Crozet’s Eli Sullivan hopes to build on horseshoe world championship

ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) – There’s a world champion living in Crozet that you may not know about.

Eli Sullivan is a 10-year old who excels in the game of horseshoes.

“Every morning, I try to throw before the bus gets here,” Eli said. “And every evening, I get off the bus and go out there and start throwing.”

Eli spends hours and hours in his backyard throwing what amounts to somewhere between 500 to 1,000 horseshoes a day.

His dad, Evan Sullivan, taught Eli everything he knows about the game.

“I tried to teach him the basics and certain things that mess me up and struggle with,” the father said. “I try to teach him those first so he doesn’t fall into the same footsteps, and he’s run with it from there.”

“We play each other almost every single day. He used to beat me all the time, then I started practicing and he hardly ever beats me,” Eli said.

Now, nobody can top Eli: Last month, he won the World Championships of Horseshoe Throwing in his age group. Just another addition to the dozens of trophies and awards in his collection.

“He told me before I even started building these pits up that, ‘Daddy, I want to be a world champion,” Sullivan said. “As a parent, you tell him you can do anything you set your mind to. He’s put in a lot of work.”

“Arm speed will do everything for you. Don’t jerk it or it will go to the left or right. It’s just that arm speed you go slow and a little high and it will do a one flip, double flip, triple flip,” Eli said.

Take his advice: About 70% of Eli’s throws are ringers. Eli is determined and focused in the horseshoe throwing game. He doesn’t have much interest in any other sports right now, saying he wants to continue his focus solely on horseshoes.

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