Every year since 2008, the Enos Family has sponsored a horseshoe tournament to honor the memory of Darice Enos. Friends and family come out to participate in the event and enjoy each other’s company. This year’s tournament took place on Saturday, January 24, with teams from Whiteriver, Eloy, Gila River, Ak-Chin, Guadalupe and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.
The tournament brought out some serious players. The tournament was a double-elimination, two-man competition bracket. All entry fees went into the prize pot and were awarded to the tournament winners.
The standard guidelines for playing horseshoes and accruing points were followed. Each team ensured the standard rules were followed and accurate points were awarded per pitched round (inning).
Sounds of “clack” and “bing” were heard as thrown horseshoes hit the stakes. There were smiles and laughter, and of course there was an occasional silent moment and an exhale when a horseshoe did not hit its intended mark.
The day was very windy and brisk; however, this did not stop the players from participating, nor did it appear to affect the play of the games. The tournament was held in an area that accommodated four horseshoe pits and had ample room for spectators to sit and watch. Regular spraying of water on the ground kept dust from affecting play and allowed those in attendance to enjoy the tournament.
This year’s event had the same family-focused atmosphere as in previous years. The players concentrated on their balance, motion and delivery as their competitors look on intently; family members and friends sat nearby, watching and carrying on conversations; and children ran, played, climbed dirt mounds and seemed to have a fun time.
Kent Andrews, a family friend and key organizer of the event, said, “This started as a local memorial tournament for [Darice Enos], but every year it has grown, not only in the number of participants, but also in the level of competition. Teams throughout the state are starting to participate in this tournament.”
Every player received a custom T-shirt, and the players and guests enjoyed lunch prepared by the Enos family and friends.