A Penticton woman has pitched her way into the B.C. Horseshoe Association’s hall of fame.
Vivianne Fendle began playing horseshoes as a teenager in a small Ontario community because, well, there really wasn’t much else to do.
Both her parents were very much into the sport and so when she turned 16, Fendle began to compete and soon fell in love and has been “pitching shoes” ever since.
This year, the modest 58 year-old, who is currently the Penticton Horseshoe Club’s president, was one of just two people inducted to the hall of fame.
“No I guess there just really wasn’t a lot to do,” said Fendle with a laugh about her time growing up in the Hearst, a rural town in Northern Ontario.
“But it was something we did as a family, my sisters and I would go to tournaments with my parents and my father started the Hearst Horseshoe Club. The season didn’t last too long, sometimes we would have big snowstorms and our first tournament in the spring we would have to have in the arena.
“I love to play and the best part is the people you meet and the friends you make, it’s like a horseshoe family because you see the same people.”
She added it was both a surprise and an honour to be inducted in the hall of fame, which has only 30 or so members.
Fellow Penticton club member Brian Ryder, who is also member of the hall of fame selection committee, felt Fendle more than met the criteria for induction.
“When we’re looking for people for the hall of fame, it’s not only about stats, it’s about how they interact with other people. Stats are one thing, but it’s also about the type of person you are,” said Ryder, 80, who is currently the vice-president of the Penticton club.
“We look at how committed they are to the sport, how well they play the sport and what type of ambassador they are for the sport and Viviann has met all of those criteria and more with flying colours.
“She’s a super person.”
Longtime B.C. association executive member and hall of fame inductee Sam Tomasevic agreed Fendle was a solid choice for induction.
“Viviann has a very friendly approach to horseshoes,” said Tomasevic. “She feels comfortable around horseshoe people and her record speaks for itself, she is very competitive, never gives up in any game.”
An ‘A’ league player, the Penticton pitcher has a 55 per cent average in competitive play, meaning she hits a ringer in more than half her shots.
Her record includes eight, top three finishes in the B.C. championships and four top threes in the B.C. International championships.
Fendle and her mother Rose Blanchard are the only mother/ daughter combination to have won individual B.C. International titles, hers was in 2015 and her mother’s was in 1988.
The Penticton club has 10 horseshoe pits on the South Main Street Robinson property.
It was founded in 1978.