President George H.W. Bush and his son Marvin playing horseshoes on the South Lawn shortly after its installation in April 1989.
While serving as vice president, George H. W. Bush enjoyed playing horseshoes in his spare time. After becoming president, he had a horseshoe pit installed on the White House South Lawn.
President Bush hosted a formal unveiling of the 40-foot horseshoe pit, similar to one built at Camp David, on April 1, 1989 with 150 guests. Guests of President Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush attended the lawn party and mingled with world horseshoe-pitching champion Jim Knisley. Acknowledging the sport’s nationwide following, Secretary-Treasurer for the National Horseshoe Pitchers Association of America Donnie Roberts remarked, “Horseshoe pitching is popular, but the fact is that George Bush is increasing that popularity.”