Campbellsville hosted a first-ever event Memorial Day weekend as more than 50 contestants, representing more than 30 communities, participated in the Campbellsville Open Horseshoe Pitching Tournament at Miller Park.
With 12 new pits ready, according to Ralph White, one of the organizers, the state-sanctioned tournament was a huge success.
City workers cut the pits out of the asphalt on part of the lower park tennis courts and White, Ivan Bault, Bill Garrett, Billy Followell and Terry Roberts did the rest.
"Pitchers" are handicapped much like bowlers and golfers, figuring a handicap by the number of ringers they get in 50 throws. And, much like bowling, pitchers can choose shoes that weigh between 2 and 3 pounds.
Once a percentage is determined, the participants are placed in divisions A-G.
Jim Peavley, president of the Kentucky Horseshoe Pitchers Association, says horseshoe pitching is becoming more popular after association membership dipped to 82 in 2005.
"We had 300 to 400 pitching in the 80s," said Peavley. "We were up to 182 last year."
As a matter of fact, Peavley admits that the popularity of corn hole may have hurt horseshoes some. But he points out that a former world champion horseshoe pitcher - Matt Gui - now holds the same title in corn hole. So the two aren't mutually exclusive, he says. Peavley believes that bodes well for 'shoe pitchers.
Clay was hauled in from Adair County, according to White, and used in the pits. He says the consistency is that of Play-Doh and keeps the 'shoes from sliding.
"They (the people in Adair) didn't even know they had it (the clay)," said a smiling White. "We'll have to water it throughout the day or it will get too hard."
CLASS A: Cecil Cook, 61.4 percent; Walter Mullins, 48.6 percent. High Game - Cecil Cook, 76 percent
CLASS A1: Robert Taylor, 45.2 percent; Jim Culver 53.7 percent; Bobby Robinson, 50 percent; Henry Bass, 48.3 percent; Bill Garrett, 44.9 percent; Leamon Benningfield, 43.7 percent. High Game - Henry Bass, 66 percent, Jim Culver, 66 percent.
CLASS B: Don Phelps, 49.2 percent; Mark Worley, 43.1 percent; Ralph White, 49.1 percent; Larry Wise, 45 percent; Mike Worley, 40 percent; Alan Chesser, 31.6 percent; Lou Colpitts, 30 percent. High Game - Ralph White, 70 percent.
CLASS C: John Neagle, 38.4 percent; Dustin Hunt, 43. Percent; Julie Thompson, 35.3 percent; Mitch Duncan, 36.2 percent; Lawrence Barrett, 43.4 percent; Randy Johnson, 34.7 percent; Shelia Williams, 27 Percent; Randall Johnson, 18.4 percent; Randy Wade, 24 percent. High Game - L .Barrett, 65 percent.
CLASS D: Gordon Meece, 39.2 percent; Ricky Bell, 44.0 percent; Alton Stone, 27.5 percent; Laurie Ritchie, 27.8 percent; Ailene Garrett, 20.7 percent; Ivan Bault 25.9 percent; Kendal Chenault, 21.6 percent; Fred Nalley, 18.7 percent; William Wade, 14.4 percent. High Game - Ricky Bell, 60 percent.
CLASS E: Lucas Worley, 36.3 percent; Carl Nalley, 31.0 percent; Kathy Sallen, 29.7 percent; Billy Followell, 26 percent; Bryan Cummins, 25.7 percent; Buddy Lampkin, 14.3 percent; Eddie Salleng, 21.3 percent. High Game - Lucas Worley, 42 percent.
CLASS F: Rhoda Followell, 25.3 percent; Austin Worley, 16.9 percent; Courtney Lampkin, 20 percent; Gene Moore, 14.4 percent; Archie Mattingly, 13.4 percent; A.B. Webb, 17.2 percent; Ben Webb, 11.2 percent; Bill Cummins, 10 percent; Kessia Garrett, 5.9 percent. High Game - Rhoda Followell, 35 percent, A.B. Webb, 35 percent.