North Dakota Horseshoe        



Page Number

Table of Contents


Executive Summary


Pictures of Dakota Magic Convention Center With Horseshoe Courts


Pictures of Horseshoe Courts With Horseshoe Participants


Pictures of Portable Horseshoe Courts Prior To Use


Pictures of People Assisting With Indoor Tournament Work




The North Dakota Horseshoe Pitchers Association (NDHPA) began their pursuit of portable horseshoe courts after a survey was conducted of their members during the Winter of 2002-2003. The survey was a very positive step in obtaining member involvement in the project as there were many comments about other local indoor horseshoe tournaments being held during the Winter months, including specifically the indoor horseshoe tournaments being held at the Dakota Magic Convention Center (DMCC) near Hankinson, ND hosted by the South Dakota Charter. Based upon the initial comments from various members and the many North Dakota horseshoe clubs and leagues further information was gathered during the Summer months of 2003 to determine the possible scope of the project. One of the thoughts expressed was to contact the National Horseshoe Pitchers Foundation (NHPF) to see what level of support they could give.

Just prior to the NDHPA Fall Meeting of 2003, NDHPA Secretary/Treasurer Bill Trader and Fargo Metro Rec Horseshoe League President Archie Filley completed writing a grant to acquire up to $1,000.00 from the NHPF to pursue the concept of portable horseshoe courts. The grant was underwritten with the notion that if the NDHPA would not pursue the portable horseshoe court concept that the Fargo Metro Rec Center operated in conjunction with the Fargo Park District would pursue the concept of building new portable courts to replace the current courts that they had owned. The writing of an NHPF Grant by a Charter had yet to be successfully acquired as all grants issued by the NHPF to date were generally to NHPA Sanctioned Leagues and local Park Districts.

The NHPF agreed to granting the NDHPA, co-sponsored by the Fargo Metro Rec Horseshoe League $1,000.00 towards the development and purchase of portable horseshoe courts. With the impetus of the NHPF grant the NDHPA during its 2003 Fall Meeting, and after further member input, authorized the NDHPA Executive Board to fully pursue the project of having portable horseshoe courts, along with all of the peripheral activity that needed to be completed to allow the project to be successful. The initial scope of the project was to work in partnership with the South Dakota Charter in the setup, administration, and running of the Indoor Horseshoe Tournaments held at the DMCC near Hankinson, ND.

Spurred on by the NHPF grant, the NDHPA then developed a wooden prototype of an aluminum and metal portable horseshoe court during the Winter of 2003-2004. This prototype was then presented to the NDHPA membership at its State Convention in Jamestown, ND in April of 2004. After much discussion and member involvement, it was determined to move ahead with the construction of twelve sets of portable horseshoe courts that were to be constructed of aluminum and metal with rubber belting used as backstops. Carpeting was placed on the underside of the courts both to protect the surface that the court was going to be placed on and to work as an abrasive as well in keeping the courts in place when in use. The updated estimated cost of the courts was going to run between $300.00 and $400.00 per set.


Given this significant investment it was decided to acquire additional funds in sponsorship of the portable courts from the various North Dakota Sanctioned Horseshoe Leagues within the state. After soliciting additional assistance from NDHPA leagues, clubs and individual members, total additional sponsorship funds and non-cash donations totaling $7,550.00 was acquired. This allowed the project to be fully funded for the construction of the portable courts and some related peripheral items that were needed.

Throughout the Summer of 2004 and into the early Fall all twelve sets of portable horseshoe courts were constructed. After testing various pitching substances it was finally decided that the pitching substance that a majority of people liked was clay. The Bismarck/Mandan Horseshoe League, upon being asked by the NDHPA, continued its generosity by donating the remaining blue clay that it had held in reserve from the 2000 World Horseshoe Tournament that was held in Bismarck, ND. With some previously upgraded materials used in the construction of the courts and using actual clay each court now tips the scales weighing approximately 250 pounds! Upon having the pitching substance donated, the NDHPA was then able to use the remaining sponsorship funds to acquire the remaining 6 high fencing that was needed to conduct indoor horseshoe tournaments utilizing all twelve sets of portable courts. The NDHPA now has some 240 linear feet of fencing that is six feet high. The fencing includes two gates allowing participants two additional areas of entrance and exit.

Operating through a partnership with the South Dakota Charter, the NDHPA then assisted in running three sets of weekend tournaments during the Winter horseshoe pitching season at the DMCC near Hankinson, ND. The tournaments were held during weekends in the months of October of 2004, January of 2005, and March of 2005.

The tournaments were an overwhelming success!! After including additional promotions and working even more closely with the DMCC personnel tournament participation increased, cash payouts increased, DMCC sponsorship increased, and all of the tournaments held in 2005 were sold out and at capacity at 120 participants per weekend!

Perhaps the most positive outcome of the DMCC Tournaments though is the increased participation from all horseshoe pitchers. During this past Winter the Dakota Magic Horseshoe Tournaments saw 105 different horseshoe pitchers attend from a total of 6 different states. Pitchers have traveled from distances of up to 700 miles one way just to pitch horseshoes! With minor improvements and continued sponsorship by the DMCC and the NDHPA the course has been set to hold even better and bigger events in the future.

This continued support of the portable horseshoe court project will allow the NDHPA to further promote the sport of horseshoes potentially at other events such as sportsman shows, horseshoe exhibitions and similar activities. The NDHPA and DMCC personnel have already set the stage for another season of upcoming horseshoe tournaments by agreeing to three weekends of horseshoe tournaments during the Fall and Winter of 2005-2006. We are looking forward to even greater participation and increased exposure for the sport of horseshoes in the future!

Pictures of Dakota Magic Convention Center With Horseshoe Courts
Pictures of Horseshoe Courts With Horseshoe Participants
Pictures of Portable Horseshoe Courts Prior To Use
Pictures of people assisting with indoor tournament work