Thursday, September 16, 2004

Congratulations to Farrier Lee Liles

The once-grand water wheel that powered the Burden Water Works in Troy, New York and made the horseshoes often credited with powering the Union to victory during the Civil War.
In August, I saw something I thought I would never see. A group of us--about 70, including guests--were visiting the Burden Iron Works in Troy, New York--the first subscriber group tour for Hoofcare & Lameness in more than 10 years! (The last one was a group trip to England, and I think it took ten years to recover.)

Farrier Lee Liles from Sulphur, Oklahoma was there in his amazing motor-home-farrier-shop on wheels (there may have been 18 of them). He had just purchased what is believed to be the only shoe board by Professor William Russell of Cincinnati in existence.

Professor Russell is widely regarded as the most well-known American farrier in history, although Professor Henry Asmus of Cornell can certainly give him some competition. Professor Russell authored the standard test "Scientific Horseshoeing", which is still sold today, thanks to the efforts of farrier Reuel Darling on Fresno, California.

What a treat it was to see Russell's beautiful shoes! This particular shoe board must have been some sort of an award or honor to the Ausable Horse Nail Company in Keesville, New York, and the spaces between the shoes are decorated artisically with nails. One of the shoes on the board was a machine-made shoe from the Burden Iron Works in Troy, so unveiling the board at the tour had special significance for all in attendance.

Congratulations to Lee on this major purchase/investment. You can see it in his public display of his collection of tools and shoes at his farm.