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Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Racetrack Horseshoer's Survey Launched by Grayson Jockey Club's Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit

The Shoeing and Hoof Care Committee of the Grayson Jockey Club Foundation's Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit has compiled an online survey to collect data from horseshoers at US racetracks. Information from the survey will be used to assist the committee's efforts to study how horseshoers are licensed by states or racing jurisdictions, and what changes horseshoers feel may be warranted in the system to improve the education of horseshoers and the welfare of the horses in their care.

A sub-committee of the Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit's Shoeing and Hoof Care committee will use the results of this survey to gain information on topics, ideas and structure for a uniform national racetrack horseshoer test for state licensure. The committee feels that this step, which is similar to the Jockey Club's efforts in unifying Thoroughbred racetrack trainers' tests, will raise the bar of horseshoer qualifications and thereby boost the overall safety of the racehorse.

Hoofcare Publishing and The Hoof Blog have been asked to help disseminate news of the survey into the Thoroughbred racing shoeing community.

The survey is primarily an online questionnaire, and should only take a few minutes to complete.

To preserve the integrity of the survey, only those directly involved with racetrack horseshoeing should fill out the survey. This means: professional horseshoers who earn part or all of their living at the racetrack and are affected by state or track licensing.

An alternative path through the survey is available for trainers, owners, stable employees, racing officials, veterinarians, non-track horseshoers or others who are interested in expressing opinions about the practice of racetrack horseshoeing, but only racetrack shoers should answer the shoeing questions to preserve the survey's validity.

The committee has been collecting information for the past few years on state licensing and tests administered, and has sought the input of racetrack shoers in improving the process of testing new farriers. It is hoped that this survey will be able to reach many more horseshoers at tracks across the country.

A word about the survey: it is an automated program. Once you start to take the survey, you should finish it; you cannot go back and finish it later. The program will also prevent you from answering the survey more than once.

While the survey is anonymous, the Committee would like to hear more opinions from racetrack shoers, and has provided a comment section at the end of the survey for general feedback. Horseshoers are also invited to contact the committee directly to become involved in the efforts of the Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit and the Shoeing and Hoof Care Committee.

Please click on the red survey badge to open the survey:

If viewing on a text-only or mobile device, the direct address of the survey is

If you have any questions before you attempt to complete this survey, please contact Cathy O'Meara at If you know someone who does not have Internet access but who should take the survey, Cathy will be able to help.

The Foundation has not provided a deadline date for completing the survey, but you should not delay in submitting your answers if you want to have an impact on the decision-making process.

Notification of this survey is provided as a public service by Hoofcare Publishing. Comments left on this blog post, by clicking on "comment" at the bottom of this article, once published, will be visible to anyone visiting this blog but will not go directly to the Grayson Jockey Club Foundation, so please make comments on their survey feedback area as well.

 © 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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