To most people, pitching horseshoes is a fun-filled, laid back kind of competition highlighted by camaraderie and friendly rivalries.
That’s pretty much exactly what it is to the Cornville Cartel, a group of horseshoe pitchers who meet every day to compete and have fun.
On their “home field” in Cornville’s Windmill Park, the group of friends appear to pitch almost as many zingers as they do ringers.
“We started about four or five years ago,” said Jack Gruer, who along with Bill Halford were the original Cartel members.
The first horseshoe pits at Windmill Park, which were located just south of the pond, were where Gruer and Halford started the Cartel, but there was a problem with the direction they were facing.
“Those are east-west,” Gruer said. “So in the evening the sun was always in our eyes.”
Gruer successfully petitioned Yavapai County to install three new, north-south facing pits in the southwest corner of the park.
“We laid it out and [the county] provided the cement for it, and we built the pits and I made the scoreboards,” Gruer said. “Pretty soon [one person] joined us, and then another and another — people just started showing up.
“Everybody was welcome.”
For the full story, please see the Wednesday, Aug. 7 issue of the Cottonwood Journal Extra.