Two Harbors Man Brings Home Gold in Horseshoe Competition

Joe Raycraft Started Tossing Horseshoes Years Ago, Now he Competes in State Competitions

TWO HARBORS, Minn. – A Two Harbors man is now sporting gold after trying his best in a state horseshoe competition.

After many years of practice and dedication to the game, Joe Raycraft is looking to encourage others to join the fun as he continues to compete in competitions.

“I still needed to be throwing something,” said Raycraft. “I’ve always been pretty competitive.”

Ray craft recently won his class at the State Horseshoe Tournament.

“I’m nowhere near the top class, the Class A is the best,” said Raycraft.

Sports have always supported his lifestyle. His love for pitching shoes, dating years back.

“I decided I was going to start practicing and look for some competition. My girlfriend’s’ family has a cabin at Pequot Lake and her dad had a horseshoe court

Now, Raycraft continues tossing, looking for ringers while remembering the man who game him guidance in the game.

“I discovered I kind of had a knack for throwing shoes,” said Raycraft. “It was very exciting for me because I enjoy the competition.”

Raycraft fought for first place in the State Class D Division. The competition taking place in Genola, Minnesota, 12 miles east of Little Falls.

“They have an arena with 16 built in horseshoe courts, the pits are cut right into the floor,” said Raycraft.

Small town Minnesota, catering to horseshoe clubs across the state. Raycraft says the competition keeps the family fun game going as long as it can.

“Twenty years ago there was a thriving club here in Two Harbors, there were probably two dozen members,” said Raycraft.

Now he says less members are playing. Age proves to be a major factor in the future of the game.

“I revived the Lake Superior Horseshoe League,” said Raycraft.

He and four others take time during their days to meet at the Two Harbors court, throw a few shoes and chat about the past.

“If I feel stressed about something I go throw some shoes,” said Raycraft.

Using the sports as a stress reliever, but also taking his experience to offer tips to younger players.

“After winning my first game I thought, well this isn’t so hard,” said Raycraft.

Your not-so-average Joe, offering a pitch to recruit new players.

“It’s a fun, family-friendly game. The players are universally friendly and they are always rooting for you to do good,” said Raycraft. “It’s not like a grudge match for anybody!”

Click here if you would like to get involved with the Horseshoe League.

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