Ashlyn and Leannah McDevitt each competed in the Georgia Open Horseback Archery Tournament on Oct. 26-27.

FREEPORT — Ashlyn and Leannah McDevitt recently won first place in their respective divisions at the Georgia Open Horseback Archery Tournament.


The sisters, who live in Freeport, have been horseback riding for many years through the Blackwater Pony Club in Crestview.


The girls have also competed in ground archery, but did not get involved in horseback archery until two years ago.


“They both have their strengths,” Ashlyn said of the difference between ground and horseback archery. “On a horse, it’s a whole other level because you’re moving and you have to work with an animal to make a team.”


They first found out about the sport through a Facebook post for a horseback archery clinic. At the time, only Ashlyn went to the clinic but after going she talked her sister into trying it, too.


“She asked me about doing it and I fell in love with it,” Leannah said. “Ashlyn coached me. She taught me everything.”


This year the girls participated in the annual Georgia Open Horseback Archery Tournament. It was Ashlyn’s second time in the tournament, but Leannah’s first.


“It was really fun to go because I had watched my sister do the first one,” Leannah said. “It was fun to go down the lanes because we had practiced so much at home.”


Each of the girls came home with a win, with Ashlyn placing first in the Intermediate Division and Leannah placing first in the walk/trot division. Leannah was also the high point target score achiever after scoring the most points in the tournament.


“It felt good because me and my sister always want to do things 100%,” Ashlyn said. “We started training for it in July, so it was satisfying to have all the work pay off.”