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1961 World Tournament
Muncie, Ind. - July 18-26, 1961

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:

1961 World Tournament

The 1960's ushered in the era of parity among the superstars. So many were in this glittering field that even without the defending World Champion the aura of the 1961 event would not be diminished! Muncie once again was the fortunate host of the meet. Southwestern Ohio had grown even stronger as the most talented District in the world.

Area veterans were Reno, Focht, and Manker. New rookies from that district were Howard Bryant, William Sollars, and Wilbur Kabel. "Tic" Bryant is still the best Washington Court House has produced. The kind and generous Bill Sollars was embarking on a thrilling experience that he'll always remember. Wilbur Kabel, just starting his tremendous career, would eventually find himself in the Top 20 of all time. Wilbur would also become a member of the N.H.P.A. Hall of Fame.

Clarence Bellman and Karl Van Sant began their journeys to the Top 100 list. Steve Fenicchia and Jack Stout, two fine personalities, were tough rookies. Other newcomers were young Rod Hatton, Leland Wiges and Hugh Tooley. Herb Pinch was also a popular rookie who made the field. Herb has been, and still is, a permanent, helpful fixture at the World. No job is too big or small for Herb. Herb also handles the N.H.P.A.'s games related business for the entire eastern half of the United States.

The early front runners at 7-0 were Brumfield, Toole, Hohl, Allen, and Reno. Following at 6-1 were Vogel, Focht, Day, and Maddox. In the opening game, Toole (91.6 percent) welcomed Bryant to the big show, 51-7. In the second game, Day broke in fellow Hoosier VanSant, 51-9 by hurling 92.0 percent, the opening session's best. Vogel was surprised by Carlberg, 50-36. Focht was nipped by Martin, 50-46. Day fell to West, 50-40. In a tremendous upset, Maddox was bushwhacked by Sollars, 50-47.

When 14 games were completed, Allen and Reno were all who maintained clean slates. Reno held off Earl Wiges, 51-43. Harold (92.9 percent) buried Tooley, 52-2. Allen (90.9 percent) was extended to 110 shoes by rookie Kabel in a 52-22 win. At 13-1 was Toole. Floyd fell easily to Kabel, 53-28. Toole barely escaped Bellman, 52-48. Bunched at 12-2 were Focht, Day, Hohl, and Maddox. Focht was jolted by Dixon, 50-30. Day lost a thriller to Hohl, 50-48 in 116 shoes. In a major upset, Hohl fell to Pinch, 50-46. Elmer next lost to Maddox, 51-34. Maddox was handled by Focht, 55-35 in 126 shoes. Next with 11-3 records were West and Brumfield. West was edged by Fenicchia, 54-48. Gene lost three straight to Pinch, 55-33; Maddox, 55-40; and Day, 50-31.

After 21 games Reno and Allen remained even at 21-0. Deadlocked at 19-2 were Focht, Toole, and Hohl. Next came Maddox at 18-3. Floyd Fowler (91.4 percent) smashed Sollars, 51-6. Hohl (90.2 percent) warmed up Winston, 51-6. Focht (90.5 percent) stomped Van Sant, 526. West (90.0 percent) crushed Vogel, 52-6. The very next game Bob got a taste of his own medicine. Brumfield (93.5 percent) humbled West, 52-9. The day's feature match pitted Allen against Maddox. In one of the greatest matches of all time, which lasted 166 shoes, Maddox had 145 ringers for 87.0 percent but Allen had 147 ringers for 88.6 percent in the hard earned 51-43 win.

After 28 games only four men had a realistic chance at the title. Allen and Reno stayed perfect at 28-0 Hohl was 26-2 and Maddox was 25-3. Some excellent performances were turned in this set. Day (91.0 percent) warmed up fellow Hoosier Horner, 51-9. Day (91.9 percent) thumped Carlberg, 52-6. The contenders did not have an easy day. Hohl survived Brumfield, 54-42 and then Fowler, 51-35 in a match of 114 shoes. Maddox (91. 7 percent) bounced Martin, 52-14 for his easiest victory. In his hardest, Ralph held off Rogers, 52-41 in 106 shoes. Allen squeaked by both Dugle and Stout, 50-43. Ted (86.0 percent) was then forced to go 136 shoes, beating McFatridge 52-29. Reno got by Brumfield, 52-46 in 116 shoes. Harold (92.8 percent) stormed by Dixon, 52-9. Next game Reno (90.7 percent) was prolonged 140 shoes to down Fowler, 50-19.

The final day the top three were scheduled to meet. There would also be a match between Reno and Maddox. In game 29 Reno trounced Hohl, 52-20. In game 30 Allen got by Brumfield, 50-39 in 112 shoes. In noncrucial matches, Bellman pounded McFatridge, 52-5 and Day's 93.8 percent bombed Dixon, 51-6. In game 31 Toole ran roughshod over Hohl, 50-23. Maddox survived Pinch, 53-45. The tough Floyd Fowler finally got himself a bear! He convincingly whipped Allen, 52-25, ruining Ted's perfect record. In game 32 Reno personally eliminated Maddox, 50-32 in 104 shoes. Hohl, although now eliminated, thumped Allen, 50-33, critically hampering Ted's chances. In game 33 Hohl, in a colossal upset, was felled by Hatton, 52-39. Maddox was downed by Day, 51-32 in 112 shoes. Allen eased by Focht, 50-45 in 128 shoes to stay alive. Reno clinched a tie with a 52-30 win over Toole. In game 34, Harold Reno became new World Champion with a 52-34 victory over Day. In an academic game, Allen was smothered by Toole, 51-20. In the day's hottest games, Brumfield (91.6 percent) massacred Manker, 50-1.

In the final game, Allen added Reno to the long list of champions who missed an undefeated year in the final day. Ted stopped Harold's 38 game winning streak, 50-35 . Harold Reno, the polite, quiet farmer of Sabina, had ended the 28 year old California connection. Harold Reno, one of Ohio's favorite pitchers, had proven himself worthy to be declared Horseshoe Pitching Champion of the World!


1961 World Tournament Muncie, Ind. - July 18-26, 1961
QualW.L.R.Sp.Pet.
1. Harold RenoSabina, Ohio549341 2194 2618 83.8
2. Ted AllenBoulder, Colo.537323 2478 3006 82.4
3. Ralph MaddoxPoca, West Virginia525 305 2439 3016 80.9
4. Elmer HohlOntario, Canada523305 2168 2688 80.7
5. Curtis DayFrankfort, Ind.536 287 2274 2736 83.1
6. Floyd ToolePine Bluff, Ark.530 287 2168 2648 81.9
7. Paul FochtDayton, Ohio525287 2258 2812 80.3
8. Bob WestMcMinnville, Ore.494287 2177 2752 79.1
9. Gene BrumfieldMarkleville, Ind.509269 2091 2600 80.4
10. Roger VogelManito, Ill.502 33 12 1802 2492 72.3
11. Graydon McFatridge Rushville, Ind.500 22 13 2116 2786 76.0
12. Floyd FowlerGreencastle, Ind.521 20 15 2236 2958 75.6
13. Wilbur KabelNew Madison, Ohio5232015 2133 2840 75.1
14. Clarence BellmanEtna Green, Ind.5092015 2026 2768 73.2
15. Herb PinchSharon, Pa.5241916 2035 279872.7
16. Ray MartinPhilo, Ill.490 18 17 1902 2614 72.8
17. Jim JohnsonCovington, Ky.5021817 1854 2650 70.0
18. Dale DixonDes Moines, Iowa5211718 1752 2496 70.2
19. Marvin CraigParker, Ind.479 16 19 1890 2770 68.2
20. Art DugleChicago, Ill.496 15 20 1977 2806 70.5
21. Walt HornerFarmersburg, Ind.4941520 1856 2652 70.0
22. Rod HattonIndianapolis, Ind.4721421 1918 2748 69.8
26. Leland WigesExira, Iowa474 12 23 1720 2550 67.5
27. Ron CherrierHopkins, Minn.49812 23 1698 2542 66.8
28. Earl WinstonLamonte, Mo.4871124 1983 2798 70.9
29. Steve FenicchiaRochester, N.Y.4721124 1694 2510 67.4
30. Jack StoutMelrose Park, Ill.4971124 1789 2614 68.4
31. Irwin CarlbergGrand Rapids, Mich.4969 26 1614 2446 66.0
32. Stan MankerMartinsville, Ohio474926 1635 2498 65.5
33. Howard BryantWash. Ct. House, Ohio473728 1537 2328 66.0
34. Karl Van SantCayuga, Ind.4745 30 1471 2316 63.5
35. Hugh TooleyValley City, Ill.4843 32 1419 2356 60.2
36. Harold McFatridgeArlington, Iowa4720 35 1061 1968 63.9