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NFM ‘mayor’ is horseshoe champ

July 5, 2017
By CHUCK BALLARO (news@breezenewspapers.com) , North Fort Myers Neighbor

Honorary North Fort Myers Mayor Doug Dailey does more than go to the occasional grand opening to cut a ribbon. He also throws a mean horseshoe.

In fact, at the National Senior Games in March in Birmingham, Ala., Dailey won the national championship in horseshoe throwing for people aged 55-59.

To go to nationals, Dailey had to qualify in regional and state competition by placing in the top four.

Article Photos

Doug Dailey

Dailey said he hadn't thought too much about the sport until he picked it up last year.

"I found it fascinating and I wanted to get involved in it. I found out about the Senior Games through a friend who told me they had horseshoes," Dailey said.

Dailey competed in the regionals in Tampa in October and won in his first competition against 48 other competitors, qualifying him for the states, where he finished fourth out of 15. Of the three who did better, two were from Lee County.

Dailey was the only competitor from Florida who made the trip to Birmingham, and competed against eight other national qualifiers.

Of the nine, four advanced to the championship round, where Dailey won a round-robin, defeating all three competitors to win the championship.

"I was able to take week off, so I thought it would be a good vacation. I planned things around that," Dailey said. "There were 10,000 athletes at 20 different venues, there was a parade of athletes with all 50 states, Pat Boone was the entertainment, it was a big deal. It was great to represent Florida."

Dailey said he hopes to return in two years to defend his title, when the National Senior Games come to Albuquerque, N.M. Dailey will have to start the process all over next October with regionals.

Dailey said he doesn't take part in many leagues. The nearest sanctioned league (the National Horseshoe Pitching Association) is in Bradenton. Dailey said he would love to start a sanctioned league closer to home.

"There are a lot of pitchers from Naples, Fort Myers and Port Charlotte. There have to be sanctioned clay courts and a certain number of courts," Dailey said. "If we could get the interest here it would be nice."

 
 

 

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