Built on the site of a former rock quarry, the horseshoe pitch tucked into the northeast corner of the park is easy to miss.
First constructed in 1926, the site was considerably improved by a 1934 WPA building effort which included many improvements to the site, as well as the addition of the site’s two concrete bas-relief sculptures by Jesse S. “Vet” Anderson, a member of the horseshoe club. Both sculptures, one of a horse and one depicting a man throwing horseshoes, were overgrown and long forgotten until uncovered in 1968 by Youth Corps volunteers, two years after the death of the artist.
The pitch was also home to a clubhouse, but it was destroyed in a fire in the 1980s.
Over the years the pits fell into disrepair, but have been recently rehabilitated by volunteers and members of the San Francisco Horseshoe Pitching Club. Unfortunately the horse sculpture is now almost completely missing. Today, 16 pits are used regularly by the club and other horseshoe enthusiasts.
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- Christopher Pollock; “San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park - A Thousand Acres of Stories” 2001, West Winds Press