Saturday, August 16, 2008


The first event of the Howell Farm Olympics finally kicked off yesterday — horseshoes.

Horseshoes history, according to Wikipedia:

“Iron plates or rings for shoes may have been nailed on horses' feet in Western Asia and Eastern Europe as early as the second century BC…. There is a theory that the camp followers of the Grecian armies, who could not afford the discus, took discarded horseshoes, set up a stake, and began throwing horseshoes at it.”

Also from Wikipedia:

“Following the Revolutionary War, it was said by England's Duke of Wellington that ‘The War was won by pitchers of horse hardware.’”

The first round results:

Unfortunately, the Howell Farm Olympics are highly dysfunctional, as it's difficult to get enough people together at any one time. Other events that have been envisioned, such as the hay bale toss and the 14-times around the farm run, are in danger of cancellation.

Worst of all was a stunt pulled yesterday by Farm Director Pete. All week long he’s been talking horseshoe smack about how, “Yeah, I’ve thrown a horseshoe or two in my day,” and “I wouldn’t count the old man out.” So the day of the competition comes, and Pete disappears suddenly, under the auspices of needing to go to Lancaster to “look at a horse.”

Nice try Pete. I challenge you, publicly, to a winner-take-all horseshoe throwdown, any time any place. The loser will buy the winner a steak, and I like sautéed mushrooms on top.

In unrelated news, the farm bought a new horse from a Lancaster horse trader yesterday. He hasn’t arrived yet, but I’m told he’s about 15 hands and 1,500 pounds. More on that when I learn more.