By Becca Husselbee
A mounted archer has followed in his grandfather’s footstep to wow crowds with his amazing archery skills.
Emil Eriksson, from Lycksele, Sweden, can shoot flying targets whilst jumping through the air as well as hitting the bullseye whilst galloping at full speed.
The 29-year-old set up his own business, The Northlands Mounted Archer, and performs all over the world several times throughout the year.
Emil said: “There is no special training behind it, you must learn the basics of riding and archery.
“Of course it’s easier if you have a teacher that knows horseback archery because you have to be able to trust your horse, and know how to use the bow on horseback.”
Emil has been interested in horses since a young age ever since hearing stories about his grandfather, Hilding Eriksson, and his horse, Tarzan.
Despite having to wait until he was 6-years-old before he could attend his local riding school, Emil grew more and more passionate about horseback archery, shooting his first arrow at 16-year-old.
He said: “My Mum thought I would lose interest but each year my interest grew stronger and stronger.
“It wasn’t until I went to a medieval event that I learnt more about horseback archery.
“I started to research the subject as soon as I got back home and found some videos on YouTube, which I used to teach myself.
“I was working at a local riding club at the time with a friend and we decided to give it a try.
“My friend told me that if something went wrong she would let go of the horse, I told her that there are four walls in the arena so it should be fine.”
Emil would not be able to perform his risky tricks without the help of his noble stead, 15-year-old Barona, who he found at his local riding school and became his perfect archery partner.
“There is some training involved but not as much as you would think.
“When I started with Barona, I had the feeling that she would require a lot of training, but I didn’t need to do very much at all.
“She learnt very fast and she is smart, so I only needed to show her the tricks a few times before she picked it up.”
Emil is always aware that there are risks involved during performances but says that he is very safety conscious when it comes to his shows.
He said: “I’m always aware of my surroundings because the arrow is a flying projectile and as soon it leaves the bow it protentional dangerous.
“It could easy travel up to 150 metres if shot in the wrong direction and could hurt someone.”
Emil had travelled around the world to countries such as Japan, Germany, Poland and South Korea and takes part in archery competitions as well as performances.
He said: “I am always trying to develop and figure out new tricks to perform, I’m travelling to Iran this autumn to work on some new performances.”