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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Farrier Paul Brewer Has Died in Kentucky

Long-time Kentucky farrier Paul Brewer died in a fall from a ladder on December 13, according to reports received here. The Lexington, Kentucky resident played a pivotal role in the growth of the American Farrier's Association in the 1980s and was for many years, the association's "IT" expert, as well as treasurer. Paul wrote programs for the AFA's membership and competition scoring, and taught many farriers how useful a computer could be in their businesses. He planned and orchestrated the 1988 American Farrier's Association convention in Lexington, which is still remembered as one of the best-attended and most successful AFA conventions in history.

I have known Paul as long as I have been in the farrier industry (and that is a long time). He was extremely dedicated to the AFA, and had a thriving business, known as The Bluegrass Forge, before retiring. His family's farm bordered the Kentucky Horse Park on Iron Works Pike in Lexington, and I have many fond memories of visiting his family and their horses.

Paul was an invisible stalwart of every AFA convention for at least ten years. He was always behind the scenes, always worked long hours, and never asked for recognition. I was with him one fateful night when an error was discovered in the scoring of the competition, resulting in the naming of incorrect people to the American Farriers Team, and he vowed to create a computerized scoring program for the AFA, which he did.

Paul was a champion of moving the association from its headquarters in New Mexico to the new office suite at the Kentucky Horse Park and fought diligently for the move, which was one of the most bitter political episodes in the AFA's history. He was also very involved in the Bluegrass Horseshoers Association.

If you are a member of the AFA or if you enjoy the privileges of being a farrier in the 21st century, you have people like Paul Brewer to thank.

"Another important piece of AFA history gone," sighed acting AFA executive director Mike Nolan today. Paul had been Mike's farrier for many years.

I agree.

The AFA's death notie for Paul is available at

To leave a message in a memorial guest book dedicated to Paul via the Lexington Herald-Leader's web site, please click on this link: Paul Brewer's Memorial Guest Book

(Last edited 12/17/06)

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