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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Farrier Jim Hayter Wins Burghley Horse Trials' Best Shod Horse Prize for 2014

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front feet of best shod horse at Burghley Horse Trials
The front feet of the Irish Sport Horse Coolys Luxury, who was selected as the Best Shod Horse at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials in England last weekend. Farrier Jim Hayter received the prize along with owner David Corney and rider Tom Crisp. The judges must have thought Jim handled this horse's asymmetry challenges well. "I cannot keep the foot too long as I don't want to risk him pulling shoes off," Jim commented.
Keeping up with the tradition of chasing down British eventers and farriers to find out what it takes to be judged the Best Shod Horse at an international three-day event, the Hoof Blog has a few photos of this year's winner at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials in England.



The Best Shod Horse is not always a horse that shows up in the results, but happily, this year's winner finished 11th overall. Congratulations to his farrier, Jim Hayter, who has been featured here before as farrier of the Best Shod Horse at the 4* Badminton Horse Trials, also in England.

Second and third place went to horses shod by Stephen J H Hill, a three-time past winner of the award. Those horses were ridden by Kerry Varley and Angus Smales, respectively.

Jim Hayter and Tom Crisp with Coolys Luxury
Farrier Jim Hayter, left; rider Tom Crisp, right; and best-shod event horse Coolys Luxury, center.

Coolys Luxury is a 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse owned by David Corney and ridden by Tom Crisp of Crisp Eventing in East Sussex, England. Earlier this year, Tom and Coolys Luxury were 14th at the 4* at Luhmuhlen in Germany. They also successfully completed two 3* events this year.

Luckily, Jim Hayter was going to be at Tom Crisp's this week and his amazing wife Sarah was able to get some photos of Coolys Luxury's feet for the world to see. What we lack in information about the feet, we make up for in having photos at all.

The near hind on this eventer has been through some trauma. Jim commented that the horse has very weak hoof walls and had not ripped the shoe off.

The horse is shod with handmade shoes from 7/8 x 3/8" fullered concave, as often seen on these event horses. Jim said that it takes him 14 minutes to make a pair of these shoes from scratch. The nuances of Jim's shoeing and the horse's conformation are shown in the photos, which were taken two weeks after the horse was shod.

front foot, best shod event horse
The near fore foot, shod with a handmade shoe made from 7/8 x 3/8" British concave fullered stock, and drilled and tapped for the studs the horse needed at Burghley. When asked about the tight second and third nails, Jim said it was because "I am unable to nail into the two or further than the widest point of the foot. I use Mustad Concave Number 5 nails."

More about Jim Hayter: Jim is 41, and the son of farrier William Hayter, who shod Hackneys, including the Hurstwood Hackneys in the 1970s. He trained with his cousin, Peter Marley, and gained his Diploma of the Worshipful Company of Farriers 20 years ago. 

Hind foot best shod horse
This is the classic eventing hind shoe, also made from concave fullered stock. It may not show well in these photos, but the stock is much wider on the foot than it is on the ground--hence, the "concave" name. If you think these horses are all shod alike, compare this hind foot with the one on the judging story from last week and you can see quite a bit of difference in stud holes, nail pattern, clips (or no clips), and the finish of the heel both in shape and in how far the crease extends to the end of the shoe.

Jim Hayter won the Best Shod Horse award at Badminton Horse Trials in 2010 and 2011  with two different horses ridden by Emily Llewellyn. In 2010, his horses were both first and second. He had wanted to win the Burghley prize, as well--and now he has.

Farrier Jim Hayter's son George

Jim is a competition farrier as well and was reserve for the British team in 2010. He is also a training farrier, and expects one day to be formally training his son, George, shown in the photo.

Best Shod Horse judge Burghley Horse Trials

Finally, a word of thanks for the judge, Will O'Shaughnessy, in the right in this photo, and on the left, Robert Shave, who was probationary judge. (photo courtesy of Stephen J H Hill)


Jim Hayter's name now will be added to this list of Burghley best-shod winning farriers, which only goes back to 2005. The Badminton list goes back to 1993. For the years that can be compared, only Jim Blurton and now Jim Hayter have won the prize at both these major four-star international events.

Read more: Hooves Get the White Glove Treatment from Best Shod Judge at Burghley


Special thanks to Sarah Hayter for photography and email assistance.

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1 comment:

Heidi Meyer said...

great to see photos of what is considered the best.....IMO I'll be impressed when the same horse can be deshod and trotted out sound. Would be hard to judge "best shod" as each horse comes to the farrier with it's own unique issues and challenges, a lot of which, are beyond the farrier's control. Glad to see this post though....interesting perspective gained.