We will try to keep this chronicle short - NOT!
Balder's HSK was registered by the trio Pascal Letter, Martin Smeds and Fredrik Sandelius on 27 December 2019, almost exactly one year ago. It was a bit like throwing yourself out of a cliff honestly and few of us knew what awaited us in this world. However, one thing was crystal clear, shall we do it, shall we do it properly!
"Think, not so long ago we went for walks, stopped and drove down a branch like a stick that we threw around. The charm that exists before you start getting material requirements… ”
We moved in
In February, we moved into the "barn" at Färsna Gård to get regular training, Already at the first training came our fourth member, Jonny Åberg, a man with a big heart and a lot of love and who started training like no other. Our pitching shape was now sharpened more and more for all of us and now throwing styles began to take shape. We now set the bar high directly with the indoor Swedish Championships in March as the first big goal. The anticlimax could therefore not be greater when the pandemic struck and SM had to be canceled...
"So cozy when you have your morning coffee and look out the kitchen window while listening to the podcast... said Björn Landberg"
"Ett glas med Hästsko"
April 28th was the premiere of our podcast, "Ett glas med Hästsko", a podcast where a lot of horseshoes are buzzed with some food and drink. There have been six episodes, we hurry slowly and try to produce new material when we simply have time. But it has become a cozy event when it happens and we hope to get more, with more interviews and guests in the future.
This unique day, when the club set out on a "Street Pitch", horseshoe pitching in an urban environment with lunch in the new harbor. A really underrated activity in its form, which we may be the first with? Regardless, now that spring is coming soon and with the pandemic in mind, give it a try! Super fun way to socialize and a good way to see the city with new eyes.
In April, the club also started the minors training. A new challenge awaited! The responsible leader for the minors is Fredrik, who handled this with bravura. Often the pitching is mixed with play, bike and ball. We really think the minors training is a fantastic addition to the club which we are proud of. The training now has a Christmas break, but will return in 2021.
The Horse Shoe Party
A canceled Roslagen Open we intended to have on May 23, was quickly transformed into a "Horseshoe Party". This characterizes Balder's all of 2020, when we have had to cancel probably due to covid, we have instead adapted to carry out an event anyway in some way. At stake, 2 competitions with dinner for a limited number of people, with Champange from Brixwine and 1000 SEK in the prize pot. Was also the first time we applied our competition version "The Killer", which Björn Landberg managed to win. Incredibly nice event that of course will return in 2021 as well.
PR Tour Gotland
With spring and now summer approaching, Fredrik (Gotlander) took the rug, stick and horseshoes and went home to "his" island, for a mini PR tour in private! A fantastically successful initiative where, among others, Fårögården was visited and treated to wine tasting with pitching for wonderful company. Bravo Fredrik!
Now it was the end of June and the Swedish Championships were on the competition program. With very good training results from the "barn", hopes were high. The championship was held in Blekinge at Kristianopel camping, the club was hosted by hospitable Martin Smeds in his beautiful family house, where champagne and smoked eel became the hallmark of the club in this championship:) The great triumph for the club came on Sunday when Fredrik S. managed to win a bronze in class 4 - Just fantastic!
Then followed a series of fun events, including another Champange & charcuterie tasting at the restaurant Salt & Sea in Norrtälje harbor when 60 guests were bocked. Balder's sponsors ICA Norrköp and Brixwine were responsible for food and drink when Balders controlled the pitching between the tables :) A fantastic example of when Horseshoe pitching takes place in a different environment.
"The tastiest jam waffle I have ever eaten!" said an 80 year old customer at Pitch & Waffles and says a lot no?
Pitch & Waffles
On August 2, the start came to what would become Sweden's largest showroom for horseshoe pitching today, when Balders started with Pitch & Waffles under the leadership of Pascal. Hundreds and hundreds of people have come here and tried horseshoe pitching this year, it has sounded from opening to closing and there has been a truly magical feeling over the yard, the waffles and the horseshoes. The statistics speak for themselves, thousands of horseshoes have been thrown away and over a thousand waffles have been baked on the more than 30 occasions Pitch & Waffles has been open. So
So what happens now? Is the era of Pitch & Waffles over? Then we can announce the BIG news that Pitch & Waffles will continue to run this spring with many throws and waffles and Sunday cups in sight! You are all welcome!
The "10" competition, which has been going on all autumn at Pitch & Waffles, would now be decided. A competition that is about paying 10 SEK before throwing away your 10 horseshoes. Strangely enough, the timing was often wrong for those who tried this, a tricky form of competition that must be mastered. Far into the competition, the competition first place was still shared by the cohabiting couple Pascal and Johanna on 88 points each. However, it was Kristian Jältsäter who finally, 24 hours before the end, stepped up with definite steps up in the barn to win the competition with 118 points (74 + 44). A lovely scalp where his name will now be carved on a mahogany board and remembered forever! The competition takes place twice a year, spring and autumn. So revenge is available to pick up already starting January 9 until May 23.
Vaxholm Open & DM
Now it was serious, our rival club Vaxholm in Sthlm which should rather be considered as "brothers" organized both Vaxholm Open and The District Championship this year. 15 Aug and 6 Sept respectively, the competitions took place where Vaxholm dominated Balders in the Vaxholm Open but where the District Championships became a more even story. At the District Championships, Malira "Ning" Eriksson's big breakthrough also came when she took gold on the women's side. Since that day, she has only steamed on and won a lot! We call her "Ning of gold".
The 12th september it was time for us in Balders to arrange our first own cup, Färsna Cup. Of all the days, it would just rain this day which made the competition extremely difficult to play. But if it affected the mood? Hardly! Mattias and Carina Gneupel, the Sundahl family, Gert Karlsson and Lars Åke Brincner had now traveled here from southern Sweden. Pascal baked crepes in the café, Martin Smeds kept the grill warm with sausages, Fredrik ran by the tracks and Kristian from Vaxholm helped in the secretariat.
The competition was a real thriller on both the womens' and men's side. Only 20 points differed on the men's side between 1st to 3rd place, where fantastic Kent Sundahl managed to tie the sack after all, before Landberg and Letter. Malira Eriksson now won gold again with a paltry 1(!) point before very experienced and decorated Carina Gneupel. A lovely and cheerful atmosphere prevailed in front of the fire in the café when the award ceremony took place. Many thanks to all of you who attended and welcome back, we say on 12 Sept 2021!
Pitch & Run
The world premiere was to be announced on October 10, when the first edition of Pitch & Run took place. A completely new concept where running and pitching are combined like biathlon. Many thoughts went before the start which tactic was really best? It turned out that "running like a moose" was the recipe, something Björn Enström fantastically succeeded with. Despite many booms, his quick steps was enough for the gold.
The design of the competition was incredibly appreciated and we believe that this branch can grow in the future, it appeals to a completely new target group.
Yep - you guessed right, Pitch & Run will definitely be back too!
"What a sport! How has no one come up with this ingenious combo sport before? A future Olympic sport. Fantastic arrangement by Balder's HSK" said Björn Enström.
The Series Game & the Archipelago Alliance
Then it was time for the league game debut for the club and this year we joined the league game as a joint team with Vaxholm, called the "Archipelago Alliance". Many Balders players get to try this first year, despite this, the alliance is doing well! Expect Balders to have at least 2 teams if not 3 next year. A fantastic form of play that differs somewhat from cup games and that creates a great team spirit.
"Like an ancient monument with overgrown moss… he suddenly stood there and threw in +50…"
Jean & Co
The Jean clan, The Rådmansö clan, The Della Jean clan, the names are many - BUT, what fun when Jean and his son Martin one beautiful autumn day suddenly stood there and pitching horseshoes outside the coffee shop at Pitch & Waffles .. I hear how Roger shouts, "came out Pascal, this you have to see! ”. The rest is history, Jean has thrown over 500 points and 100 points on 5 shoes in training. His first 5 shoes in the series game was a 74 scorer, his first 25 shoes a 239 scorer… so cool! Also Martin, the son has lots of potential, remember my words, watch out for him in 2021! Martin's cohabitant Julia Eriksson throws phenomenally too, the daughter Julia A. threw 319 in her first(!) competition (Horseshoe Party Winter)! Felix Åström has thrown over 360 points already in training. Jarita (married to Jean) goes from clarity to clarity, David, Janne, Malin… etc. The list will be long. Balders HSK is really fermenting with all our new members from Jean & Co, lovely and fantastically warm people with a great love for horseshoes! Can not help but see Jean as such a beautiful and incredibly valuable ancient monument that was hidden under moss for years… that we have now found and which gives so much to the club and we are convinced that they will do to the whole horseshoe pitching Sweden. Without Pitch & Waffles, this ancient monument would probably have been under the moss yet...
Club Championship - drop-in, & Sweden's most beautiful horseshoe prize?
Even tougher restrictions and once again we had to adapt the competition. Now we applied the "drop-in" pitching throughout the competition day to avoid congestion. Where both Malira "Ning" Eriksson and Fredrik Sandelius pulled the longest straw this day and won the first Club Championship gold in the club's history, well done! The big surprise was otherwise Roger Eriksson's gold in doubles in pairs with Ning. Always fun with bangs and surprises!
What we otherwise want to raise around this Club Championship is what we believe is and was Sweden's most beautiful Horseshoe pitching trophy 2021? a craft realized by Martin "Smeden" Smeds, an incredibly beautiful award!
The world´s first Online Cup ever
December and even more restrictions now provoked Balders to act when we had to cancel "Horseshoe Party Winter Edition" in original form, which now had to be Online in collaboration with Vaxholm HSK, and thus the world's first Online cup in the sport was a fact! Fantastic fun was also how Kent Sundahl, this year's pitcher in Sweden in our opinion, was noted for a fantastic 580 points! So inspiring for all of us to witness and a fantastic and well-deserved way to end 2020 for Kent Sundahl, who had an very successful year with Carlskrona HSC. An incredibly fun and appreciated event that has opened a new era in the sport, we believe. More Online cups 2021? Of course with start 20 feb - so get ready!
During the year, three different magazines have covered us with, among other things, the title "Färsna Gård attracts horseshoe pitchers from all over the country". It feels wonderful to have been included in these local newspapers that have given us a good boost!
We also want to remember of course when Balder's chairman put on the kitchen apron and prepared Balder's interpretation of "The Horseshoe", first created in 1928 at the Leland Hotel by Chef Joe Schweska.
Or when he baked Biscotti Ferro di cavallo!
Balders HSK International
So some may be wondering why we write in English on our website? it is so that one of the priorities we have in addition to making Balder's HSK a fantastic club, is to spread the sport in the best way. When we quickly saw that almost no information about our sport in Sweden could be obtained in English, Balders took his responsibility and therefore delivered a website that was informative for those outside the country's borders. We also have a Pinterest account where pictures about us and our sport are saved and can be shared with many outside Sweden. Here we offer a look at the traffic that has reached our website. With a high concentration from Sweden, we also see a lot of traffic from France and the US. But visitors have also found us from among others Australia, India, Dubai, South Africa and Argentina!
Finally we want to thank
We want to thank all our new members, support, silver and gold members who now reach 100 members in days! Incredible. Members who have contributed and done everything possible for our club! THANK YOU ALL! We came to the Swedish Championships this year in a small cessna plane, expect us to land with a jumbo jet this year!
Want to give an extra thank you to Martins Smeds (member of the board) who is often an incredible support in the quiet, a man who never hesitates to take the dishes at Pitch & Waffles, a man which gave us the "Mansion" at the Swedish Championships and the man who produced the fantastic Club trophy. Martin is a good example of a member of Balders, there other things is more important than the pitching result itself.
Thanks also to Roger and Ning who so passionately engage you in the club and who always shows up! Special thank you to Roger Eriksson's commitment with the minors training there he has often been involved and helped. Thanks to Robin, Kristoffer, Diana and Torbjörn and others at Balders Båge, your support is invaluable!
A big thanks to Fredrik who was responsible for, among other things, the minors trainings and makes it such a wonderful feature in our club.
Thank you Jonny Åberg - The one and only! Watch this!
Thanks to Kristian and Vaxholm for being there, helping us and making it more fun up here in Sthlm!
Thank you Lotta Andersson and NNC for letting us pitch at the barn!
We want to thank all the horseshoe pitchers out there who also welcomed us so warmly to the large horseshoe family, Mattan, Carina, Tobbe, Kent, Lasse, Gert, Peter, Lollo and so many more…
Finally, we would also like to thank our sponsors ICA Norrköp, Brixwine and Roslagen's sparbank who stood up for us and who gave us grants and support in our continued operations.
We can say that we had a vision to create a meeting place where fantastic experiences lead to great community. We dare say that in one year we have come a long way on the road that leads there. It is also true that in one year we have also become a very large Horseshoe Club with all that entails, it has been a crazy year where Covid and horseshoes have been a big part of our everyday lives. Where the struggle between community and restrictions has constantly gone hand in hand and where creativity and enormous will have been the only way to succeed.
Think of everything we do not know about coming 2021?
One thing we do know, however, is that horseshoe pitching never ceases to amaze and where community always stands as the winner!
We wish you a very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!