Jim Harris has been active in organized horseshoe pitching for 31 years starting in 1977. He has pitched in more than 500 tournaments averaging about 16 per year. He pitched in 15 World Tournaments located throughout the U.S and Canada and won the Alabama State Elders Championship in 2004 and 2006. He also won the B Class Championship in 1983 and finished 2nd in 1988. 2nd in the Championship Class in 1985, 1986, 1995 and 2000. Jim also won his Class in the World Tournament in 1985 in Lafayette IN, and in 1999 in Greenville OH. He has been the Secretary-Treasurer of the Alabama Association for 24 years.
Grips for Throwing Horseshoes
Jim Harris of the Alabama Horseshoe Pitchers Association demonstrates different grip styles for throwing horseshoes.
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Jim Harris: My name is Jim Harris, Secretary-Treasurer of the Alabama Horseshoe Pitchers Association. I am teaching you how to pitch horseshoes and now I want to teach you how to handle the horseshoe. I mentioned earlier that the path of horseshoe is very important. When I selected a horseshoe, I did that with the Ohio "Pro" because that is the top of horseshoes that fits in my hand and is comfortable. I want to tell next about the way to hold a shoe and the top of turn that is used by most horseshoe pitchers. One of the most common type and one of the best type is the one and a quarter turn, in that particular case, you hold a shoe on the left side of the shoe and then when you get ready to deliver the shoe, the open part of the shoe will be facing to the left. So the idea is to deliver the horseshoe, so that in like one complete turn and a quarter of a turn and open up and go on the stake. That is the one and one quarter turn. Another turn that it is pretty special with the people, most people like it is the one and three quarter turn. You hold the shoe on the opposite side on the right side of the shoe and you face the shoe so that it has an opening to the right. You deliver the horseshoe so that in might say, one complete turn and then three quarters of a turn and then we will open up as it approaches the stake, go on the stake .
Another top of turn that it's a lot of new people use is the three quarter turn. Once again, you hold a shoe on the right side of the shoe and the open end is little bit to the right. You deliver the shoe and it will turn three quarters of a turn. Another one that is pretty special with the a lot of new people, the ladies pitch it, the junior boys pitch it and the elder men pitch it. The most of people who pitch it 30 fleet use the Flip Shoe. They hold it in the back, on the back of the shoe so that it's balanced in their hand and they deliver the shoe towards the stake and it makes one complete turn and it opens up and goes on the stake. It's important that when you pitch a horseshoe, you pitch the shoe with the caulk down instead of up. When it will be caulk down instead of up and the reason for this it's like whenever the horseshoe hits, It will not fly, it will hit and it will be stationary and stop where it's hitting in, where it's at. One other turn that I would like to mention is the three quarter reverse. Not many people pitch this type of turn because it's pretty awkward and it's hard to pitch. Normally when a right-handed pitcher delivers the shoe it will rotate to the right and open up to the stake, but the world champion now pitches the three quarter reverse. When he delivers the shoe, he is right-handed, but when he delivers the shoe it will turn to the left and turn three quarters of a turn and they go on the stake and since he is the best one of shoe pitcher in the world, I can't say that this is a bad turn. That is the correct way to handle horseshoes. Now we are going to watch a demonstration on the proper way to pitch horseshoes.