EXERCISEºRECREATIONºSPORT


The Folks Behind the Scenes
In the Horseshoe Tourney

    Behind the scenes in the National Horseshoe Pitching Tournament, but in reality a major reason for the meet being staged in Murray is the Salt Lake County Recreation Department.
    No acknowledment of contributions of various individuals and groups would be complete without a word on behalf of this organization, headed by Paul S. Rose of Murray.
    Nealy $3,000 in financing is necessary each year to stage the tournament. These funds are drawn from the coffers of the County Recreation Department. The department performs its "off-stage" work in many other ways, as well.
    Director Rose is a man whose athletic background fits him well for the work of directing so widespread a program as the Recreational Department conducts. A University of Utah graduate and all-around athlete, Mr. Rose was coach of hich school and college standouts at Morgan and Merray preps and Brigham Young University.
    He is also recognized throughout the Intermountain area as a football and basketball official.
    Carrying his athletic enthusiasm into his work, Mr. Rose guides his department in a widespread group of activities ranging from the so-called "quiet" games and hobbies in winter basketball and summer softball. The horseshoe pitching tournament is one of the most outstanding of these events and one watched with extreme interest by the director, who classifies horseshoe pitching as one sport he's never mastered!

It would be difficult to find a more spectacular background for the national horesehoe meet than the scenic Wasarch mountain range bordering the Salt Lake valley on the east. Fine courts, dependable weather and scenic loveliness combine to make the Murray park local ideal.




Editorial Note: Murray Utah was the host city for the World Tournament thirteen times; first in 1947, then from 1949 through 1959 with one final event held in 1966.
'Shoe Tossing Old Stuff to Murray

    The sport of horseshoe pitching has come a long way since the time a few neighbors got together on a Sunday afternoon to toss a few shoes against pegs pounded into the backyard.
    *Barnyard Golf* or *Pasture Pool* were common names for the game back in those early days, but if the truth could be known there were probably just as many ringers tossed then as there ever are now!
    Gradually groups all over the state got together. Locally, however, back in the 1920s there was the 4800 South Street bunch which was built around the nucleus of Goff Berger, Bruce Walters, Bill Churchs, John Herling and Arch Bradford. They played both winter and summer in the stadium they had built at the back of the Bradford home.
    Darrel Holfeltz, Gar Lester, Lawrence Healy, Bill McCleery and Bruce Walters also began playing about that time. They fnally found permanent courts at Murray, Liberty and Salt Lake Parks. Their equipment, none the less, was a far cry from the up-to-date pitching stalls found at Murray Park today.
    Bruce Walters’ name continually comes up as a champion from those early days of Utah pitching but the records back then are scanty and the first official name is that of Oscar Hunsaker who held the Utah Championship in the early 1930s.
    Oscar doesn't toss the shoes any more but can be found almost daily at Liberty Park watching the newer crop of pitchers.
    George Greener, who played until last year and swears he will again next, was the champion during the late 30s. Then in 1940 Ray Ohms came along and he held the crown for several years.
    Arch Stokes, is of course, always mentioned in horseshoe circles but names are usually soon forgotten and the work the men did taken for granted. So while many Salt Lakers played at Liberty Park courts (The Chapman Courts) for many years they had no club house until Dan Kravat, along with Ray Ohms, drew up the plans and were the driving force behind getting it built.
    Always recalled, too, are the names of Oscar Funk who served as state president; Cherry Bennett, Kaysville; Leighton Edmonsen, Union; Hugh Galpin, Arvil Jennings, Ralph Hall, all of Salt Lake. These men all tossed well enough to qualify for National back in 1955.
    Clive Wahlin has dominated Utah Horseshoe pitching now ever since 1953. He first started playing the game when he followed his father, Walter, around the state where the elder man both played and judged for many years.
    The popularity of horseshoe pitching with the public may go up and down with the years, but with the men and women who toss the shoes, the excitement and interest never wanes.
    From the early pegs pounded into the ground out in the backyard, where the ground had to be sprinkled constantly to keep down the dust, to today's dust-free first-class courts is a long way, but the game remains the same, Clean, intense, competitive.
    It's a great game and Utah can justly be proud and pleased of its share in putting it at the peak it enjoys today.