Sunday, September 29, 2013

Official National Results from Stoneleigh Team Competition: England Wins; USA 4th

Repeat winners Team England at the award ceremony of the 34th International Team Farrier Competition in Stoneleigh, England, hosted by the British Farrier and Blacksmith Association. Left to right: Matt Randles, Ben Taylor, Ben Casserly, presenter, Steven Beane, and Nigel Fennell.

International Team Farriery Championships 2013
1st Place - England
2nd Place - Scotland
3rd Place - Ireland
4th Place - USA
5th Place - Wales
6th Place - Canada
7th Place - France
8th Place - Belgium
9th Place - Holland
10th Place - Norway
11th Place - Switzerland
12th Place - Catalonia
13th Place - British Army
14th Place - Sweden

England's victory was by the slim margin of 1.5 points.

Stephen Beane of England was the individual champion; 2013 world champion David Varini of Scotland was second. The pair finished 1-2 in the standings for specimen shoes, as well.

International Apprentice Team Championship 2013
1st Place - England
2nd Place - Scotland
3rd Place - Wales
4th Place - Switzerland
5th Place - France

The American Farriers Team, consisting of Lamar Weaver, Josh Stanley, Mark Schneider and Chris Gregory, finished in fourth place, 6.8 points ahead of Wales. Lamar Weaver finished 9th overall in the individual standings and was third in the best shod foot standings.

Canada's Dan Corkery won a class for team reserves.

According to the unofficial records kept by Hoofcare Publishing, the very respectable fourth-place finish by the American team is cause for celebration. The USA also finished fourth in 2007.

For the extensive and downloadable full results, please visit The Forge Magazine website and click on individual categories of awards or classes for full results.

Results and photo kindly shared by Forge Magazine: Thank you!

Meet Two Stoneleigh International Contenders: Canada's Aaron Steeves and England's Ben Taylor

It happens every year: dozens of nations send teams of farriers to the forge in Stoneleigh, England to compete in the 34th International Team Farrier Competition. In the farrier world, this is a very big deal: national honor is at stake and the dominance of certain countries  over the history of event make this a proving ground for nations who want to show that they just might be able to beat the English, Welsh and Scots at their own game.

Come to think of it, the Welsh and Scots are trying to prove that they can beat the English, too. And some years, they do.

But this year is different. There are changes going on in British farriery at all levels, which will be explained in a later article. But even the British team has a rookie in its ranks.

If you were at Stoneleigh today, you would have seen the well-organized Canadian team, which enjoyed excellent post-Calgary publicity. Aaron Steves, the first team member from New Brunswick, was featured on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's national radio and the Shaw television network, and we have a little clip to share. He's been kindly reporting on Facebook this weekend.


With Aaron in England are two veteran Canadian Team members, Tom Barnett and Randy Brassard, along with newcomer Travis Buck, all from Ontario. Alternate is Dan Corkery, also from Ontario.

The British team has possibly the greatest depth in the world. They can choose from world champions, national champions, European champions, and there is a long list of veterans who have been to Stoneleigh before and can stay calm in the face of defending the nation's honor.

So why would a farrier who has only been qualified for a year and a half earn a place on the team? He just must be that good.

Watch the Hoof Blog and the Hoofcare and Lameness Facebook Page for news on how all the nations--including the USA--do at Stoneleigh this year.

For further information about the Canadian team, or sponsorship opportunities, please contact team manager Theresa Coates 778-245-3123 or email

© 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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Disclosure of Material Connection: The Hoof Blog (Hoofcare Publishing) has not received any direct compensation for writing this post. Hoofcare Publishing has no material connection to the brands, products, or services mentioned, other than products and services of Hoofcare Publishing. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Could You Carry Scotland's Smiddy Stane?

If your idea of fun is seeing how far you can carry a 363.8 pound stone, Scotland has an event for you. Just don't expect to tie up your horse to be shod at the smithy in town that day. (Photo of Airth, Scotland's "smiddy stane" contest courtesy of Ewan McTaggart)
Another reason to wear a kilt: you can spread your legs far enough apart to carry a 363-pound rock across a field...if you are so inclined.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Blacksmith of Brandywine: The Story of an American Legend Makes Sense on a Legendary Day

As we remember the attack on the World Trade Towers in New York that occurred 12 years ago today, it's easy to forget that this day has another memorable place in American history.

Today is also the anniversary of the Battle of Brandywine. It was fought near Chadds Ford in Pennsylvania, not far from the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center. And yes, there was hoofcare involved.

Best Shod Horse at England's Burghley Horse Trials Wore Handmade Shoes by Steve Arnold

Four happy faces: Farrier Steve Arnold, event horse Let's Dance, rider Jeanette Brakewell, and owner Ruth Williams were celebrating in the mare's stall yesterday. Steve holds the rosette and plaque awarded by the Worshipful Company of Farriers for Let's Dance's selection as the Best Shod Horse at the 2013 Land Rover Burghley 4* Horse Trials in England. Many of the best event horses and riders in the world were competing, and farrier judge Andrew Casserly lifted all four feet of each of them to select Let's Dance as the winner. (Photo provided by Steve Arnold.)

This article is a product of serendipity.

For many years, the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials in England has awarded a "Best Shod" prize to one of the four-star horses entered in the event. The Worshipful Company of Farriers sends out a trained judge to the beautiful country house grounds, and the riders line up to have their horses' feet evaluated.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Maryland's Kathy Anderson DVM Will Be New American Association of Equine Practitioners Vice President

The American Association of Equine Practitioners has named Kathleen Anderson, DVM, owner of Equine Veterinary Care PC in Elkton, Maryland, as its 2014 vice president. Dr. Anderson will be installed during the December 10 President’s Luncheon at the 59th Annual Convention in Nashville, Tennessee, and will assume the role of AAEP president in 2016.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Goof-proof Hoofcare: “StayOns” Instant Hoof Poultice Wraps Simplify the Way You Wrap a Foot

This article is sponsored by Hamilton Biovet.

Here’s a product that is worth its weight in baby diapers.

If there was ever a contest that farriers, vet techs and veterinarians should run, it would be to see who has the fastest two hands in the world for making a duct tape bootie to attach over a hoof wrapped in a disposable baby diaper.

Hamilton Biovets Stayon Hoof Poultice Pad
How many times have you wrapped a hoof in duct tape, only to have the horse walk right out of it as he stepped off the mats? It happens, even to the pros. Now you can use StayOns prepared quilted “instant poultice” wraps, available in multiple formulas from Hamilton Biovet in Massachusetts.
Some day, that may sound like an absurd idea, but we all know that there are people out there today who have perfected foot wrapping to an artform. We also know that there are people out there who get more poultice on themselves than on the hoof.

Every tack room in America seems to have some baby diapers stuffed in a cabinet, and they’re not for babies. We all have rolls of duct tape stashed around our barns, horse trailers and cars.

Poulticing is a messy job, but there’s always been a bit of a universal acceptance that foot wrapping was a skill that must be mastered.

But Hamilton Biovet launched a new product to the farrier market this summer that may take the “dread” out of “dreaded hoof abscess”. The product, called “StayOns”, is a quilted hoof wrap that contains “instant poultice”; you wet it, lay it over the hoof, and keep it on with a clever little foldable bootie.

That’s it: no duct tape, no diapers, no struggling, no mess, no cleanup chores. And it stays on because, unlike a diaper, it really is shaped to the horse’s foot. And the poultice mixture is pre-measured and pre-loaded; you just have to wet it and secure it over the hoof and secure it with a boot to hold it in place.

So just when you think there is nothing new under the sun, here’s a good old-fashioned clay and Epsom salt poultice. Or a bran and Epsom salt poultice. Or a plain Epsom salt poultice. Take your pick; the quilted booties come in three recipes.

The quilted pouches cover the enter foot, including the heel bulbs, where so many abscesses like to erupt, and all the way to the hairline, the other favorite eruption spot.

The best part of the StayOns may be when you take them off. There’s much less mess to clean! You can just hose it off.

Horse poultice residue
There’s no question that traditional poulticing is a work-intensive endeavor, especially when it comes to the legs of sport and racehorses. You can make a mess twice, since the next morning, there’s a lot of post-poultice cleanup to be done, as well. (©Fran Jurga photo)
One of the things I especially like about this method of poulticing the foot is that the horse has to stand around for a shorter amount of time and that he has his feet handled for a much shorter time.

This is efficient time use for the groom or owner, but it is even better for the horse, especially if there’s a problem in more than one foot, such as road founder after a horse has gotten loose or stinging soles at the tracks.

Wrapping a horse’s foot is tough; wrapping a horse’s lifted foot when the weightbearing foot is painful is even tougher.

Many horse owners can go years between an abscess, puncture wound or foot problem that requires poulticing. They may forget how to do it, or not remember how much poultice to pack in the foot. Stayons take the guesswork out of the equation, since the poultice is pre-measured. They can see the poultice in the transparent quilts.

horse hoof abscess treatment
Everyone has a signature way of wrapping a foot up with duct tape. But would anyone be sorry to learn a new and cleaner way to do it? (© Fran Jurga photo)
There are hundreds of videos on YouTube that will show you how to soak and/or poultice a horse’s foot or leg. It’s an artform that we take for granted. Each groom or owner has his or her own way of doing it, and when they get good at it, they want to share how they figured it out.

The heyday of foot wrapping may have passed as people discover products that make it not just easier for caretakers, but safer for horses. A goof-proof product like StayOns insures that a horse’s foot gets treated and stays treated, until you take it off.

poultice horse hoof
The StayOns hoof poultice wraps allow users to poultice the entire foot and heel bulbs as well as the bottom of the foot. The mess of the poultice stays in the moist quilted sacks. (Hamliton BioVet photo)
Reminders about hoof poulticing:

  • Horse owners should always ask a veterinarian for advice before poulticing a foot for a condition that includes broken or irritated skin.
  • A foot poultice may not be advised for some foot infections.
  • Seek the advice of a veterinarian before applying poultice--or any medicated products--to young horses and pregnant or lactating mares.
  • Never apply poultice to inflamed or irritated heel bulbs.
  • Keep poultice stored in a safe, dry place that is out of the reach of dogs, cats and children.
About STAYONS and Hamilton Biovet: This product is made by the Better Bandage Company. Hamilton Biovet is the prime vendor for horse and farm owners, with exclusive rights in the farrier and farrier supply market in the USA. The poultice products may be ordered online from the Hamilton Biovet website. The cost is $13.99 for each pack of two wraps plus shipping. The coordinated fold-up booties are $14.99 each plus shipping. (These costs are current for September 1, 2013 and are subject to change without notice.) Check out the quilted leg poultice wraps, too! Email the company for more details.  "Like" Hamilton Biovet's Facebook page, too.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: The Hoof Blog (Hoofcare Publishing) received compensation for placement of this post. Hoofcare Publishing has no material connection to the brands, products, or services mentioned, other than products and services of Hoofcare Publishing. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

St Nicholas Abbey Update: Healing Leg Fracture and the Origin of His Name

Champion racehorse St Nicholas Abbey in his stall at the Fethard Equine Hospital in Ireland, where he is recovering from a fractured pastern suffered while training at the nearby Ballydoyle training center of Coolmore's racing division head trainer Aidan O'Brien.
Today Coolmore Stud released an update on injured racehorse St Nicholas Abbey:

"While still having a guarded prognosis St Nicholas Abbey has had his best week since his initial surgery!

Sunday, September 01, 2013

On the Case: Combined Contracture and Laxity Complicate Limb Deformity in an Irish Thoroughbred Foal

Kevin Corley, BVM&S, PhD. DACVIM, DACVECC, DECEIM, MRCVS of the Anglesey Lodge Equine Hospital in County Kildare, Ireland shared photos of a recent case. A 12-hour-old Thoroughbred foal intended for future racing needed a treatment or management plan for an unusual hind limb deformity.

The foal’s foot was flat on the ground, but the pastern was vertical and the fetlock knuckled forward.

The Nobel Prize for Farrier Poetry: Looking Through Seamus Heaney's "Door into the Dark"

One of the world's greatest poets died on Friday. Ireland's Seamus Heaney was one of those people who bridged the past and the present with verse so deft you were never sure where time fit into the story or if time matters anymore. He grew up in Northern Ireland in the 1940s and went out into the world through his words, winning the Nobel Prize for poetry as he wandered.