Special to The Gardner News
Edgerton’s Martin Creek Park hosted a National Horseshoe Pitchers Association (NHPA) tournament on Saturday, July 27.
The tournament was directed by Ed and Dolly Shanley of Edgerton. There were eighteen horseshoe “pitchers” from across the state of Kansas participating in this tournament, including four from the local area. The four local participants were Ed and Dolly Shanley and Bob Knabe, all of Edgerton, and Gene Norris, of Wellsville. This was a sanctioned NHPA tournament.
Ed Shanley is a past Kansas State horseshoe pitching champion and has been pitching for seventeen years. His wife Dolly also pitches, and helps Ed and a couple other volunteers maintain the nine horseshoe pitching “courts” at Martin Creek Park.
There were four classes of competition in the Edgerton tournament: A, B, and C Class, and a Championship Class.
A Class winner was Ken Perry, B Class winner was Harlan May, C Class winner was Dolly Shanley, and Championship Class winner was Rich Gassdorf.
Larry Collette, of Wamego, Kan., president of the Kansas Horseshoe Pitchers Association (KHPA), was also present at the Edgerton tournament and pitched as well. Susan Fulton, of Topeka, KHPA secretary/treasurer also participated.
Collette commented that horseshoe pitching is fun and a good way to relieve stress, which was the primary reason he started pitching “shoes” several years ago. He said it takes lots of practice to become a competitive horseshoe pitcher. He added that there are many female NHPA horseshoe pitchers and they compete with the men and often defeat male pitchers. There are currently a total of 173 sanctioned horseshoe pitchers, both male and female, in the state of Kansas.
Collette and the KHPA just received news on July 28 that Topeka was awarded the 2015 World Horseshoe Pitching Tournament.
Other cities in the running were Charleston, W. Va., and Wichita Falls, Texas. This year’s world tournament is currently taking place in St. George, Utah. Collette added that the 2015 world tournament would provide an economic boost to Topeka as well as bringing recognition to the state of Kansas.
The 2013 Kansas State Horseshoe Pitching championships will be held on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 at Gage Park in Topeka.
The next scheduled regular season tournament is on Sunday, Aug. 4 at Forest Park in Ottawa.
Edgerton is hosting another sanctioned tournament at 9 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 24 at Martin Creek Park. The public is invited to attend as spectators, but a “sanctioned” tournament is restricted to NHPA cardholders.
Shanley is hoping to have at least one “non-sanctioned” tournament in Edgerton in the near future. This tournament would be open to the public to compete. Shanley is also hoping to get a horseshoe pitching league started in the local area. Anyone interested in joining a league, may call Shanley or his wife, Dolly at (913)893-6024.
For more information on horseshoe pitching in general and the NHPA and KHPA, visit
www.horseshoepitching.com or www.khpa.com.