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Friday, September 26, 2014

American Farrier’s Association Team Heads to England for 35th International Team Horse Shoeing Championships

2014 American Farriers Team (AFT) represents American Farrier's Association
The American Farriers Team was named at the 2014 American Farrier's Association Convention. From left to right: Immediate Past President John Blombach, CJF; Jake Engler, CJF; Josh Stanley, CJF; Rusty Wells, CJF; Ben Mangan, CJF; Robbie Mederos, CJF; and Tom Petersen, CJF. Photo courtesy of the AFA.
via press release:

The American Farrier’s Association (AFA) is pleased to announce that the 2014 American Farrier’s Team (AFT) has been in England for several days preparing for the International Team Horseshoeing Championships which will get underway at Stoneleigh Park on Saturday, September 27th.

Only one team per country is permitted entry to these prestigious championships hosted by the British Farriers and Blacksmiths Association (BFBA). The US team has historically been selected from Certified Journeyman Farriers of the American Farrier’s Association.

Bob Pethick competing for the USA in England
Teams of American horseshoers have been going to Stoneleigh, England to challenge British farriers at the game they invented since the early 1980s. Here's Bob Pethick, circa 1986, in the "old forge". It looks like he's the only person there but the back wall was lined with forges, and horses with big feet were tied to the rail in front. Teams of farriers scampered back and forth. And the fires roared. The blowers were amplified by the high ceiling. We found out who the brave ones were. (© Hoofcare + Lameness ancient file photo)

This year’s team is managed by past multiple time AFT competitor, Conrad Trow, CJF, and is comprised of the following members:
  • Jake Engler, CJF, Magnolia, Texas
  • Josh Stanley, CJF, AWCF, Bozeman, Montana
  • Rusty Wells, CJF, Earlysville, Virginia
  • Ben Mangan, CJF, Carthage, New York
  • Robbie Mederos, CJF, FE (alternate) Danville, California
Team members are chosen each year through a rigorous selection process based on points earned at the North American Forging and Horse Shoeing Competition held in conjunction with the American Farrier’s Association annual convention. 

In 2015, this selection will take place during the AFA convention in Overland Park, Kansas between February 25-27. 

In the months following convention and leading up to the competition, team members regularly serve as informal ambassadors of the AFA as they travel around the United States and participate in numerous practices which are open to the public as an educational forum.

Past and present members of NAHT gave clinic for SNEFA in Bolton, MA
Nostalgia: There was a time when the alumni of the North American Horseshoeing Team (as it was once called), fit under the gull wing of a shoeing rig. This photo was taken around 1986. The front row is Steve Teichman, Dean Pearson, Bob Pethick, Dave Russell and Randy Luikart. Standing are Bob Parks, Danny Ward, Ken Wurst, Myron McLane, the late great Vern Hornquist, the late great Jack Miller, and John Blombach. The photo was taken at the Southern New England Farriers Association's legendary fall clinic, contest and clambake, held this third week of September every year. The stories you've heard are all true. (© Hoofcare + Lameness ancient file photo)

The two days of competition are intense and exciting as competitors vie to complete specific shoeing assignments accurately and within an allotted period of time. AFT competitors face the additional challenge of working with a coke forge rather than propane fired as customarily utilized by farriers in the US. Nevertheless, past AFT members are quick to praise the opportunity to represent the US abroad and to compete against farriers who are widely recognized as some of the best in the world.

To learn more about the American Farrier’s Association or their annual convention, visit or call the AFA office: (859)233-7411.

Thanks to AFA Executive Director Beth Daniels for providing the news release. Sorry the team's photo isn't accessible tonight.

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