Friday, March 18, 2005

Mickey Mouse's Big Empty Blacksmith Shop; Disney World Farrier Gary Wade Has Been Killed

Gary Wade, Disney farrier
Farrier Gary Wade of Disney World in Florida spoke at a special conference on hoofcare for heavy (draft) horses at Tufts University vet school recently.

Gary Allen Wade, 57, of Orlando, Florida, died of injuries suffered in a car crash on March 16, 2005. Possibly America’s most visible farrier, Gary Wade served as horseshoer at Walt Disney World in Florida for 32 years and shod the park’s 30+ draft horses as a daily public demonstration.

A fourth-generation farrier and graduate of Cornell University’s farrier program, Wade insisted that Disney’s horses be loosely tied to the rail at the open air farrier shop, rather than be restrained as many heavy horses are for shoeing. He believed horses should not fear the farrier, and taught the Disney horses that he was their friend…all the while answering questions from the public amid camera flashes.

An excellent speaker and advocate for the horse, Wade was selected one of the world’s leading heavy horse farriers for the 2004 Tufts University College of Veterinary Medicine Hoofcare Millennium conference.
Roger Clark and Gary Wade
Gary Wade (right, above) always wore a Disney cap and a smile; he took off the cap but not the smile as he was feted at the Tufts University Hoofcare for the New Millennium Conference on Heavy Horse Hoofcare in March 2004. Seated next to Gary is Roger Clark of Suffolk, England, another honoree. Photo by Carl Kirker-Head, Tufts University