Dead ringer: Horseshoe pitching state tournament in Yukon
By Chelsea Washington
Mastering the art of horseshoe pitching is a lot more challenging than you make think.It takes precision, coordination, and strength.And in Yukon over the weekend horseshoe tossing professionals competed for their chance to win the state title and had some fun during the process.Tina Hawkins may be tiny but she's got one heck of an arm and it's been a good weekend for her."I won my tenth title and by doing that I tied the record of most women's championships in Oklahoma horseshoe pitching," said Hawkins.She also explained the scoring system.Horseshoe professionals compete to see who gets the highest number of 40 shoes thrown and then go on to the championship level to see who can score 40 points first.Close to the ringer or stake is one point and when the shoe lands on the ringer that equals three points.It's simple of enough that anyone can do it but it's not so simple that anyone can do it perfection," said Hawkins.And you don't have to be an adult to achieve perfection.We met a 9-year-old whose also a state champion and placed 3rd in the world competition."It's awesome because my brother has won the state for two years and it's exciting to beat him," Cale Matlock.He walked away with a trophy and a scholarship he can put towards his studies.In a world where video games and social media have taken over it's refreshing to see young people excited about the activity like Logan Ross who shared these tips."Watching the top of the stake and getting your foot down because if you don't you are all going to go all over place," said Ross.Yukon has not hosted the state tournament since 2003 but the brand new Horseshoe Complex at the City Park adds to the overall experience says Burl Cox the president of Oklahoma Horse Pitchers Association."You don't see any fist fights or anything like that going on out here we have a good time we enjoy it," said Cox.All of the top winners walked with a trophy and a small cash payout.And next year's tournament will be in Woodward.
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