NHPA World Horseshoe Tournament

NHPA World Horseshoe Tournament

St. George, Utah

July 17, 2017

2017 World Horseshoe Pitching Championship Where Legends are made



NHPA - St George Utah World Horseshoe Tournament


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St. George is proud to announce they will be hosting the 2017 NHPA World Horseshoe Tournament “Where Legends are made and Landscapes are Legendary.” This amazing tournament will feature Horseshoe Legends as well as newbies. Come out and watch this exciting tournament and learn what horseshoes is all about.

This is the 2nd time in 4 years that St.George has hosted the tournament. This is the 15th time the World Tournament has been held in Utah. Utah has hosted it 5 more years that any other state. This is exciting because the tournament travels to a new location each summer.

Set Up

Since the world tournament travels to a new location each summer, that means a lot of work for set up. This year there are 60 horseshoe courts set up in the Dixie Convention Center. These are official courts which are set and checked by the NHPA throughout the entire tournament. It takes about one week to setup for the event. Clay is one of the most important things when it comes to the Horseshoe Tournament, we researched the elements, consistency and “playability” of clays from all across the country and brought samples of the best to the 2015 World Tournament. We asked participants at the 2015 World Tournament to vote on their favorite clay. They chose the Illinois Blue Clay, which had supported our research. 24 Tons of Blue Clay were evacuated, sifted and transported to St George for the tournament.


There are over 1041 Athletes Registers, approximately 3,000 visitors. There are 5 countries which are competing in this years event; USA, Canada, Norway, Germany and South Africa. From the USA there are 47 States which will be competing. Pitchers range from 6 years old to 92 years old.The youngest competitor is Desiree Shumway age 6 from Utah, the oldest Competitor is Neal Hartwig age 92 from Kansas.

There are 8 divisions of pitchers, the participants play in classes based on their ringer percentage. Individual classes play 5 games per day for 3 days.  At the end of class play the top 16 in each division play for the championship. The Championship Tournament held the last three days.

Number of Youth (ages 6-18) 115
Number of Adults (ages 19+) 926

Current Champion

Cadets (12 & younger) – Cale Matlock, Oklahoma, 75.56%
Junior Boys (13-18) – Tyler Howard, Kentucky, 76.33%
Junior Girls (13-18) – Savanna Johnson, Missouri, 52.55%
Women (60+)– Sheila Shepard, Colorado, 70.05%
Men (60+) – Raymond Bedard, Massachusetts, 60.11%
Elders (70+) – David Holms, West Virginia, 80.18%
Mens (19+) – Alan Francis, Ohio, 85.00%
Womens (19+) – Joan Elmore, Tennessee, 75.74%

Official Rules Today

40′ distance for men & sr. men
30′ distance for junior, women and elders 70+ years
20′ for cadets
Stake is 14″ high
Pitch 40 shoes
Ringer 3 points
Closest shoe 1 point
Ringers cancel each other (4 dead)


Horseshoes is a modification of the Olympian Discus throw. It started with the Grecian Armies – could not afford a discus so they began pitching discarded horseshoes. In 1869 England set up rules to govern the game. In 1910 the First “World” tournament in Bronson, Kansas (34 participants). NHPA currently has 10,000 members. 15-million horseshoe enthusiasts in North America. After World War II the World Tournament was rescued from extinction when Arch Stokes built courses in Murray, Utah – the World Tournament was held in Murray Utah for 13 years.

Typical World Tournament Fun Facts

15 games
600 horseshoes
1500 pounds of steel
Walk 4-5 miles
Bend 300-400 times
More walking than golf
More bending than tennis doubles