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Horseshoe club goes for world record



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July 21, 2010 - A man grunts, lofting something through the air.

Clank.

"Ringer!"

Ever hear those sounds while hanging out in Children's Park or at the Orion Art Center?

They're probably coming from the horseshoe pits, belonging to Lake Orion Horseshoe Club.

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Forrest Jidas and family poured concrete free of charge for the club, after they paid for supplies. The club’s try at a world record will help raise funds to pay for the new wheel-chair accessible concrete playing area. Photo by Megan Collier (click for larger version)
It's Website boasts the title of Michigan's oldest horseshoe club.

And now, they're going for a new title: longest continuous horseshoe play for The Guinness Book of World Records.

As is required by Guinness, the players must pitch for at least 24 hours straight with only five-minute breaks allowed after each hour.

There currently is no record for this type of sport.

During the event, the club will also raise money to pay for construction of a wheelchair-friendly court.

"We have wanted to have a court that wheelchair-bound players can pitch from," said Wayne Thomas, president of the club, noting he currently has one player who is handicapped and has difficulty with the layout.

Now, thanks to some local charitable work, Thomas and members will have just that.

Awhile back, the club went out for bids to get a concrete area poured, since anyone in a wheelchair had a difficult time traversing the uneven playing field. Oxford resident Forrest Jidas heard about the project and decided to throw in his bid: free of charge.

"I said, 'I'll just pour it for free if you buy the material.' We're fortunate, so I don't mind doing stuff like this. A little bit of labor doesn't hurt anybody," said Jidas.

He enlisted family members like his son, Hunter, his cousin, Don, and his nephew, Ian, to help out.

"It's for a good cause," Jidas said. "By putting in a wider slab the whole length of the way, they'll be able to get back and forth without any obstacles."

Jidas said he would have bid the job at around $1,800, but since he threw in labor for free, the horseshoe club will pay $800.

"It means a whole lot," said club Treasurer Doug Bailey of the pro bono work. "We really didn't expect this. It was going to cost us a lot of money. With these guys helping the way they're helping, it means a whole lot."

He says the club currently has one member in a wheelchair.

"The way the (pits) are designed, it's a little bit tough for a wheelchair going back and forth. It's going to make things much easier for him. And hopefully, we will get some more people because of this."

As for the world-record breaking attempts, local officials say they're supportive of the effort. One of the competitors will be Village Manager Paul Zelenak and another will be Councilmember Michael Toth.

"This will be quite a grueling undertaking" states Mike Ardelean, promotions director for the horseshoe club. "The players only have 30 seconds to deliver both horseshoes once they stand of the pitching area."

He added that with players playing doubles, if one person has to quit it causes four players to have to stop.

"We just hope we can have one foursome make it to the end to have the record,"Ardelean said.

The public is welcome to view the action. The courts are located in Children's Park on Anderson Street. south of Flint Street in downtown Lake Orion.

Reporter, Lake Orion Review
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