WENTZVILLE, Mo. – This weekend in Wentzville, check out the state championships for the Missouri Horse Pitching Association. 

The green building that you first see when you enter Quail Ridge Park is the National Horseshoe Pitchers Association (NHPA) Hall of Fame and Museum, which is owned by the National Horseshoe Pitchers Foundation (NHPF) and can and operated by the Quail Ridge Horseshoe club. 

Friday is the State Doubles Championship. Later this weekend will be State Single Championship.

In singles play, the players move from stake to stake after each throw. In doubles, one partner is stationed at each stake and makes all throws from there.

(FROM LEFT) Norman Peirce, Director, and Gary Buehler, President of NHPA, as their website states.

Something out of the ordinary that residents might not know about Wentzville. It is home to the NHPA Hall of Fame and Museum.

While participants are at the state championships, they can stop by and learn about past players. 

Gary Buehler, President of the NHPA said that the original was not what it is today. 

“This is the collection they had before the museum,” Buehler said. He showed two square pinboards of photos. “It was pretty small then.”

The original NHPA Hall of Fame

Now, the new Hall of Fame covers the back wall and extends to the wall on the left of the museum. 

“When they first started the inductions, it was 1966. Putting people into the Hall of Fame, it’s been going on ever since,” said Buehler. 

When visitors first enter the museum, they might first notice the cut-out of Ted Allen, in mid-throw. 

But upon further inspection visitors can find a miniature replica of the building, presidential memorabilia, and lots of horseshoe pitcher stats of who have run in the past. 

Norm Pierce, director on the board, showed a display case of some famous photos. 

“Missouri’s own Harry Truman is a harsh shoe pitcher. Oh, and this is Bush 41,” said Pierce. 

Norm Pierce, director on the board, said that he joined after just walking around Quail Ridge Park. 

“I came in here, my wife and I came in here to see what it was like. We were here and a gentleman by the name of Rich Altis, was in here,” Pierce said.

Altis invited Pierce to throw some horseshoes with him. After some convincing from Altis, Pierce joined the club in the end. “So I joined and here I am today, this was in 2010,” Pierce said.

A name Buehler pointed out in the Hall of Fame was Alan Francis, a Missouri native.

“Francis is young. He’s only in his forties,” Buehler said. Francis began competing when he was nine. Before he turned 18, he won a record four Junior Boys World Championships. “Oh, he’s done a 24-time world champion originally from Missouri. Don’t forget that it’s important.”

The first of which he won at the age of 12 in 1982. He competed in his first world championship in 1978, held in Des Moines. He is the youngest world champion in history.

Other things visitors can learn about in the museum are the different types of horseshoes and the different styles of pitching. 

“On the wall over there. You’ll see the different styles, horseshoes,” said Pierce said. “There are so many different horror shoes. I didn’t know this until I came in here.”  

Pierce showed off two wall-length boards one of them was horseshoes with their names underneath, explaining the different styles. 

Along with the different styles, there are always different ways to pitch a horseshoe. 

” It’s like any sport, everyone has a different way that they do it,” Pierce said, talking about pitching. 

Pierce showed an illustration in the museum that showed different styles of pitching. 

Don Gillette demonstrates how to pitch in Horseshoes.

The game of horseshoes has been around for a long time. In the museum, there is a display that talks about the history of the game. But it started as one might expect since there were horseshoes around, players just started tossing them. 

Horseshoe pitching may have been created from the game of quoits played by Romans. A quoit is a rin of iron, rope, or rubber thrown in a game to circle an upright peg. 

The National Horseshoe Pitchers Foundation was formed as a charitable public foundation to raise the funds necessary to build and maintain the National Horseshoe Pitchers Association Hall of Fame and Museum.

Working together, the NHPF and NHPA continue to solicit contributions to preserve the history, showcase the present and build the future of horseshoe pitching, through grants, educational programs, and the operation of the museum.

Because the NHPF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, your donations may be tax deductible. Please consult your tax adviser for details.

To learn more about horseshoes, visit the museum located at 100 Bluestem Way near the intersection of I-64 and I-70. Museum hours are Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.