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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Video: Virginia Tech Vet School Farrier Volunteered at World Equestrian Games

It wasn't long ago that this blog was announcing that Travis Burns had been chosen as the first resident farrier to work at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech).

It only took about six months for Travis to be settled in enough at the job to answer the call of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. He signed on with the American Farrier's Association (AFA) to volunteer his services during the eventing portion of the Games.

All of the 70 or so volunteer farriers did a great job, but I think that Travis is probably the only one with a public relations department waiting to work on his behalf. So let's say that this video is a blanket salute to all the men and women who pitched in to help.

I'm sure Travis would agree.

Working at the eventing part of the Games was a natural for Travis. Before moving to Blacksburg for his position at the vet school, Travis worked at Forging Ahead in Round Hill, Virginia, outside Middleburg and, after college and farrier school, went through the group practice's formal farrier career-track internship program . Forging Ahead specializes in sport horses and lameness therapy, and the client list reads like a who's who of the sport of eventing.

All the farriers--young and old--who staffed the events at the World Equestrian Games were a great group who traveled to Lexington from all over the United States. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I'm sure none of them knew exactly what to expect. It could have been pouring rain or a tornado might have passed through, but the weather was friendly and their service was, too. They took a chance, gave up their earnings at home for a few days, and traveled at their own expense, but I doubt any of them regrets the time spent volunteering or being part of that event. There will probably never be a "next time".

© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site,, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to
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