Thursday, September 23, 2010


President Bush and Australian Prime Minister Hawke pitch horseshoes at Camp David - June 1989

President George H.W. Bush had a horseshoe pit built at Camp David in 1989 much to the delight of the horseshoe industry.  However, pitching horseshoes has been an activity available at Camp David ever since the Eisenhower era as shown on page 3 of this Guidebook to Camp David from the Eisenhower Library.

Presidents Bush and Gorbachev - June 1990

In June 1990, President Bush hosted Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev at Camp David.  While touring the camp, they stopped and pitched some horseshoes.  It was reported that Gorbachev's first toss was a ringer.

President Bush had the lucky horseshoe mounted on a plaque and presented it to President Gorbachev at dinner that Saturday evening.  Later, it was discovered that a second horseshoe had gone missing after the Soviets had departed.

Mrs. Gorbachev and Mrs. Bush were also spotted playing horseshoes on that visit.

President Bush's pitching style has been described as "one that is recommended for picnic-level players".

 A detailed description of his technique can be found in this 1996 newspaper article.

President Bush and British Prime Minister John Major - June 1992

The Camp David Tour website describes a clearing between the Presidential and staff areas of the camp where recreational activities such as volleyball, badminton, archery, and horseshoes have been located.
The two Google Maps below shows a clearing area and what could be the horseshoe pit.

Clearing between the Presidential and staff areas of the camp

Closer view of possible horseshoe pit

Sources: George Bush Presidential Library; Camp David Tour; Chicago TribuneLos Angeles Times; The New York Times;  Rome News-TribuneEisenhower Presidential Library; Google Maps

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