Local pitchers out in full force
South Peace News
High Prairie was a hub of horseshoe pitching in the annual High Prairie Open tournament Sept. 14-15.
Players from all over Alberta competed at the Gordon Buchanan Recreation Centre in the event hosted by the High Prairie Horseshoe Club.
“We had 49 players compete and about 30 were from the High Prairie and Peace River areas,” says club president Ray Prevost, who co-ordinates the tournament.
“It’s always great to see players from our local communities.”
Action was close in some of the classes.
“We had a few playoff games to decide final placings,” Prevost says.
Competitors travelled from all over Alberta and some came from Saskatchewan.
“We had a range of ages from children to seniors in their mid-80s,” Prevost says.
The event also promoted and raised funds when High Prairie hosts the 2020 Canadian Horseshoe Pitching Championships set for Aug. 19-22.
Horseshoe Canada is organizing the event in partnership with High Prairie and the Alberta Horseshoe Pitchers Association (AHPA).
“Everyone is looking forward to next year when High Prairie hosts the national championships,” says Prevost, second vice-president of the AHPA.
“I’m doing my best to promote it.”
He says High Prairie has a good reputation as a strong host of major events.
“Visiting players I talked to say they don’t get near the support for horseshoes in their communities and we do in High Prairie,” Prevost says.
“For any major event in High Prairie, the community always gets behind it.”
That support has helped the horseshoe club and the AHPA raise more than $20,000 in payouts for prizes.
“We hope to raise $25,000 to attract more players,” Prevost says.
“That would one of the biggest payouts for the national championships in the past few years.
“It would help us attract more players from across Canada.”
AHTA president Cindy Ekkel gives the High Prairie area top marks.
“Community support has always been excellent,” Ekkel says.
“It’s quite an accomplishment if you look at an event that could attract up to 200 competitors.”
Overall, the event could create an influx of several hundred tourists.
She says Prevost and the club are doing a great job to promote the event and the sport of horseshoes.
Before, the local club will host the High Prairie Open on Aug. 14-16.