Organizers keeping their fingers crossed

High Prairie Horseshoe Club president Ray Prevost promotes the 2020 Canadian Horseshoe Pitching Championships on Aug. 19-21 by spreading the message at the July 30, 2019 High Prairie Elks Pro Rodeo Parade.

Horseshoe Canada will have final call on major tournaments

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Two major horseshoe tournaments planned for High Prairie in August 2020 have not yet been cancelled over the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.

The High Prairie Horseshoe Club is scheduled to host the 2020 Canadian Horseshoe Pitching Championships Aug. 19-22, organized by Horseshoe Canada Association in partnership with the Alberta Horseshoe Pitchers Association AHPA.

Before that, High Prairie plans to host the Western Canadian Horseshoe Classic from Aug 14-16.

“As far as we know at this time, the Canadian championships and the Western Canadian Classic are still a go,” club president Ray Prevost says March 23.

“Horseshoe Canada makes the decision.”

He expects a final decision will be made before June.

“My biggest concern is that we lose both tournaments altogether,” says Prevost, second vice-president of the AHPA.

“We’ve put in a lot of work the last three years to get the nationals.”

He is still optimistic High Prairie will host the national championships.

“We hope is that if it is cancelled in 2020, we can host the tournament in 2021,” says Prevost.

“We’re hoping, it’s still up in the air.

“We’ve put everything on hold.”

Before the pandemic, Prevost and organizers predicted big numbers for participants and visitors to the region during the tournaments.

“We expect 200-300 competitors for each tournament,” Prevost says.

AHTA president Cindy Ekkel gives the High Prairie area top marks for plans to host the nationals.

“Community support for horseshoes in High Prairie has always been excellent,” Ekkel says.

“It’s quite an accomplishment if you look at an event that could attract up to 200 competitors.”

Prevost says organizers have raised more than $20,000 in prize money for the national tournament to attract more competitors.

Organizers predict each horseshoe tournament could create an influx of several hundred tourists to High Prairie.

Ekkel says Prevost and the club are doing a great job to promote the event and the sport of horseshoes.

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