Playing Card Festival – Part 2

She used a flicking motion of her wrist that made the most of her powerful forearms strengthened by years of throwing hay bales into the upper floor of the barn. Since that time the eight of diamonds has been known as the Jenny Strongarm card. Jenny Meadows won the first six throwing contests before an accident when moving an entire haystack left her with a damaged elbow.

Her record distance lasted until 1792 when Jeremiah Morse, a local boxer, hurled the King of clubs 119 yards. He employed Jenny’s flicking motion in his throw but also incorporated the rotation method used by discus throwers to gain momentum.

In 1800 the organizers decided to add an accuracy test to the distance event in a bid to extend the interest of the contest to the more effete members of society. Players use five cards and try to land a card into saucepans set at five different distances from the thrower: seven yards, 14 yards, 28 yards, 35 yards and 50 yards. Each person scores four points for landing the card in the saucepan, two points for getting the card to balance on the rim, and one point if the card rests against the saucepan – touching doesn’t count.

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