A focus of the Highland Games in Pleasanton was the traditional sports thought of when you use the term Highland Games and the most famous of these is tossing the caber. The event took place on the finish straight of the horse racetrack. Everyone stood in the grandstand while the athletes did their best on the track. (This did mean that the barrier was in the way of most of the shots.)
The guys taking part were some big fellas. The goal is to flip the pole end over end. They get a run up going – no mean feat while balancing a large pole by one end – and then heave it in to the air. The pole is tapered and they hold the thinner end so the thicker end hits the ground and, if there is enough momentum, the thinner end will arc up and over. This is not easy to do and the guys were having a lot of trouble. I think we came in at the end of the competition so probably missed some of the earlier (and presumably easier) throws. The celebration when they made it was something in itself. I don’t think I would like to get on the wrong side of any of these guys.