WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — It’s a first for Texas, and for Wichita Falls, hosting this year’s National Horseshoe Pitchers Association World Championships at the MPEC.
“Today we had our opening ceremony where we had your mayor he actually came out and pitched a shoe and almost made a ringer so I was very impressed with your mayor what a great man he is,” Canada resident Mike Holley said.
Players from all over the country and even as far as Canada, Germany, and Norway were in attendance for the ceremony.
Inge Byrkejeland is from Norway and said this is his 17th year participating.
“I phoned the American embassy and told them there should be an association or something over there and asked them for information and he gave me a telephone number for secretary-treasurer and he was happy to hear from me and he sent me more information and I entered in 1991”, Byrkjeland said.
Mike Holley from Canada has been playing in the tournament since 2002 and says the community support has been great.
Everybody I run into has been very helpful. They are all about making sure that we are having a good time,” Holley said. “We will be here a couple of days then we will head back to Canada.”
For the next two weeks, players will compete in all categories from cadet to elderly.
“Every three days we are gonna have a new wave of people come through and they will pitch their fifteen games and they are gonna get their cash and prizes and leave,” Sipma said. “We have a total count of a hundred and seventy-one pitchers over the next two weeks and giving out cash and prizes of $136,000.”
NHPA President Stuart Sipma said he enjoys hosting these events cause of the family atmosphere.
After the tournament wraps up it will make its way to Monroe, Louisiana.