Communities go head to head in the horseshoe pits
If carnival rides turn your stomach, farm animals aren’t your gig and the mysteries of canned vegetables don’t send you running for the exhibit hall, the Routt County Fair has a new and different opportunity to put you into the action this year.
The first Routt County Fair horseshoe pitching contest is being held from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday at the fairgrounds in Hayden. The competition is designed to pit against each other two-person teams representing different communities, businesses or youths from middle school and high school.
Imagine Hayden versus Oak Creek, Steamboat Springs duking it out with Toponas, Clark against Yampa — all pitching for cash prizes in the six new horseshoe lanes that were built by the Community Agriculture Alliance and 4-H members earlier this summer.
Marsha Daughenbaugh, executive director of the Community Agriculture Alliance, said the horseshoe tournament idea came together last winter when the fair was in the early planning stages and groups were brainstorming new activities.
“Apparently there are a lot of people in this community who pitch horseshoes. There’s never been a competition like this in Northwest Colorado before,” Daughenbaugh said. “They told me if you build the pits, they will come.”
According to the National Horseshoe Pitching Association, more than 15 million people in the United States and Canada play horseshoes. The sport originated with Roman soldiers who pitched horseshoes discarded from their chariot horses. The tradition blossomed during the Revolutionary War, when American soldiers pitched horseshoes on the Boston Common for recreation, according to the association’s Web site.
In Hayden, two-person teams will play by National Horseshoe Pitching Association rules. The tournament is a double-elimination format, and horseshoes and stakes will be provided.
Teams are vying for cash prizes in each category and an all-expense-paid night on the town. The winning business team also will host a traveling trophy made out of horseshoes for the upcoming year.
Community and youth division teams cost $10 per entry, and business teams cost $25 per entry. There is space for teams to sign up in all categories. Teams can register before Saturday with the Community Agriculture Alliance or just show up before the tournament starts.
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