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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Farrier Model Dean Dibsdall Wins British Reality TV Show; Next Project Is Documentary of His Life Shoeing Horses


Farrier Dean Dibsdall has been in the news in England lately for his victory in a reality last-man-standing show called "Playing It Straight".  He also works as a model and next month will be the star of a documentary about...himself. (Photo courtesy of Horse and Country TV)
You never know who your friends are. In this case, a perfectly nice farrier from England turned out to be have a second career as a model and, I found out, was even a finalist in the Mr England competition.

And the next thing I knew, he was on a reality show similar to the USA's "The Bachelorette" but with a twist--some of the eligible bachelors were gay. But which ones? And was Dean gay or straight?

I honestly didn't know which he was, but I was cheering him on from the USA anyway.

Dean Dibsdall DipWCF ended up winning the "Playing It Straight" show (was it his burnt hoof after-shave?) and a lot of money. Now the British network Horse and Country is planning a documentary about what it's like to be a farrier celebrity--they'll even follow him when he competes in the farrier events at the National Shire Show in a few weeks.

When I played "do you know..." with Dean, I found that he could rattle off at least three names familiar to American farriers: he lives next to Billy Crothers; he was apprentice to Carl Bettison's second apprentice, Daniel Harman; and he has worked for James Blurton in the past. That seems like the start of a great resume, or like meeting your second cousin, twice-removed, for the first time.

In the farriery world, Dean is four years into his career and shoes horses around Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire, all north of London.

Dean Dibsdall really does shoe horses. "Being a farrier and working with horses is the most important thing in my life," he said in an interview. (photo courtesy of Dean DIbsdall)
It seems a long way around, but if the documentary comes out as Dean describes it, it could well be a great promotion for the farrier profession, as has been his smiling face on the reality show these past weeks.

Let's all celebrate his success and wish him well and  hope that we can figure out a way to see the documentary in the USA.


Here's the press release from Horse and Country TV, and some information from the Hoof Blog files about other farrier models:

Dean Dibsdall, winner of Channel 4’s Playing It Straight series, is to be the subject of a documentary on Horse & Country TV (Sky Channel 280), it was announced today.

The hour-long show, Dean Dibsdall: Model Farrier, will be shown on the British channel in April.

Horse & Country’s cameras will follow Dean as he deals with his new-found fame while working as a specialist in horse hoof care. As well as being a full-time farrier Dean, 28, from Leighton Buzzard, also works as a part-time model. He won the title of "Mr Bedfordshire" last year and represented the county in the final of the "Mr England" competition.

“I’m very excited to be doing this show with Horse & Country TV,” says Dean, ”being a farrier and working with horses is the most important thing in my life.

“I hope fans of Playing in Straight will tune in and be really entertained while at the same time experience a world they wouldn’t normally get the chance to encounter.”

Dean's not the first British farrier
model; eventing specialist
Jamie Goddard
was model for the
TeamGBR clothing line a few years ago.
He shoes for riders like Australia's Paul
Tapner, winner of Badminton Horse
Trials in 2010.
(Jamie Goddard photo)
Jonathan Rippon, Head of Programming at Horse & Country, adds: “Dean is a complete natural on camera and has a hugely engaging personality which will make him a hit both with our regular viewers and those new to H&C.”

The show will highlight the tremendous variety of Dean’s professional life including working with miniature Shetland ponies, alongside vets to help lame horses, visiting a range of livery yards and taking part in a farrier competition at the Shire Horse Show as well as following his new experiences as a fledgling celebrity.

Dean has been a farrier for four years, following in a family tradition that has seen three of his cousins become farriers too. After setting his heart on working with horses Dean underwent more than four years of intensive training at college as well as shadowing a qualified farrier.

“I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do when I left school so one day went out with one of my cousins who was already a farrier and I just took to it straight away,” says Dean, ”It’s a physical job and you get to work with animals outdoors in the fresh air – plus you’re your own boss.”

Working in such close proximity to horses isn’t without its dangers but Dean says: “I’ve had a few broken bones and cracked ribs but you don’t mind when you’re doing something you love.”

British farrier Nick Partridge was the star of a
full-page ad for Herring shoes in the magazine
 for the 2011 Ascot race meet. I thought it
was a horseshoe ad. Fun to see such a well-
shod farrier!
On Monday night British television viewers saw Dean win the E4 network's reality TV series  “Playing It Straight” in which straight and gay guys competed to win the heart of female contestant Cara.

If one of the gay contestants had successfully deceived Cara and been picked by her, he would have won the show’s £50,000 cash prize. Because she chose Dean, one of the genuinely straight contestants, the two of them split the prize, receiving £25,000 (approximately $40,000US) each.

The documentary has been commissioned by Jonathan Rippon, Head of Programming at H&C TV, and is being made in-house at H&C by the production team responsible for other series on the channel such as Top Marks, When Nicki Met Carl and magazine show Rudall’s Round Up.

Refresh your anatomy knowledge with a high-tech, easy-to-use animated
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© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site, www.hoofcare.com, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to blog@hoofcare.com.  
Follow Hoofcare + Lameness on Twitter: @HoofcareJournal
Read this blog's headlines on the Hoofcare + Lameness Facebook Page
 
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any direct compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned, other than Hoofcare Publishing. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Racing Two-Year-Old Thoroughbreds: Does It Promote Longer, More Successful Racing Careers? Kiwi Numbers Might Not Tell the Whole Story

DSC_0098
Zenyatta was the exception to the rule, if judged by the New Zealand statistics. She began her phenomenal racing career in the fall of her three-year-old season. (Dave Cooper photo)

Just published: The association of two-year-old training milestones with career length and racing success in a sample of Thoroughbred horses in New Zealand JC Tanner, CW Rogers, EC Firth Equine Veterinary Journal. doi: 10.1111/j.2042-3306.2011.00534.x

New research, published this month the Equine Veterinary Journal (EVJ), has suggested that exercise early in life has a positive effect on musculoskeletal health and may have a positive impact on the future racing careers of Thoroughbreds.

The study looked at the association of two-year-old training milestones with career length and racing success in a sample of 4683 Thoroughbred horses in New Zealand. Retrospective data were obtained from the Thoroughbred foal crop born in 2001/2002. Three training milestones were observed: 1) registration with a trainer, 2) trialling to assess race potential and 3) racing.

The association of the training milestones with career length was measured by assessing the number of race starts and the number of years raced.

The results:

1. The horses that raced as two-year-olds had significantly more race starts during their careers from three-years-old onwards than those first raced as three-year-olds or older.

2. Horses that raced as two-year-olds had significantly more years racing.

3. Horses registered with a trainer, trialled or raced as two-year-olds were more likely to have won or been placed in a race than those that achieved these milestones as three-year-olds or older.

4. In addition, horses that first trialled and raced as two-year-olds had greater total earnings than those that first trialled or raced at a later age.

Jasmine Tanner of the Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand, who instigated the study, concluded: “Musculoskeletal injuries are one the main causes of wastage in racing and days lost from training. This early study indicates that horses in training or racing as two-year-olds may have better musculoskeletal health throughout life than those first in training or racing at a later age. This could have a positive impact on their future success in racing. If this is indeed the case then it may be possible to manipulate the initiation and structure of race training to reduce the risk of such injuries in the future.”

Tanner previously analyzed statistics of racing milestones for Standardbred racehorses. She is pursuing a Master's degree while also training Standardbreds and recently received an award for her achievements as a trainer. According to the university web site, her research is funded by the New Zealand Racing Board.

Before jumping to conclusions and overlaying this research on American Thoroughbreds, remember that there are environmental and medical differences in Thoroughbreds as you travel around the world. The way that horses are raised differs in the two countries, and in New Zealand, horses are racing almost exclusively on grass. They also are not stabled at racetracks but just travel to the track on raceday. The expectations placed on horses for a number of career starts differs around the world. Also, the medication rules for racing horses are very different from country to country.

It would be simple to say that these results from New Zealand are self-evident. A horse that misses its two-year-old career launch misses it for a reason, usually. It is true that some owners and trainers carefully delay a horse's introduction to racing because they want the horse to be physically mature, but most two-year-olds would have been started had they been healthy or sound enough to do it.

If comparing three-year-olds that have been healthy and in training with horses of the same age that have been unhealthy, it seems obvious that whatever caused the horse to miss its two-year-old start might turn into or be related to a chronic health or soundness issue that would compromise the horse's long-term career.

Hopefully this research won't discourage responsible owners and trainers from treating each horse as an individual and starting its training at the optimum time for that horse.

Take heart: Champion mare Zenyatta did not start in her first race until the end of her three-year-old season. Likewise, Australian champion Black Caviar did race three times as a two-year-old but kept up her undefeated record after a seven-month layoff in her three-year-old career.

Many routes can lead to success in racing. Comparing the statistics from New Zealand with comparable data from the United States and other countries would be fascinating.

How do different countries or even different owners define "success" in terms of a horse's race career? How do you define it? And what about the bigger picture of racing: should we be judging success on the status quo of racing ten years ago?

How can we use this data to help Thoroughbred racing move into a more sustainable future?

The paradigm of "success" needs to evolve to meet a new standard that includes a horse's exit status as well as its entry age.

In an ideal world, research like Tanner's might look at both ends of a horse's career. Data should reveal how many horses exit their racing careers in a sound, healthy condition after an acceptable number of starts and with acceptable results. That would be a great measure of success and give us information we need to improve all the numbers in a horse's life.

Click on the ad to read about this exciting new book!

© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site, www.hoofcare.com, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to blog@hoofcare.com.  
Follow Hoofcare + Lameness on Twitter: @HoofcareJournal
Read this blog's headlines on the Hoofcare + Lameness Facebook Page
 
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any direct compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned, other than Hoofcare Publishing. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hallmarq Standing MRI and Chronic Equine Foot Lameness: What’s Going On Inside the Foot?

horse jumping V
Sport horse lameness requires a diagnosis to pinpoint the injury site and a prognosis to predict when and if the horse might return to training. The veterinarian chooses from a set of alternative plans to gain recovery based on restricting the horse to stall rest, turning him out, or following a prescribed limited exercise program. The program is determined by the site of the injury and the clinician's knowledge of and experience in successfully treating that injury site. If the injury isn't properly or fully diagnosed, facets of the recovery plan--including medications and adjunctive hoofcare--might not be effective, time may be lost and the horse's chances at returning to his former level of performance are jeopardized.

The hoof capsule is the horse’s best friend: it’s a protective covering, a shield against rocks and bumps, and a tractable aid to locomotion. If the horse had to gallop on a soft digit, could he gallop at all?

The tough shell of his hoof wall is the horse’s best friend--until something goes wrong inside the foot. Then it takes sophisticated imaging equipment to see what’s going on inside that wall, and beneath that sole and frog. When we want to know what’s going on in there, it’s time for technology to take over.

X0003P0099
The density of the outer hoof capsule protects the horse from many injuries. But when there is a problem inside the foot, the hoof capsule makes it difficult to diagnose the severity of injuries and make a definitive prognosis for recovery. (Nottingham Vet School photo)

A recent study at the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Virginia delved into some details of cases of chronic, unresolved foot lameness. Might these cases have something in common, besides that the horses were all lame in one front foot? The researchers wondered, and compared the horses’ records.

The study's lead author is
Santiago Daniel Gutierrez-Nibeyro,
DVM, MS, DACVS,
now a clinician
at the University of Illinois
College of Veterinary Medicine





While many studies have logged in data about test-case horses with specific acute injuries revealed only by MRI--deep digital flexor tendon lesions in sport horses are prime examples--this study looked at a larger population of horses that had been lame for some time (from three months to five years) and which had not received the benefit of an MRI before they were referred to the hospital for further testing.

Each of the horses had responded favorably to a palmar digital nerve block in the lame foot, so the clinician was confident that the horse’s pain source had been isolated. MRI was performed if clinical and radiological findings did not provide a definitive diagnosis and if the owners elected further examination.

Another thing the cases had in common is that, after referral, each of the horses had been scanned using the same MRI technology: the Hallmarq Veterinary Imaging “standing MRI” system installed at the hospital in Leesburg in 2007.

Horses with chronic forefoot lameness were selected for the study. A Hallmarq standing MRI scan was employed to look for damage to soft tissue structures in the coffin joint and navicular zone.
The veterinarians selected 79 horses that fulfilled the selection criteria for the study and began to compare their records. The biggest thing that the horses had in common was that the MRI scans revealed that almost all of them--74 out of 79--were actually showing more than one structure in the foot with an alteration.

In most (52) of the 74 horses with more than one change, the multiple abnormalities were not of equal severity.

What types of injuries did the MRI scans reveal on these chronically lame horses?

Hallmarq mutli-image with logo• 78 percent of the horses had a navicular bone lesion in the lame foot, along with another injury;

• 58 percent of the horses showed evidence of navicular bursitis (inflammation to the bursa, or fluid-lined sac between the navicular bone and the deep digital flexor tendon at the back of the coffin joint);

• 54 percent of the horses showed evidence of damage to the deep digital flexor tendon;

• 53 percent of horses demonstrated some degree of effusion (excess fluid) of the coffin joint; and

• 39 percent of the horses were suffering from collateral ligament desmopathy of the coffin joint.

Who were these horses? Breeds included Thoroughbreds (24), Warmbloods (36), Quarter Horses (9) and others (10). Occupations comprised jumping (37), eventing (12), dressage (17) and pleasure riding (13). The mean age was nine years old, but ranged from four to 24.

What’s the take-home message from this research?

In standing MRI, the horse
does not require anesthesia
If you’ve been reading the Hoof Blog for a while, you already know a good bit about Hallmarq’s standing MRI technology, which is now available in dozens of veterinary clinics around the world. MRI was the next level of diagnostic imaging for horses whose injuries were not revealed by other systems or, in the case of navicular changes visible on radiographs, would benefit from a more detailed evaluation.

Not so long ago, we would have labeled these horses as simply having a chronic foot pain condition or, more likely “navicular disease”. Farriers would try different shoeing techniques or trims, hoping to hit on a magic combination of support and comfort. Pain medication, coffin joint injection and perhaps even neurectomy would be on the menu. Some horses recovered sooner, some horses recovered later, some horses stayed lame.

Having access to MRI is much like calling in Sherlock Holmes when the police have failed to solve the crime. MRI results can often be surprising, as we see here, when the scan is expected to yield a given result and does, but also reveals more information than anticipated.

The deep digital flexor tendon (arrows) is a common site of injury in sport horses. While some injuries or abnormalities of the navicular bone can be seen on radiographs, lesions to the tendon require imaging that reveals the soft tissues of the inner foot.
(Troytown Equine Hospital image)

The identification of multiple injury sites in the foot is critical if the lameness is to respond and recover. In 2003, papers by Dyson and Murray in Great Britain and by Schneider and Sampson in the United States used MRI to document that equine foot pain often can be traced to multiple structures. This important new consciousness has been a critical factor in the growing appreciation of using MRI as a diagnostic tool, and the Virginia study certainly confirmed those findings in a large number of horses.

A benefit of the standing MRI system for evaluating horse foot lameness is that the horse is not required to undergo anesthesia. The horse stands on all four feet throughout the procedure, which may be performed as an “out-patient” type of appointment at a vet clinic that is equipped with the Hallmarq system.

This research was part of a series of MRI-related studies on foot lameness conducted by Santiago Daniel Gutierrez-Nibeyro, DVM, MS, DACVS as a component of his Masters in Science degree. The entire set of research papers is a tremendous asset to anyone wishing to understand how MRI imaging fits into the bigger picture of equine foot lameness diagnosis and treatment.

To learn more:
Standing low-field magnetic resonance imaging in horses with chronic foot pain by Gutierrez-Nibeyro, Werpy and White published in March 2012 in the Australian Veterinary Journal

Outcomes of Medical Treatment for Pathologies of the Equine Foot Diagnosed with Magnetic Resonance Imaging by Santiago Daniel Gutierrez-Nibeyro, M.V.


To learn more about Hallmarq Veterinary Imaging and standing MRI technology for horses:

• Visit and "like" the Hallmarq Equine MRI Facebook page;
• Follow @HallmarqMRI on Twitter;
• Subscribe to the hallmarqvetimaging channel on YouTube.com;
• Watch for a growing equine distal limb Hallmarq MRI image gallery on Flickr.com;
• Visit the Hallmarq.net web site. (Plan to spend some time there!)


© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing
Follow Hoofcare + Lameness on Twitter: @HoofcareJournal
Read this blog's headlines on the Hoofcare + Lameness Facebook Page
 
Disclosure of Material Connection: This blog post is sponsored by Hallmarq Veterinary Imaging. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Video: Rood and Riddle Laminitis Treatment and Stem Cell Therapy for Regally-Bred Rescued Racehorse

"Laminitis: Film at 11" was the message in Tucson, Arizona this weekend as the media framed the play-by-play of treatment to a rescued laminitic Thoroughbred by Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital's Dr. Vern Dryden. Videos are posted at the end of this article. This slideshow is compiled of images taken by Kim Reis. The slide show in its entirety and the individual photos as well are © Heart of Tucson. Media facilitated by Greg Ambrose (thanks). Click on the "play" icon to start the show.

Somewhere in the desert outside of Tucson, Arizona, a horse is wondering "Where'd everyone go?" this morning. Film crews, spectators, new shoes, tourniquets and a big buzz have electrified life at the barn the past few days as a rescued, rundown racehorse received state-of-the-art treatment for his chronic laminitis.

A lost and sickly Thoroughbred taken in by the Heart of Tucson rescue and therapy group has turned out to be a quite royally bred son of the famed Three Chimneys Farm stallion Dynaformer, who also sired such great racehorses as Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro and Melbourne Cup winner Americain. His name in the Jockey Club record books is Dyna King.

But laminitis doesn't care who you are.

Vernon Dryden, DVM, CJF
Dyna King, whose identity was unknown when he limped off trailer at the rescue center after being found abandoned and lame in the desert, now goes by the barn name "Gifted". He was was slow to his feet yesterday, and slow to hobble down the barn aisle to the mats where he'd stand for two hours while far-from-home Vern Dryden, DVM, CJF of the Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital's Podiatry Center in Lexington, Kentucky went to work on his feet.

The treatment, performed at state-of-the-art Bandalero Ranch near Tucson, included frog-support equipped Sigafoos glue-on shoes and dental impression material with a hospital plate--a standard treatment these days.

But this treatment had something else. In addition to Dryden's world-class expertise in treating laminitis, analyzing the radiographs and preparing the foot for his special shoes, the horse felt both his front limbs get wrapped. A catheter was inserted and Dryden pumped millions of stem cells into the horse's lower limbs.

Rood and Riddle's regenerative medicine program's stem cell project uses specially-harvested umbilical stem cells collected from blood in the afterbirth of foals.

Dyna King's story caught the imagination--and support--of local television station KGUN9-TV in Tucson. A production crew followed Dryden on the job and the horse's treatment has been featured on Tucson television news over the weekend.

KGUN9 and Heart of Tucson kindly shared the videos and slide show so they can be posted here for Hoof Blog readers around the world.

Intro TV News video:

 

 Interview with Dr Vern Dryden; video © Heart of Tucson:

   

If you'd like to donate to help Dyna King, click here for the Heart of Tucson donation page. Note: Dr. Dryden's treatment and services were donated, but the costs of caring for Dyna King will be high.

To learn more:
Call 978 281 3222 to order your copy; always in stock!

© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site, www.hoofcare.com, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to blog@hoofcare.com.  

Follow Hoofcare + Lameness on Twitter: @HoofcareJournal
Read this blog's headlines on the Hoofcare + Lameness Facebook Page

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any direct compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned, other than Hoofcare Publishing. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Historic Capewell Triumphs Recalled As Connecticut Looks Back After Learning Delta Mustad News of Nailmaker's Departure

On the nailmaking floor: Stanley Wojnilo has worked for Capewell Horse Nails for 53 years. This photo was of Stanley was featured in the Hartford Courant newspaper today. Stanley came to America from Poland and his first--and only--job was making horseshoe nails for Capewell. According to the newspaper report, in the early 1900s Capewell shipped 20 million pounds of nails a year. 
Several reports from the Hartford area today expressed sadness at the news that Capewell Horse Nails will now be made abroad, following yesterday's announced by Delta Mustad. 


The Hartford Courant had an article featuring Stanley Wojnilo, the company's veteran nailmaker. (Click colored text to read the story.) On Twitter, the Connecticut and Hartford Historical Societies announced the news.

Things few people know: before the existence of today's Farrier Industry Association of salesmen in the hoofcare industry, there was the Order of Nutmegs. When there were horseshoer conventions, the Nutmegs would have big banquets and just generally celebrate in grand style.

Why were they called "Nutmegs"? A "nutmeg" was a name for a pedlar without many scruples. They'd travel around with a wagon-load of goods back in the days before mail order or malls. One of thins they sold was the spice, nutmeg. But it might not be a nutmeg you were buying--it might be a knot of wood. They looked alike.

Among those Nutmegs toasting the horseshoers (and each other) at conventions in the old days were Capewell salesmen who called Connecticut (known as "the nutmeg state") home. Capewell had an army of salesmen on the road visiting hardware stores and blacksmith and horseshoer supply houses. A Capewell salesman was synonymous with the successful tradesman.

Capewell Factory
For many years, the Capewell factory in downtown Hartford was derelict. It was once called "one of the great cathedrals of American industry". Capewell was one of the first US companies to ever offer daycare for the children of women who worked in the factory. I'm not sure when this photo was taken; the last time I tried to find the factory, I couldn't. Maybe I was lost, or maybe it is gone. Delta Mustad bought the Capewell horse nail business, not the building, in 1985. Photo by Nivek29


© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site, www.hoofcare.com, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to blog@hoofcare.com.  
Follow Hoofcare + Lameness on Twitter: @HoofcareJournal
Read this blog's headlines on the Hoofcare + Lameness Facebook Page
 
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any direct compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned, other than Hoofcare Publishing. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Capewell Ends 131-Year Run Making Nails in USA as Delta Mustad Consolidates Horse Nail Factories

George Capewell's Grave; photo from the Library of Congress
The news from Delta Mustad hit the streets today: Capewell nails will no longer be made in America. Of course the company has big plans, but a chunk of US horse history ceases with this announcement.

Detail from grave
Hoofcare Publishing and I wish all the employees of the Connecticut factory the very best in their new pursuits and of course we wish the best to all our friends all over the world who are part of the Delta Mustad Hoofcare universe.

Someday I'd like to give the Capewell name and nails their due place in history. It could be a book, and maybe it should be a Ken Burns-type documentary film. Capewell's tradition in and around Hartford, Connecticut deserves it.

I remember the first time I visited the factory in Connecticut. I remember meeting some Polish women who worked as nail inspectors. Their job was so important. I was impressed, and everyone was always so nice.

Mustad hired me to write the announcement that they had bought Capewell. Nails were a very political hot-button issue in the horse world back then; Capewell owned the US market, and Mustad opened their operations here from a warehouse in Auburn, New York around 1980.

After Mustad bought Capewell, a beautiful new factory and warehouse complex was built north of Hartford amidst the tobacco fields of Bloomfield.

The workers always seemed a little embarrassed that I was so interested in meeting them. They always have been so important to the farrier industry and the horse world, and they always will be, since it sounds like Delta Mustad plans to continue making Capewell nails.

I'm so glad I was able to see those old Capewell nail machines at work, in the original factory, and meet those people.

I can still hear the clattering sound the machines made in the high ceiling halls of that old factory in Hartford. I hope I never forget that sound.

Here's the annoucement that Delta Mustad Hoofcare posted on its web site today: (text in italics is direct quote from company)

 Today Mustad, the world leader in hoofcare products, including horseshoes and nails, announced the consolidation of its global hoof nail production in Mustadfors (Sweden) and Emcoclavos (Colombia). 


The closure of the Capewell production facilities in Bloomfield has been announced on Feb 21st, 2012.


“We are continuously looking for ways to improve our production, distribution and customer service,” says Hans Mustad, CEO of the firm. “After a careful and thorough evaluation process we have decided to close the nail production at Capewell and move the entire Capewell production to Mustadfors, Sweden.


 In Bloomfield a total number of 26 employees are affected by the closure. 


"All agreements with our staff are made in the spirit of Mustad´s values as a family company, with a 180-year tradition in social responsibility,” confirms Hans Mustad. The North American sales and customer teams are not affected and remain unchanged. 


“With the focus on two state-of-the-art production facilities in Sweden and Colombia we are in a position to further improve the quality of our products, utilize innovations and manage even better supply as well as customer service,” continues Hans Mustad 


“We are very grateful to the Bloomfield employees for their dedication and craftsmanship in producing Capewell horsenails. Their efforts have been instrumental towards maintaining Capewell's 131-year reputation for exceptional quality with suppliers and customers from around the world. We will continue that positive legacy as we transition to the next phase of Capewell's future” confirms Petter Binde, Mustad’s Sales & Marketing CEO. 


The Capewell brand will remain unchanged and continues to be an integral part of Mustad´s market leading, global product offering. 


(end of text from Delta Mustad Hoofcare)


An old post card showing the now-abandoned and derelict Capewell factory in downtown Hartford. Mustad moved the company to Bloomfield soon after purchasing the company.

Call 978 281 3222 to reach Hoof Blog readers!


© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site, www.hoofcare.com, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to blog@hoofcare.com.  
Follow Hoofcare + Lameness on Twitter: @HoofcareJournal
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any direct compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned, other than Hoofcare Publishing. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Professional Farriers Honor Larry Rumsby

AAPF Presentation: (left to right) Director Steve Prescott, Vice President Dave Farley, Director Roy Bloom, Honorary Member #1 Larry Rumsby, President Jeff Ridley and Director David Dawson. 
Canadian farrier Larry Rumsby of Bromont, Quebec received special recognition recently when he was named the first honorary member of the American Association of Professional Farriers (AAPF). Larry was presented with a forged horseshoe coat rack, designed and forged by AAPF Director Jennifer Horn, at a reception in his honor at the Florida home of AAPF Vice President Dave Farley and his wife Karen.

Olympic Gold Farriers in the same place at the same time: Holland's Rob Renirie, farrier to the 2008 Olympic Gold Medal Dressage team, and Larry Rumsby, farrier to the 2008 Olympic Individual Gold Medal Show Jumper, posed one day on the porch of Larry's family's farmhouse, appropriately situated on Rumsby Road, a stone's throw from Quebec's signature skiing and equestrian resort at Bromont, where the equestrian events of the 1976 Olympics were held.

Larry has been featured on the Hoof Blog in the past and is known around the world in the FEI horse sport world. For many years he traveled the world and was responsible for the shoeing of Eric Lamaze's Dutch Warmblood stallion Hickstead and other top Canadian jumpers.

Wearing Larry's shoes, Hickstead won the Gold Medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics (Hong Kong).

The Hoof Blog toasted Larry after Hickstead won the Gold Medal at the 2008 Olympics. The graphic still works four years later, and the sentiment is just as sincere. This anvil and tools sculpture stands at the entrance to Marechalerie Bromont.

Larry's wife, Louise Mongeau, runs Marechalerie Bromont, a thriving farrier supply business.

To learn more:

Golden Horseshoes: Larry Rumsby's Shoes Were "Lamazing" for Canada in Hong Kong

Seamus Brady Will Live On in Legend

 

Click on the image to learn about a 3-D animated reference guide to hoof anatomy


© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site, www.hoofcare.com, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to blog@hoofcare.com.  
Follow Hoofcare + Lameness on Twitter: @HoofcareJournal
Read this blog's headlines on the Hoofcare + Lameness Facebook Page
 
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any direct compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned, other than Hoofcare Publishing. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Headlamps and Horseshoes: Finnish Farriers Shed Some Light on Their Equipment

Farrier Lee Canham works in the dark Finnish winter with a headlamp that illuminates the hoof for him.
 (photo by Tuomas Kauko)
They call it the Midnight Sun. In winter, above a certain northern latitude, there's simply not much daylight. For farriers who must keep working on their clients' hooves, that means shoeing in the dark for at least part of the year.

Finnish farriers Lee Canham and Tuomas Kauko make sure they can see what they are doing by wearing headlamps while they work. They contributed some insight on why every photo I see of them seems to include a cyclops eye in the middle of their foreheads:

"No matter how well lit up a place is, a farrier will almost always find his or herself working in their own shadow," wrote Lee, who was born in Wales and has also lived in Spain, Iceland, and Sweden. "Hence the headlamp: problem solved! That´s my theory; also it's dark half of the time in Finland and when it's minus 20 or 30 degrees (Celsius), a good headlamp can help with the frostbitten fingers."

Is Finland the safest place in the world to shoe a horse? Lee Canham wins the best-dressed award for his noise-cancelling headphones, safety glasses and headlamp. No comment on the cigarette! (photo by Tuomas Kauko)

Tuomas Kauko likes the idea of conjuring the image of a dentist in his clients' minds: "I use it to look professional," he said. "I'm quite convinced that usually people think that I'm kind of like a dentist but just a bit sensitive to strong odors so I can't work around people`s mouths..."

I think his tongue was in his frozen cheek for that one, since farriers are bound to catch--or even create--some interesting odors in their daily work.

I´n not old yet and loving  it..``I hope all my clients get to see this``
The Hoof Blog originally found Tuomas and Lee through this portrait of Tuomas at work, taken by Lee. I used it as an example of how to take a good picture of a farrier: the photographer should get down low and shoot up--too many photos of farriers don't show their faces well, if at all, because of angle compromises, lighting, and cap brims. But I didn't realize until much later that the photo was actually taken by a farrier, which helps explain why it is so good. The headlamp intrigued me and I decided to track these two down--even though they are a world away in Finland. And I'm glad I did.

"Not that many farriers use headlamps," Tuomas continued.  "I think it`s a neglected but (sometimes) very useful tool. I think Lee always uses his lamp but I only use in stables that have poor lighting. Winter time we don`t get much light from the windows so I end up using it much more during the winter.

"By the way, I once spoke with a German guy who was doing his apprenticeship with a very, very respected farrier and they always used tiny headlamps," he added. "The headlamp I use is the kind they sell for sport."

Welsh Dragon
This terrific photo of the interior of Lee's van shows off his photographic skills. This is not an easy photo to take--in any light. (Lee Canham photo)

Lee and Tuomas don't work together, but their paths cross--so these two talented photographers sometimes get to take photos of each other, like the ones you see here. "Tuomas and I occasionally get to work at the same stables and sharing the same hobby (with the cameras) makes work more fun than it already is," Lee wrote.

If it sounds like Lee and Tuomas are far, far away in their corner of northern Europe, remember that everyone else seems that way to them. Their beautiful country is the center of their universe.

Lee waxed philosophical on the loneliness, sometimes, of the self-employed. He wrote, "Have you ever heard that being a farrier is always challenging? Of course you have. What I think makes it more challenging is the fact that every farrier is so busy and one soon becomes isolated by working for and with one's self. Therefore, the ability to learn from others can be cut off.

"This is where your (Hoofcare + Lameness/The Hoof Blog) site becomes a farrier's asset, along with his tools," he added.

As I write this, Tuomas is leaving for India and Nepal on holiday. He has traveled the world seeking adventure and, as he goes, documenting the horses and farriers he meets. He's even been to Australia and been on a wild horse research trip to the Outback with Dr Pollitt's Australian Brumby Research Unit. 

His goal--enthusiastically encouraged by his interviewer, who is now one of his biggest fans--is to publish a book of his photos about shoeing around the world.

The sunlight in India will surely blind him when he gets off the plane but I'm sure he has a plan for that.

Thanks to Tuomas and Lee for their help with this article and for their beautiful, inspiring photography, which they kindly agree to share with Hoof Blog readers today.

To learn more:




Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Slip of the Anvil on Downton Abbey: Did you catch the reference?

Gretna Green Anvil

Here's some trivia for a February Sunday afternoon: how closely are you paying attention when you watch television?

Notice the horse being shod
in the background as the

wedding proceeds. 
If you're like me, you'll be glued to the television tonight for the final episode of the second year of the PBS/BBC mini-series Downton Abbey. 

And if you're also anything like me, you knew that, sooner or later, something related to hoofcare would show up in the second series. 

A horse lost a shoe in the first series, with no farrier to be found. Lady Mary was very annoyed that she had to walk the horse home.  I thought that surely the farrier would materialize and later turn out to be the rightful heir to the estate. 

 This year, I've been waiting patiently for writer Julian Fellowes to let another hoof reference fly. And he did. 

It happened last week: Second series, episode six, the one where the war is over, but the Spanish Flu has hit instead.

badge
But did you catch the reference? 

It was a fleeting one. Lady Sybil has eloped with her Irish anarchist chauffeur lover; they've driven off into the night when Lady Mary discovers they're missing. 

Which way did they go? You might wonder. 

But Lady Mary knew instantly where they had gone. "Oh, we must hurry! They'll be halfway to Gretna Green by now!" she gushes as she and Lady Edith rush out the door. 

That's it. The alarm is sounded: "Gretna Green" means only one thing: Lady Sybil has run away to stand in front of an anvil in Scotland. And since Downton Abbey is supposed to be in Yorkshire, they didn't have that far to go.

The dowager countess will definitely not approve.

Mum & Dad
Kilts are probably optional and you probably have to pay the piper but weddings are still big business in Gretna Green, which rivals Las Vegas as a town with a wedding-as-industry mindset.
Apparently it was the way that elopements happened for centuries in England. By crossing the border from England to Scotland, couples were eligible to be wed--no questions asked. And the first place you came to when you crossed over from Cumbria was a smithy in the hamlet of Gretna Green.

And the smith had the legal power to perform marriages.

Dag 19 Gretna Green

You might wonder how I happen to know about an obscure Scottish village. Well, I've even been there. Twice. Not to get married, but to be a tourist. Gretna Green is in Dumfriesshire, just down the road from Closeburn, the ancestral home of Edward Martin, FWCF, MBE,  the great Scottish farrier and blacksmith. 

 You can bet that Gretna Green was on the tourist route for his incredible hospitality when Americans came his way. 

The history was interesting and it was sort of amusing to be tourists at the weddings of total strangers, but a gift shop full of anvil-theme items was simply a candy store for farrier visitors to take home as mementos of this unique village. It must be the anvil souvenir capital of the world.

Now that it's been mentioned on the world's favorite television drama, the wedding business must be booming in Gretna Green. But then again, it always has been.

Photos: Anvil emblem by Chris in Plymouth, smiddy interior by Andrys Stienstra, happy couple by Matt Thorpe. 

© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site, www.hoofcare.com, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to blog@hoofcare.com.  
Follow Hoofcare + Lameness on Twitter: @HoofcareJournal
Read this blog's headlines in your Facebook news feed when you "like" the Hoofcare + Lameness Facebook Page
 
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any direct compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned, other than Hoofcare Publishing. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.