Pitch in for veterans

Published 6:33 pm Wednesday, October 14, 2009

If you’re looking for a way to have fun and honor veterans at the same time, just try “pitching in.”

A horseshoe tournament is being organized by the Sleepy Hole Horseshoe Club to benefit the Albert G. Horton Memorial Veterans Cemetery. The tournament, scheduled for Nov. 7, is open to the public, and everyone from beginners to old hands will enjoy participating, said Robert Snowden, a member of the club.

“This is our second year of doing the memorial benefit for the veterans,” Snowden said. All the proceeds from the $15 per person entry fee will go toward the Avenue of Flags project at the veterans’ cemetery in Suffolk.

Snowden said the tournament, besides benefiting the veterans, is a good way to get involved in horseshoes, get exercise and meet others interested in horseshoes.

“It’s a lot of exercise,” Snowden said. “You’re walking back and forth and picking shoes up.”

Snowden became involved in organized horseshoes about six years ago, when he was looking for an outdoor activity he could enjoy.

“It’s not a contact sport,” Snowden said. “Like golf and bowling, you can do it right up into your old age.”

The tournament will be held at the Sleepy Hole horseshoe pitching courts in Sleepy Hole Park. Twelve courts surrounded by a fence are accompanied by several benches and picnic tables for spectators.

Last year’s veterans’ tournament raised about $300 for the Avenue of Flags. Snowden hopes to bring in even more money with which to honor the veterans this year.

The first-place winner of the tournament will receive a trophy and free membership in the Sleepy Hole Horseshoe Club, the Virginia Horseshoe Pitching Association and the National Horseshoe Pitching Association for 2010. The second-place winner also will receive the same awards. First-place winners in each bracket will receive a trophy, and second- and third-place winners in each bracket will receive medals.

The tournament will be played in a singles round robin format, and all National Horseshoe Pitching Association rules will apply. The first player to 21 points wins.

The registration deadline for the tournament is 9 a.m. on Nov. 7. The tournament begins at 10 a.m. For more information, contact Snowden at 465-0149, or e-mail horseshoepitching@hotmail.com.