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Photo by George
World champion Earl Vanderhart is just one of
the many who take part in the action at the
Brampton Horseshoe Club every Tuesday evening at
the Centennial Park facility.
Horseshoe Club more than 100 members strong
Summer is alive in the city of Brampton as the air is
filled with those familiar warm weather sounds. Kids playing,
dogs barking and people bustling the downtown area in search
of a deal can be heard for blocks.
However, it's the sound of "CLANG" that has a few people in
Brampton excited about the season.
The Brampton Men's Horseshoe Club is in full operation and
has been every summer since 1978.
Retired Fire Chief Ken Condie is the BMHC's current
president and oversees a group of more than 100 men.
"The club has been around since the late '70s and is now
the largest in Ontario," Condie says proudly.
Located at Centennial Park on Mary Street, the horseshoe
pits are used every Tuesday at 7 p.m. by the club, who
maintain them regularly through hard work and fundraising
events like 50/50 draws and pop sales, which are a big help to
the group. Selflessly the club donated some of last yearsmoney
to Katrina and tsunami funds. That kind of thoughtfulness is
distinct throughout the BMHC.
"Last year when one of our members passed on," reminisces
Condie, "we dedicated the season to him while his family
opened it up by throwing out the first horseshoes of the year.
You get real close to one another, like a family."
The club originally got together with the goal of exposing
the game to the people of Brampton as a fun, affordable way to
spend a few evenings during the summer. One of the men who
started it all was 85-year-old Elwood Pembleton, who was part
of a group that, previous to 1978, would travel west to play
the men of Georgetown.
"The Brampton crowd got so big we decided to form our own
club right here. The Georgetown fellows told us good luck and
28 years later we're still going."
As big as the club is, they're not finished growing.
Although they are near capacity for their pits, spares come in
very handy during the family oriented summer months. Wayne
Crowe has been a member for eight years and points out that
newcomers keep the club going strong.
"Even our spares are important to us. There are always guys
who are sick one night or away on vacation with their
families. Spots have to be filled so games can be played."
As cooperative as the city has been to the club, more pits
are needed as is a covered sitting area to keep away the
elements. These are issues that the president feels will be
taken care of soon so as to continue a distraction free season
for the organization he loves.
"We're confident about getting a picnic area and even a few
more pits," says Condie. "Anything to help this club grow and
prosper is all we want. We all care about the organization and
the city it represents."
Representing the city is something the club does well.
Seventy-year-old Earl Vanderhart just had a great year as
far as horseshoeing goes.
In the month of July he went to Wyoming for the World
Championships and came first in his division.
Vanderhart then went to Saskatchewan, coming first again at
the Canadian Championships.
Having come in second at the Ontario's in Belleville this
past weekend (August 18,19,20), the 38-year Brampton resident
says it was the best year ever.
"I couldn't have written a better script," Vanderhart
beams. "This has been a great year as far as the winning, but
I also had a chance to meet a lot of wonderful people and get
a ton of great stories."
Vanderhart is very thankful to the City of
Brampton for the pins he was given so as to participate in the
traditional exchanging of pins between competitors at the
For more information on the Brampton Men's Horseshoe Club,
visit their Web site at http://www.horseshoebrampton.ca/