Get your horseshoes ready (or pop them off, whichever) the Sooke Horseshoe Pitching Association is nearing completion of its first six courts.
The horseshoe pitches, located at Sooke River Road Park, are expected to open by mid-May, says Rick Hobday, president of the Sooke Horseshoe Pitching Association.
All six courts are built to 3×6-foot standard, along with 18-inch cement walkway on either side, individually-crafted wooden boxes and standard 15-inch pegs in each sandbox.
“Now we’re just putting in the cement blocks for people to stand on and throw from,” Hobday says, wiping sweat off his forehead.
The work is the result of five or so club members, who dedicated a few hours every other day prepping the ground, cutting things to size, leveling the area with fill, and hauling material from one side of the field to the other.
“It’s been slow, but it’s coming along bit by bit,” Hobday says.
A wooden fence has also been constructed by the District of Sooke all around the property, while members added wire on the side, just in case any errant horseshoes go flying. A chain link fence is currently in the works, which will include a gated entrance on the south side of the pitch.
With six pitches nearly finished, another six are slated for early next year.
Some green space separating the south and north pitches is also something the club is looking into as a way to provide a place for gathering with a couple of picnic tables.
On the other six, Hobday says they are expecting some fill to level the ground up, then layer the gravel on top. Down the road, the club plans to put cement over the gravel, smoothing everything out.
While the Galloping Goose Trail will still have to pass through behind the course, it still leaves sufficient space to accommodate the 12 planned pitches.
A clubhouse and an expansion of another eight pitches (bringing it to a total of 20) is also planned, but that won’t happen until the club acquires more property from the Agricultural Land Commission.
As for memberships, juniors are free up to 18 of age, while general membership costs $30 per year. Participants are expected to supply their own horseshoes, costing anywhere between $15 and $40, depending on the quality.
Anyone is welcome to come by to either take a look, ask questions, or help out.
For more information, contact Rick Hobday at 250-642-7657, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.