Monday, August 25, 2008

Grant Moon and Welsh Team Score Double Dominance in International Farrier Contest at Stoneleigh

His hair may be gray now, but British farrier Grant Moon has returned to world-class farrier competition and stepped up the victor's pedestal with amazing ease after a long absence. Moon won the individual competition this weekend at what is considered the world's toughest contest, the "Stoneleigh International" in England, a.k.a. the 29th International Team Horseshoeing Championship, hosted by the National Association of Farriers, Blacksmiths and Agricultural Engineers of Great Britain at the Royal Agricultural Showgrounds in Warwickshire.

Grant also won the international individual title back in 1985, soon after leaving farrier school. It's interesting to note that Grant has competed at Stoneleigh under two flags in his lifetime. While he began his career representing Wales, he moved to the USA and later competed at Stoneleigh for American honors in 1989. David Duckett, now of the USA, and Bob Marshall, now of Canada, are two other farriers who have represented various countries. Duckett won the individual at Stoneleigh for the USA in 1987.

Not only did Grant Moon win the individual title; his home country team of Wales won the team competition on the following day. Meanwhile, half a world away, two Welsh farriers were hard at work at the Olympics in Hong Kong: Ian Hughes is official farrier for the entire Olympics and Paralympics and Haydn Price was team farrier for Great Britain.

Runners up were Scotland and England. No word yet on where the US team placed. Results were provided by the Forge Magazine, official publication of the NAFBAE, and they only reported the top three placings.

In a complete break with tradition, the 2009 "Stoneleigh" competition, which will be the 30th annual, will be held August 27-30 at the Aintree International Equestrian Centre in Liverpool, which is presumably somewhere near the Aintree Racecourse where the thrilling Grand National Steeplechase is held each spring.

This year, the Stoneleigh International's Gold Sponsor was Life Data Labs of the USA; Silver Sponsor was Mustad of Switzerland.

Read results and see lots of photos at Forge Magazine's web site.

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