Joe Evans of Gallatin, MO, won the “Men J” class at the Missouri State Championship Singles Horseshoe Pitching Tournament held Sept. 4-6, 1999, in St. Joseph. Joe pitched 34.8% with six wins and one loss.
Joe hadn’t practiced horseshoe pitching for 10 years. He went to some tournaments and “got my tail beat.” Then he began substituting at a league in Chillicothe and picked up his game again. Joe says his first three tournaments were rough, but he managed to win anyway, including a tournament at the Sedalia State Fair.
Joe encourages anyone wanting to learn the art of horseshoe pitching to get started. “You learn to lose as well as win,” says Joe. “It’s good, clean fun. And it’s down to earth and family oriented.”
Not an expensive sport, Joe paid about $48 for a pair of horseshoes. He had his first pair for about 10 years. The cost to enter competition is generally from five to eight dollars. Most all the tournaments give out prize money to the top three players.
Joe recommends beginners get a sanction card. The money goes to the National Horseshoe Pitching Association and members receive a newsletter that lists upcoming tournaments and events. In addition, those pitching in a sanctioned tournament or league have their ringer percentages kept on record in a computer. This helps players get seeded in the right class for sanctioned events.
Joe says there are tournaments offered for just about everybody. There are singles and doubles and some are mixed with men, women, juniors and elders. Joe is impressed by his competition. “Some of those gals that have been pitching for 30 or 40 years are hard to beat.”
Joe plans to keep up on his practice this time. He would like to participate in and maybe even win the World Tournament to be held in North Dakota this year.
— written by T.L. Huffman for the Gallatin North Missourian