2016 Canadian Championship Report

Unforgettable Victoria !

Banner_panoramaThe 2016 Canadian Horseshoe Pitching Championships were held from August 16-20 at the wonderful Victoria horseshoe club located at Glanford Park in Saanich, B.C. The club was hosting the event for the 6th time, the first was in 1982, while the last four were hosted every 6 years.  There were a total of 162 entries from 7 provinces, from coast to coast. They were represented as follows:  B.C. (108), Saskatchewan (18), Alberta (17), Quebec (9), Ontario (6), New Brunswick (2), Nova Scotia (2).

It all began with a meet & greet, accompanied by the music of the rock’n roll band Ruckus, held prior to Horseshoe Canada’s Annual General Meeting on Tuesday August 16th. The competition was launched the next day with the opening ceremonies where Lieutenant-Governor Judith Guichon and Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell threw the first shoes.

The following champions were crowned in 7 divisions:

  • Men’s – Colin Finnie, Kenaston, SK (67.68%)
  • Women’s – Sylvianne Moisan, L’Epiphanie, QC (76.11%)
  • Elders – Rick Britz, Parksville, BC (59.43%)
  • Jr Boys – Cedryk Weightman, Lachute, QC (58.44%)
  • Jr Girls – Nicole Dabney, Port Alberni, BC (41.23%)
  • PeeWee – Anthony Rondow, Nanaimo, BC (21.94%)
  • Senior Men’s – Stan Leis, Waterloo, ON (48.75%)

In the Juniors, Cedryk Weightman retained his title, becoming the first Quebecer to win two titles in that division. Cedryk again remained undefeated and maintained an average of 58.44%. Nicole Dabney was crowned Junior Girls champion, while Dalton Moffat was declared juniors B champion. There was an impressive group of PeeWees placed in two classes. Anthony Rondow also went undefeated to win the Championship with an average of 21.94%. Sierra Hitchin won the B group.

In the Women’s division, Sylvianne Moisan also retained her laurels acquired last year to capture her 18th Canadian title in that division. She recorded the high average of all the participants (76.11) and the highest game (90.5%). This strong group was very well matched. It included young Lindsay Hodgins who averaged 70.5% overall to finish runner-up. She had the lead with 5-0 after the first day, defeating Sylvianne. Her last two defeats against Sylvianne were despite games of 77.5% (80 shoes) and 74.3% (70 shoes). Jane Cordingley, who took 6th place at the recent World Tournament, completed the podium, followed by Lyne Pineault who maintained an average of 64.04%. The 4 tough competitors played a quintuple round-robin.

In the Men’s division, Andre Leclerc came close to retain his title. He lost a playoff 39-41 against Colin Finnie. The game lasted 74 shoes with respective averages of 67.6 and 64.9. Colin Finnie thus wins his 11th Men’s title. His only loss was during the first of the two round-robins against Andre by the score of 38-40 in 76 shoes, both players recording 71%. Andre achieved the high game of the group with 85.7% against Kevin Cuthbert who finished 4th, behind BCHA President Tom Moffat.

Rick Britz is the new Elders champion, edging Steve Moody and Jerry Melissa. The well-matched group was made up entirely of players from B.C. and Alberta.

Participants experienced an unforgettable stay in what should be called the most beautiful horseshoe club in the country. We saw no cloud for 7 days and the banquet was even held outdoors among the courts (a first). Note that on that occasion Dale Squires from Saskatchewan was inducted into the Horseshoe Canada Hall of Fame (see article about Dale). Dale could not make it on time to play in the Men’s Championship as he was hospitalized a few days before the tournament. Fortunately he was able to be in Victoria to watch the action and receive his well deserved recognition.

Respect for the First Nations:
Canadians2016It is known that the Province of British Columbia is very respectful of its Native communities. The 2016 Canadians logo was created by Andy Everson, a local Vancouver Island artist from the K’ómoks Nation (Comox). He generously donated the image to the Victoria Horseshoe Club. Here is the symbolic:

The Canadian Championships unifies horseshoe pitchers from coast to coast. This design symbolizes that unity.

The eagle on each side, stand in witness of the participants as they do their part to represent their region.

The maple leaf in the centre represents the heart that they put into their efforts.

May your horseshoes soar like an eagle and ring true on their mark!

The opening ceremonies were marked by a moving performance by the dance troupe “Le La La Dancers” led by George Taylor who, along with his wife Melanie are members of the Victoria Horseshoe Club. They travel worldwide to promote the culture of the Kwakwaka’wakw (meaning “people who speak Kwak’wala”), a nation from Northern Vancouver Island. One of the most important dances presented at the Victoria club was the “Holikla Klasla” in reference to “living together in unity, peace and harmony.” Together we are one, and eagle down falling on the ground symbolically bring peace on Earth. (See this video tutorial where the dance is incidentally performed by Andy Everson under George Taylor songs). Roses made the traditional way with yellow cedar, by members of this nation, were given to each winner at the Canadian Championships’ awards banquet.

Participants enjoyed a friendly atmosphere where, beyond the beauty of the landscape, the club and the weather, its the people’s hospitality, generosity, warmth and friendship that marked their stay. The slogan of one of the sponsors was: “You’ll feel like family”. It is confirmed!

Thank you Victoria!

 

Useful links:

Note: The next championships will be held in Guelph for 2017, and then Whitewood, Saskatchewan for 2018. Thanks to Horseshoe Canada, the participants, our hosts, their sponsors and volunteers for another great event!

A few pictures…

Champions

Champions

All winners

All winners

 

 

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