Dan Manley knows when things are going well in the pits.
"You hear that friggin' 'ting!' off the peg," said the Peterborough man, who is one of 139 competitors from eight provinces taking part at this week's Canadian Horseshoe Championships taking place at the Royal Canadian Legion.
"Once you put that ringer on you know you're doing good," Manley said.
The event is hosting by the local Royal City Ringers Horseshoe Club and the Guelph Legion. Roughly 40 volunteers are helping out.
Jenny Lawrence, a member of the organizing committee as well as a competitor, said it's part competition part social event.
"A little bit of both," she said. "For competitions like this, horseshoes is a small part of it. The camaraderie and the friendships and everything that goes with it is a really big part of it."
Lawrence said she is a newbie in the world of horseshoes, having only been playing for 10 years or so.
"A lot of these people have been playing for 30 or 40 years," she said.
There are male, female and seniors divisions, with competitors grouped in flights based on a rating earned through various sanctioned tournaments they have competed in throughout the year. There is prize money and trophies.
Each competitor plays 15 matches and their cumulative total of wins and rating determines the standings.
The men's A flight championship, the highest level at the event, is set for 11 a.m. Saturday morning.
The tournament wraps up with an awards banquet at the legion on Saturday night.
Practice, rhythm and staying focused are the key to good horseshoe pitching, he said.
"It's relaxing, practice and keeping focused," said Manley. "Especially when you're in a game situation. You just have to forget about everything and concentrate on that peg."
And like any other sport, you have good days and you have bad days.
Manley said if you pitch a couple of good shoes early in the match, it usually leads to a good result.
"Get the jitters out, relax, feel at ease. You know you can do it and away you go," said Manley, who is participating in his first national championship.