WinStar Farms' Colonel John wore Kerckhaert raceplates when he won the Travers Stakes at Saratoga in August. (Photo of Colonel John's hoof before the Kentucky Derby by Dan Burke)Beginning in 2009, Farrier Product Distribution (FPD) of Shelbyville, Kentucky will assume exclusive import and distribution rights of the popular Kerckhaert horseshoes and raceplates in North America.
Steel and aluminum shoes made by the Kerckhaert Horseshoe Company, based in The Netherlands, have been sold by FPD for many years but will now be distributed exclusively from FPD’s Kentucky warehouse. The shoes are sold in farrier supply stores throughout North America.
A letter signed by Rudy, Michiel and Martin Kerckhaert was sent to store owners last week, notifying them of the change to a single importer for the shoes.
Kerckhaert has manufactured horseshoes since 1906, but the shoes have only been widely sold in North America since the mid-1980s. Kerckhaert steel shoes back then were turned, rather than drop-forged like most American keg shoes, and were (to the best of my knowledge) the first clipped shoes sold here. Kerckhaert now makes both turned and drop-forged shoes, according to Dan Burke, president of FPD.
In recent years, Kerckhaert expanded its aluminum racing shoes with the addition of Fast Break XT, Synergy XT and other designs developed to enhance breakover and/or minimize stress on the upper limb.
Kerckhaert can claim that three of the biggest races of 2008 were won by horses wearing their shoes on three different surfaces: Ravens Pass wore Kerckhaert race plates when he won the Breeders Cup Classic at Santa Anita in October 2008 on the new Pro Ride synthetic surface there. On grass, the great French filly Zarkava wore Kerckhaert plates when she won the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe on turf in Paris in October, and WinStar Farms' Colonel John wore Kerckhaert plates when winning the Travers Stakes on dirt at Saratoga in August.
FPD President Dan Burke will represent his company at the 2008 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention in San Diego, California December 6-11. Visit FPD in Booth 1635.
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