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Friday, August 03, 2012

Olympic Horseshoes: Eventing at London 2012 Saved the Best for Last

This is one of my favorite photos from the Olympics so far.

This was the final obstacle on the eventing cross-country course: the horse had to jump through an Olympic-sized horseshoe, with some brush across the base. Mark Todd's horse went through the brush--he was tired--and it slowed down the time.

The shoe is great except no one can explain the heel nails; a small detail, but perhaps studs in the heels would have been appropriate given the discipline.

The horseshoe was flanked on either side by bookend sculpthres of giant jumping horses made of shoes.

Presumably, the obstacle will enjoy a second life being recycled at another cross-country course somewhere in Britain. So maybe we'll see it again. Like so many of the cross country obstacles, it is unique!

Speaking of shoes, many were lost on the course that day, including by Great Britain's Zara Phillips, whose horse High Kingdom lost both front shoes somewhere along the way but still managed to get home.

We're still waiting for a comment from Zara's mother, Princess Anne, who is former master of the Worshipful Company of Farriers and a great friend to the farrier profession in Great Britain.

It was great to hear NBC Olympics commentator Melanie Smith Taylor in the USA give a shout-out to the important role that farriers play in the safety of horses and riders in the sport of eventing.
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