horseshoeing since age eight after watching his dad Gary Fuller and family friend Brad Zumbuhl play the game.
“One summer I just wanted to try it out since I had nothing else to do,” Fuller told the Herald. “I fell in love with the game and hopefully one day I can be the best in the world. Not too many people coming from a small town say they have won a world championship. I pride myself in it, but I stay humble.”
Today Fuller practices one to two hours a day at a court set up at his home in Lebam.
This was Fuller’s 10th world tournament, although the previous nine years he participated in the junior’s division (18 and younger). His other titles include the Junior Class F Division Champion in 2002 and Junior Boy World Champion in 2010. This year, his first year of participating in the men’s championship, he finished 7th place with an average of 65% ringers.
Fuller explains that in order to participate in the world tournament, contestants must compete in four sanction tournaments in their state or country. A monetary prize fund of approximately $47,000 is divided among the top 16 pitchers in the men, women, and elders (70 and older) divisions. The top three pitchers receive a check and a trophy, while the other 13 receive monetary prizes. This year’s world champion in the men’s division was Alan Francis from Defiance, Ohio, the greatest horseshoe pitcher of all time. He won his 18th world title in the men's division with an overall average of 91 percent ringers through 15 games, a new world record.
Fuller identifies horseshoeing as his “main hobby”, stating: “The NHPA (National Horseshoe Pitchers Association) calls all of us pitchers amateurs. And I agree with that. It's just a family sport and one of America's pastimes.” He says that he enjoys traveling around the U.S. and meeting the nice people involved in the sport of horseshoeing.