Pitching a complaint: Lima horseshoe group in tiff with fairgrounds

By Merri Hanjora - [email protected]

Horseshoes around the target in the sandbox area.

Horseshoes around the target in the sandbox area.


LIMA — A horseshoe-pitching group is at odds with the Allen County Fair Board.

The fair board recently voted to have the Allen County Horseshoe Pitchers Association removed from the fairgrounds.

Two group members wrote a letter to the editor regarding the decision, which Bob Fricke, general manager of the Allen County Fair, said he was surprised by.

“I spoke personally about it to a member of the association and let him know about it and told him here’s what’s going on, but no decision had been made. After further discussion at the last board meeting, it was cited that it just was not getting used,” Fricke said. “It just basically came down to a decline in use. Apparently it used to be used monthly and so forth, and other than during the fair, that was the only time it was being used. It was a total decline of use.”

Duane Klink, a member of the Allen County Horseshoe Pitchers Association, was not shocked. He said this is something that has been brewing for six or seven years.

“I talked to Bob Fricke, and he said, ‘I think you guys are safe again this year.’ … Then a week later they called and said that the board voted and they wanted to take us out,” Klink said.

Other members were surprised by the decision.

Larry Edmiston, vice president of the Allen County Horseshoe Pitchers Association, explained the horseshoe area is open to the public at the fairgrounds.

“It kind of hurts,” Edmiston said. “We’re trying to keep a good ol’ sport going, and this is kind of a kick in the teeth to us. We do have our own facility — which most people don’t know — on C Street, but it’s an inside building and it’s nice to get outside and throw horseshoes, like Grandpa used to do.”

The group had leagues at the fairgrounds in the past, but that is now held on C Street.

Klink had worked the horseshoe pit at the fairgrounds and saw the decline in interest.

“It is a dying sport. John Austin was out there one year begging kids that walked along the road to come and pitch shoes. They didn’t want to do it,” Klink said. “I tried cornhole, and I couldn’t get that to go either.”

Klink feels that not having the horseshoe pitching at the Allen County Fair is a detriment.

“The Allen County Fair is supposed to be one of the premier fairs where they have everything, but now Allen County Fair doesn’t have one thing that all of the other county fairs have. Because you can go to any county fair, and they’ll always have horseshoes,” Klink said.

Edmiston said the sport is still well-represented in Ohio, explaining the world champion of the horseshoe association, Alan Francis, lives in Defiance.

“Three people from our club went to the world tournament, and their classes won first place. That’s quite an accomplishment,” Edmiston said. “It’s fun, it is. It’s not just a good old boys club, its a good old person’s club. Everybody comes out there and has a good time.”

The only public court left in the county is in Delphos, Klink said.

Horseshoes around the target in the sandbox area.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2017/05/web1_horseshoes-1.jpgHorseshoes around the target in the sandbox area. Submitted

By Merri Hanjora

[email protected]

Reach Merri Hanjora at 567-242-0511

Reach Merri Hanjora at 567-242-0511

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