The Madera Big Valley Horseshoe League completed 18 years of organized horseshoe pitching at the Rotary Park horseshoe pitching complex on Nov. 14.
Approximately 200 players and families celebrated the end of the season during an awards banquet held at the Madera Municipal Golf Course on Wednesday night.
The horseshoe league was formed in 2000 to encourage amateur participation in the sport of horseshoe pitching. In cooperation with the Madera Parks and Community Services the league holds two 15-week spring and fall playing seasons.
According to league president Harlen A. Rippetoe, the league has expanded from its original six teams to 12 teams, with pitchers participating from nine (9) adjacent communities.
The league is composed of 12 teams that participate in both an A and B division. Currently more than 100 players makeup the rosters of the two divisions. The league is co-ed and has more than 10 women on the roster.
Rippetoe, the league founder, said the league is one of the largest horseshoe pitching leagues in the state of California. He said the sport of horseshoe pitching goes back to the Roman Army who invented the game to past time during their long military campaigns. According to Rippetoe, horseshoe pitching is associated with picnics and family gatherings and is an excellent pastime to improve on coordination skills.
The horseshoe league provides free maintenance to all horseshoe courts in Madera County and will provide instruction and horseshoes to any group or family who plan a group tournament.
The horseshoe league will began the 2019 season on Wednesday, March 6. It is open to all horseshoe pitchers. If anyone is interested in participating please contact the Madera Parks and Recreation Department or League President Harlen Rippetoe at 871-9504.