Alvin Schumann pitches horseshoes at the Phillips County Fair in 2010. Schumann, who is organizing this year’s horseshoe pitch, said the game has been part of the fair for at least 50 years. — The Holyoke Enterprise File Photo | Johnson Publications

Horseshoe pitching returns as 50-plus-year staple at county fair

    Phillips County’s 2019 fair promises to be a ringer with a horseshoe pitching contest set to run Friday and Saturday, July 26-27, at 1 p.m.
    The pitching will take place next to Homesteaders Park, and cash prizes will be awarded to the top three winners — $3 for first place, $2 for second and $1 for third.
    For those unfamiliar with the sport, in a game of horseshoes, pitchers have two shoes that they must throw at stakes driven into the ground. Points are awarded for shoes that encircle the stake or land sufficiently close.
    Alvin Schumann of Haxtun will be returning to organize this year’s horseshoe pitch. He said he remembers pitching horseshoes at age 6 outside of his church in Rockland, south of Dailey. His friends would pitch whenever they got the chance — after church and school, and at family gatherings.
    “We’d play with pretty much anyone who came along,” Schumann said. “We’d clear out a ditch along the road, and that’s where we played.”
    Schumann won his first trophy at age 7 during the Haxtun Corn Festival and carried his love for the sport into adulthood, organizing a league between Haxtun and Fleming. He also pitched at several state and regional tournaments.

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