HORSESHOES: Locals sending 8 to World tourney

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Eight members of the Nelson County Horseshoe Pitchers Association will be among the more than 1,200 entrants competing to be at the Rocky Top of their division at the World Horseshoe Pitching Championships in Knoxville next month.

The Knoxville Convention Center hosts the event July 30 – Aug. 11.

This two-week event is held once each summer to crown a world champion horseshoe pitcher in each of eight divisions – Open Men, Open Women, Senior Men, Senior Women, Elder (short-distance) Men, Junior Boys, Junior Girls and Junior Cadets (9-years old and under).

Among local entrants, Alex Humes is in the Junior Boys draw, boasting a 60.66 ringer rate. Keeping it in the family, his father, Bill Humes is in the Men’s G-1 division with a 35.1 percentage.

Buddy Lampkin (23.82) is in the Men’s L-1 division, while daughter Courtney Lampkin is in the Junior Girls draw, sporting a 33 percent ringer rate.

Nonagenarian Ted Sauer is looking for the title in the Elder A-1 draw, carrying a 70.46 average, while septuagenarian Fred Nalley cranks ‘em out at a 50.3 percent clip. He’ll be vying for the Elder E-1 crown.

Alton Stone (42.05) is looking for the Men’s D-2 title, while Laurie Ritchie (47.62) I after the Women’s D championship.

Brian Simmons, current men’s world champion, will be defending his title against 16-time world champion, Alan Francis of Defiance, Ohio, who is listed in the 2011 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records for most world championships in horseshoe pitching.

Simmons, who will be seeking his fourth title, boasts an entry average of 85.35 percent ringers, while Francis comes in at 89.01.

Competition will begin by 7 a.m. each morning through the first week, starting Monday, July 30, with a break for NHPA convention and Hall of Fame banquet on Sunday, then will resume at 7 a.m. Monday, Aug. 6. Championship finals for Men, Women and Elder divisions will be the final three days — Aug. 9-11. 

Junior and Cadet Champions will be determined Saturday, Aug 4, with competition beginning at 7:00 p.m.  Titles and scholarships will be awarded in Junior Boys, Junior Girls and Cadet Divisions.

As a warmup for the World tournament, the Nelson County Fairgrounds will play host to the Bardstown Open July 14.