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1941 World Tournament
Des Moines, Iowa - Aug. 22-24, 1941

Permission granted by author, Gary T. Kline of
"The Official N.H.P.A. History of the World Tournament 1909-1980", Reflection Press, Dayton, Ohio
Gary T. Kline's book on past world tournament (before 1980) is recommended reading for any horseshoe pitching enthusiast. With his kind permission, we bring excerpts from his fabulous collection of data, to wit:

1941 World Tournament

The year 1941 did not have the electricity of anticipation of other years. Everyone seemed to know that only Allen, Isais, or Jones could walk away the victor. Guy Zimmerman, the pacesetter of the year before, did not participate and the big four now was the big three.

The round robin schedule was set up poorly, allowing the main contenders to play much too early in the tournament. This deprived the spectators of a rousing finish. Not even one new record was established, probably because of the Ford axles used for stakes. In qualifying, only three men topped 80 percent. Only two topped this figure in tournament average. Only 19 games were over 85 percent. Of these, Isais had eight, Jones four, Allen two, Kraft two, Harris, Hosier and Paxton all with one each. There were five games 90 percent or over: Allen three, Isais and Jones with one each.

There were only 11 veterans in the field and they took 10 of the top 12 places. Only two of the rookies averaged over 70 percent, as only seven in the entire field were able to do.

Rookie Earl Bomke managed to upset Jones, 50-42, while finishing eighth. Alvin Dahlene put on an excellent performance, losing only five games. Other than his losses to the big three, Alvin went down only to Kraft and Paxton for a fine fifth place finish. Harris made it to the forties in three of his four losses.

There were 41 games where the loser failed to score 10 points. Eleven of these were owned by veteran Howard Robinson. After winning two of his first three games, Howard never won again. In his last five games Howard was beaten by Kraft, 50-0 (pitching only 9.0 percent in 22 shoes); Jones, 50-6; Harris, 50-1; Allen, 50-2; and Barton, 500, capping off a horrible sequence. The two shutouts in one day equalled T. C. Reed's accomplishment of 1926. Barton himself was shutout by Allen who was merciless throughout the tournament. Less than 10 points were scored on Allen by nine pitchers, on Jones by eight, on Isais by five, and on Harris by five.

The big matches occurred in rounds two, seven, and 19. Round two had Casey Jones beating Ted Allen, 50-41. Round seven found Isais topping Jones, 50-41 with Fernando tossing 83.9 percent to Casey's 81.2 percent. Round 19 was the pivotal game of the whole tournament. Isais 18-0, his opponent Allen was 17-1 and Jones was 17-1. This thriller went 148 shoes with Isais hitting 130 ringers for 87.8 percent to Allen's 129 ringers for 87.1 percent. Isais won, 50-46, and for all intent and purposes eliminated Allen.

In round 21, Jones faltered with Bomke. In round 22, Isais locked up his first World Championship by pummeling Butterfield, 50-13. Isais became the seventh man to win undefeated in World Tournament his tory. C. C. Davis had accomplished this twice. Ted Allen in a show of sportsmanship removed his Jersey which read World Champion and offered it to Fernando. Ted, in a later letter to Horseshoe World stated that if not for a few bad breaks he would still be World Champion and offered to play Isais for $1,000. History does not record any such match taking place.

Dale Dixon did a fine job of promoting this World Tournament. The story was carried by Associated Press, International News Service, and three radio stations.


1941 World Tournament Des Moines, Iowa - Aug. 22-24, 1941
Qual. W.L.R.Sp. Pet.
1. Fernando Isais Los Angeles, Cal. 521 230 1265 1526 82.9
2. Ted Allen Boulder, Colorado D.C. 212 1262 1550 81.4
3. "Casey" Jones Waukesha, Wis. 520 203 1215 1522 79.8
4. Sidney Harris Minden, Nebraska 495 194 1129 1514 74.6
5. Alvin Dahlene Lawrence, Kansas 488 185 1104 1530 72.2
6. Ervin Hosier South Gate, Cal. 519 176 1171 1570 74.6
7. Roland Kraft LeCompton, Kansas 477 176 1013 1460 69.4
8. Earl Bomke Springfield, Ill. 496 167 1177 1592 73.9
9. Dale Dixon Des Moines, Iowa 468 149 1019 1492 68.3
10. Clayton Henson Arlington, Va. 470 149 1119 1662 67.3
11. Eddie Packham Des Moines, Iowa 486 149 1052 1576 66.8
12. John Paxton Fairfield, Iowa 470 13 10 1119 1638 68.3
13. Theodore Harlan Des Moines, Iowa 442 12 11919 1462 62.9
14. Wellington Taylor Grand River, Iowa 460 10 13 950 1476 64.4
15. Clarence Barton Des Moines, Iowa 4139 14665 1254 53.0
16. J. Robert Tomkin Des Moines, Iowa 4317 16913 1572 58.1
17. Russell Sheets Davenport, Iowa 4376 17861 1488 57.9
18. Floyd SaffellDes Moines, Iowa3936 17 804 1396 57.6
19. Archie GregsonMonterey Park, Cal.4525 18 802 1436 55.8
20. Russell ButterfieldDes Moines, Iowa4815 18 671 1276 52.6
21. Harold DarnoldBurlington, Iowa4184 19835 1456 57.3
22. David CarterOllie, Iowa4202 21572 1232 46.4
23. Harvey Kohlenberger Baldwin, Ill.3582 21 516 1218 42.4
24. Howard RobinsonNebraska City, Neb.4492 21420 1058 39.