Vt. horseshoe league celebrates 40 years - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vt. horseshoe league celebrates 40 years

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It's a sound that fills the air once a week during the summer months right off Exit 2 on Interstate 89-- horseshoes clinking off stakes in Sharon. Roland Potter helped get it started many decades ago.

"Knew we had this lot here after the interstate went through and they filled it all in with ledge and they put a little dirt on the top, so I went to see Harold Donahue who owned it," Potter said.

Donahue agreed to let a couple guys put in some pits and the Sharon Horseshoe League was born. Craig Chapman was a founding member.

Reporter Adam Sullivan: Did you ever think that this league would be going so strong 40 years later?

Craig Chapman: Never thought about it much back then, you know. Just came down here every week and had a good time.

Bob Dean was one of them and a past league president, throwing shoes here since 1976.

"Only because I guess we are all buddies and friends and we all work together," Dean said.

The end of every summer, families comes together for a feast and to honor the top players.

"Just a celebration for everyone being together for the entire summer and playing shoes," Potter said.

There are now 10 perfectly manicured pits which were redone in 2012. Pictures on display and former members honored on plaques. It's considered sacred property in these parts, which the town now owns.

"Back in the old days it was people getting off the farm and coming down here to have a good time and it was just carried on. For everybody to come down and carry on the tradition," Potter said.

Forty players make up the league, and yes, there is a waiting list. But in between games, the next generation of players hone their skills.

Adam Sullivan: You have little kids playing, you have old-timers playing. It seems like it is pretty much a game for everyone?

Craig Chapman: It is. Horseshoes is a game for everyone.

Dustin Potter is the current league president and a third-generation thrower.

"I have youngsters, too, 6 and 3, and one day I'm sure one of them will be playing here," he said.

Adam Sullivan: You expect 40 more I take it?

Roland Potter: We hope so, we hope so.

And by the looks of things, that target seems pretty hard to miss.

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