year, he quickly moved to the open division after First Place wins in the beginner division at his first Competition in Texas. After winning medals at his second Competition in Oregon, he capped the year off with two top 10 finishes at the 10th World Horseback Archery Championships in South Korea.

Greg Ogburn

Championships Abroad & National Achievements

The Ogburn’s continued to represent the USA in 2015 at international competitions, first in Australia then again in South Korea this time winning a bronze medal in a team event for the USA at the 11th World Horseback Archery Championships. To date, Greg has set six American course records, Ranked #1 in the USA, Graded at Horse Archer Level 6, won multiple MA3 events, multiple International Postal Matches, 5 time medalist at the WHAF World Championships in South Korea, and a fourth place finish on the Korean Course at the 2018 IHAA World Championships in Pomaz Hungary. Since then, Greg has taken the role of U.S. Representative for the International Horseback Archery Alliance (IHAA) as well as Vice President of the Mounted Archery Association of the America’s (MA3) to help promote the growth of Horseback Archery.

Competitions Influenced by Covid

The 2020 Mounted Archery season has not shaped up as planned due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Archery Competitions have been cancelled all across the country as well as Internationally. The Dragonriders were able to host their first ever Competition called the Wine Country Classic just before the restrictions began in March. The participants were able to ride on a state-of-the-art 90 Meter track complete with high quality equestrian footing. The cross country course featured a 5 acre, 15 target track designed by Hilary Merrill of the California Centaurs. As pandemic restrictions are lifted, the Dragonriders will be open to hosting archers for training with MA3 Instructors Greg and Joey Ogburn. Plans are already being made for the Dragonriders to host their next Competition in 2021.

 


Check out the Dragon Riders FB page and feel free to contact Club Leader Greg Ogburn at ma3ihaarep@gmail.com.

To learn more about Mounted Archery Association of the Americas (MA3) visit: www.mountedarchery.org

 

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