Ringers and leaners are clinking from the sandboxes on Carson Pit Road, as the city’s luckiest athletes make their pitches for summer fun.
The Quesnel Horseshoe Club gets together at their facility near the new city works yard, during the warm months, and they are looking for more participants.
“At this time we just have our fun nights two times a week, Monday and Wednesday, at 6:15 p.m.,” said club volunteer Jeanette Ferrara. “We have between nine and 16 pitchers, twice a week. We have men and women both pitching and supply coffee and cookies while we play. Our clubhouse is open for washrooms when we are pitching.”
The club is looking for more to join. The sport is an exercise in accuracy, in the same vein as darts, bowling or curling, where the athlete has to develop muscle memory and tune the body to the eye as the horseshoes are tossed towards the stake in the sand. The rules are not complicated and the equipment is simple. It’s fully non-contact with no physical defensive moves, so it’s the kind of activity that can be enjoyed by male or female, young or old, any background, all at the same time, sometimes, and has a friendly social element.
The club has to rely on Quesnel residents to build up their numbers again, following the pandemic. This is one of the only surviving clubs in the region since COVID closed up competition.
“In the past we held tournaments every month but since the pandemic, the nearest clubs, Williams Lake and Prince George, have closed so there is no one to attend any more,” said Ferrara. “No pitchers travel from the Lower Mainland anymore due to the cost of fuel, etc.”
Horseshoes is an activity with a long history, dating back about 2,000 years to Roman soldiers passing the time on deployment. It comes with the joy of that telltale clink of horseshoe striking stake; or the clank of popping a ringer – one horseshoe atop another, your sweet shot canceling the opponent’s ace. Skills develop quickly, and there is always the chance of that famous horseshoe luck being on your side.
“We would love to have more members join our group for a coffee and social time,” said Ferrara. Contact her at 250-747-3109 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.