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Sodbusters horseshoe pitching club moving to Bristol

BRISTOL — The Sodbusters Horseshoe Club, based in the rustic Case Street Community Club facility in Middlebury for the past four decades, will soon be moving up Route 116 to the Bristol Recreational Field, behind the American Legion.
“We are very sad to leave,” said club president Debra Brown of their Case Street location, where the Sodbusters have been based since 1970. “At the same time, I think it will turn out to be a good thing.”
The award-winning Sodbusters Club, whose members include national and world champions, is a National Horseshoe Pitchers Association-sanctioned club that hosts league tournaments throughout the year.
However, a confluence of factors, including a significant increase in rent, led Brown to seek an alternate location. The Bristol Recreational Field, she said, has been mentioned to the Sodbusters as an alternative to Case Street for some time.
Brown said the Sodbusters hope to place 16 courts on the rec field and are excited about the improvements that the new location offers, including more parking spaces for tournaments and enhanced washroom facilities.
“It’s a better fit for us,” Brown said. “There’s room for us to grow.”
She also hopes the Sodbusters’ tournaments will help bring new visitors to the American Legion and to downtown Bristol, noting that having restaurants and shops within walking distance will make for a more pleasant trip for tournament participants and fans.
The Sodbusters Club has produced a number of national-caliber competitors, including Brown herself, a former world champion. The most recent is Mount Abraham Union High School senior and Sodbuster Brianna McCormick, 17, of Bristol who won the National Horseshoe Pitchers Association Junior Girls’ World Championship in Nashville last summer.
Though the Sodbusters’ contract on the Bristol spot is not yet finalized, Brown said that all parties involved are excited about the future.
Once it is, Brown and her family, many of whom compete with the Sodbusters, will hold a series of fundraisers in early 2013 to help with the renovations and improvements to the new horseshoe-throwing facility. She will post updates on the team website, www.sodbustershorseshoeclub.com.

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