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Friday, August 08, 2008

Shoeing for the World: Kelvin Lymer's Shoeing Role at Hong Kong Olympics

Kelvin Lymer of Worcester, England will be working as the official farrier of the Olympics in Hong Kong for three weeks, along with Ian Hughes of Wales. Kelvin and Ian will run the forge and shoeing clinic, facilitate the work of team farriers from other countries and help with horses from countries (the majority) who are not sending farriers. That must be his very favorite good-luck apron. One of the apron manufacturers hopefully sent him a new one to wear in Hong Kong! Picture by Emma Attwood, Worcester News

British farrier Kelvin Lymer DipWCF is serving as one of two official full-time event farriers for the 2008 Olympics Equestrian Events.

Kelvin, along with Ian Hughes of Wales, arrived last week and is staffing a farrier's forge and shoeing shop that are designed for use by both the official farriers and also to assist team farriers from different countries who will be attending. They'll also be helped by Australian Greg Murray as well as farriers from the Hong Kong Jockey Club, since there is no racing in the Territory during August. Kelvin will be in Hong Kong for three weeks; Ian will be on hand for eight weeks, since he will also be the farrier for the Paralympics in September.

Kelvin is no stranger to the bright lights of major competition; he has been the official farrier for the British endurance teams at events like the World Equestrian Games.

There's a great article about Kelvin in the Worcester News, his home paper in England (except for the part where they spelled his name wrong). Click here to read a lot more about Kelvin and his plans for Hong Kong.

As far as I know, this is the first time that the Olympics or any big FEI event has hired full time farriers to staff a purpose-built clinic for the hoofcare needs of the horses. It's an honor to be asked to shoe for your nation, to be sure, but to be asked to shoe for the world: that's a lifetime achievement. Three solid weeks on the job will be filled with great memories for Kelvin...and a lot of work and responsibility. He'll have great stories to tell when he gets home!

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