The American Farrier's Association (AFA) hosted its annual international farrier competition with more than 60 farriers competing for belt buckles, trophies and lots of cash at the recent AFA Convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Judges were Gerard Laverty CJF, TE of British Columbia, Jim Keith CJF of New Mexico, and Jim Poor CJF of Texas.
Here's a rundown of class winners:
1. Journeyman Shoes Class, sponsored by St Croix Forge, was won by Conrad Trow of Kentucky.
2. Hunter Shoes Class, sponsored by the Farrier Industry Association (FIA), was won by Mark Milster of Oklahoma.
3. Mustad Specialty Forging Class, sponsored by Mustad, was won by Darren Bazin of the United Kingdom.
4. 2-Man Draft Shoemaking Class, sponsored by Durasole, was won by Bill Poor of Texas & Bryce Burnett of Florida.
5. The North American Challenge Cup (NACC) Qualifying Class, with pins sponsored by Bloom Forge, was won by Billy Crothers of Wales.
6. The North American Challenge Cup (a.k.a. "Live Shoeing"), sponsored by Capewell, was won by Craig Trnka of New Mexico.
7. National High Point Winner Award, sponsored by Grant Moon & Bob Pethick, was won by Craig Trnka of New Mexico.
8. Overall High Point Winner, sponsored by Equine Forgings Ltd. was a tie between Billy Crothers & Craig Trnka.
9. The Shoeing Rig Contest was won by Glen Spradling of Texas.
10. The Shoe Case Classic was won by Gene Lieser of Texas.
11. The Vern Hornquist Class, sponsored by Myron McLane and Walt Taylor, was won by Dennis Manning of Utah.
Interesting statistics: in the main competition (not counting Vern's class), only 17 per cent of the prize winners were from east of the Mississippi, with three of them being from Kentucky. This is a complete reversal from 20 years ago, when prize winners from the Northeast dominated the prizes and the team placings.
Hoofcare & Lameness's unofficial "Marathon Man" award goes to Mark Milster of Oklahoma, whose name shows up on the finalists' list for five different classes.
British contestants showed up as finalists in all classes except the draft shoes class, which was traditionally dominated by the likes of Edward Martin, Jim and Allan Ferrie, and David Wilson, all from Scotland; no one from Scotland made the trip this year. Billy Crothers, who shared the high-point overall award with USA's Craig Trnka, is the reigning World Champion Blacksmith.
No word yet on who will represent the USA on the national farriers' team for 2007.
Thanks to rules committee chairman Myron McLane for sharing the results with Hoofcare & Lamenes.