The Strathmore and District Agricultural Society (SDAS) is proud to have officially unveiled and opened their new horseshoe pits for public use.
SDAS president and CEO Ryan Schmidt said the occasion was exciting both for the SDAS as well as the town, as the pits have been highly anticipated amongst residents.
“I think it’s an exciting example of a citizen, Wes Walker, really being present and persistent and making something happen for the community. There is a lot to celebrate,” said Schmidt.
The development of the horseshoe pits was announced this past May. Details of the announcement were printed in the May 11 edition of The Strathmore Times.
Both Walker and other Horseshoe Pitchers Association members were persistent and enthusiastic in seeing the adequate facilities developed locally in order to play, practice and eventually compete.
“Horseshoe Pitchers Association members are going to come out and hold league play here and have official practices. We envision working with the schools to have them come out and enjoy the horseshoe pits for activities,” said Schmidt. “We also envision there being senior’s nights and youth nights, plus anybody in the community can book the horseshoe pits to come and play just by calling the Ag office.”
Strathmore’s new horseshoe pits are measured and built to official tournament regulation size and distance. Schmidt noted in communication with the Horseshoe Pitchers Association, they took development very seriously in order to potentially attract future tournaments.
The pits are located adjacent to the Ag Society baseball diamonds and are close to the existing washroom facilities and concessions.
Schmidt said the team at the SDAS try to stay true to their agricultural mission, however, there are occasionally ideas pitched to them for development, such as the horseshoe pits, that are worthwhile to explore that may be outside of their regular programming.
Prior to the development of the pits, Schmidt challenged Walker to get a minimum of 20 people signed up for an association prior to the SDAS AGM so that community interest could be gauged.
Schmidt said, jokingly, that he surrendered to Walker’s determination once returned to the Ag Society within weeks of the challenge having collected a stack of signatories more than sufficient to warrant consideration for development.
The pits were developed using a $20,000 grant that was awarded to the Ag Society by the New Horizons for Seniors program, to which Schmidt made note to thank the federal government for, during the opening presentation at the unveiling.
Though the season for pitching is nearing its end and winter is approaching, Schmidt expects the pits will see popular use once the snow melts in the new year.
John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times