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Athletics & Recreation

The Seibold Family


A trip to a horseshoe-pitching tournament started it all. Curly and Bonnie Seibold enjoyed the event so much that they were soon competing themselves.

Back at their Grayston Avenue home, Curly installed a full, regulation horseshoe pit. Soon the whole family, including children Bonita, Mark and Paris, had taken up horseshoes. He had set them on course to become the most famous family in the sport.

Summer vacations built around national and world tournaments gave the Seibolds a chance to not only see the country but to compete in top events.

Bonnie dominated women’s competitive horseshoe pitching in Indiana for two decades, winning 17 state women’s titles from 1966-86. She qualified for the world tournament 22 times, earning a second-place finish in 1980. She served as vice president of the National Horseshoe Pitching Association for 28 years, was inducted into the Indiana hall of fame in 1976, and the national hall in 1979.

Mark became one of the greatest horseshoe pitchers in history. After winning six Indiana junior titles and two junior world championships, he graduated to the men’s division where he won a record 22 Indiana state titles, including 11 in a row from 1993 to 2003. He won a world championship in 1976, then added a second in 1979 when he compiled a perfect 31-0 record in the tournament. Qualifying for the world event 32 times, Mark ranks fifth in all-time world championship wins. He was inducted in to the Indiana Hall of Fame in 1976 and the National Hall of Fame in 1984.

Bonita won the first junior girls state championship in 1967, then went on to capture the top honors in the first-ever junior girls world championship that same year. She followed that with a third-place world finish in 1968. She was inducted into the Indiana Junior Hall of Fame in 1979.

Paris won Class B junior world titles in 1969 and in 1971. He finished in the top eight in the championship division three times, and was named to the Indiana junior hall of fame in 1987.

Curly, a World War II veteran, earned a Purple Heart after his plane was shot down. He spent nine months in a prisoner of war camp in Poland. His career in horseshoe pitching included serving terms as president and vice president of the Indiana Horseshoe Pitching Association and presiding over numerous state tournaments. At the senior level of competition, he won Indiana Elder Men state titles in 1997 and 2000, and finished runner-up at world events in 1999 and 2000. He was named to the Indiana Hall of Fame in 1987, and became the third member of the family to join the National Hall of Fame in 2008.

A third generation of Seibolds made a mark in the sport when Paris’ son, Lee, won four straight Indiana junior titles from 2003-06, compiling a perfect 22-0 record in the state tournament over that span. He joined his father in the Indiana Junior Hall of Fame in 2009.

The Seibold family continues to have success in other sports.

Mark still pitches, but also plays competitive pickle ball. Paris has been a highly successful softball coach at Huntington North High School for many years. His daughters Kelli and Ashley were standout softball and volleyball players for the Vikings, and Ashley has followed her father into coaching. Lee played baseball, soccer and football in high school, and was a member of Huntington North’s state champion bowling team.

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