84 and still pitching: Local man brings home horseshoe trophy

Harry Begay stands with the trophy he recently brought back from the World Horseshoe Pitching Championships in Saint George, Utah. Photo submitted
James Wilson

  In many sports an athlete hits a wall at a certain age. It’s rare to see a high-performing football player in his 40s, for instance. For Canyon Dam’s Harry Begay, however, it’s no problem.

  Begay, 84, competed in the senior men’s group at the World Horseshoe Pitching Championships in Saint George, Utah, and brought a second-place trophy back to Plumas County with him.

  The competition was quite a bit stiffer than what Begay is used to in the Indian Valley Club. Entrants gathered from 46 states and amounted to 1,500 competitors and many of their friends and family members.

  “A whole bunch of people showed up,” said Begay. “I met a lot of really interesting people. And it was a beautiful place. One of the most beautiful places of America.”

  Begay’s section played July 29 – 31. On July 29, Begay played five games and won four of them. The next day he went 3-1, as he did the day after that. Begay just thought he had a good time and headed back to his hotel room after his last game.

  “I went back to my hotel room and took a shower, and once I came out there were people looking for me. They told me I had to stick around to get my trophy,” recalled Begay in a still-surprised manner.

  Begay, older than most of the pitchers who participated, had a few lessons to teach the young bucks. Begay uses control over force to keep his arm rested. Begay also attributes his play to a healthy lifestyle.

  Begay is currently thinking about competing in next year’s championship, which is tentatively scheduled to take place in New York. For right now, however, Begay is focusing on training for the California State Championships in Stockton on Labor Day weekend.

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