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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Farrier Charity: Brandenburg Gate of Horseshoes Earns Guinness World Record and Generous Donations

Yes, the narration in German; you can turn off the audio and just watch! Thanks to Maik Feldman for this video.

"We make iron glow, and it makes children's eyes light up."

A farrier group in Northern Germany has a habit of making the news. Nordhuf undertakes creative fundraising challenges that leave people gasping, and help them raise money for children's charity.

But last week they outdid even themselves, when they assembled 13,000 horseshoes into a steel replica of one of Germany's great architectural landmarks, the majestic Brandenburg Gate in the nation's capital of Berlin.



It took 33 farriers from the Nordhuf farrier association to make all the welds and craft all the shapes, but at Hannover's Horse and Hunt Fair, a huge hall was cleared for them to work. They created a 1:3.8 scale model of the gate in their quest to raise 100,000 euros for aid to children.

The resulting steel construction is 6.8 meters high, 8.2 meters wide and 2.1 meters deep or roughly 22 x 27 x 7 feet. It weighs 4000 kg (8,800 pounds) and took four days of hard work.
It was a hard hat work area, to be sure, and the gate didn't fall over on anyone.


More farriers in action: Thanks to Fabian Grohman for this video

The quadriga atop the Brandenburg Gate
became the symbol of the controversial
1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.
Over the past few years, the Nordhuf farriers have raised 90,000 euros for aid to children. This year's project is their most ambitious yet. They like to not only give money to help children, but to involve children in their projects. They say that they all have families and feel lucky to be outdoors with horses. Their fundraising benefits those who are not lucky enough to know the world of horses, they say. It looks like many companies in the farrier industry and beyond are supporting the project.

The fundraising appeal for the gate-building project says (in rough translation), "We work a lot with horses. We love animals, but we also have a heart for children. Most of our farriers themselves (have) a family. And also in our daily work we often encounter children. Since our inception, we have repeatedly engaged for children."

Here's some good news: the gate sold for 25,000 Euros!


Finally, a HAZ TV report on the farriers at work. The narrator is whispering.

"(To be a) farrier is a quite wonderful profession, spending every day in the fresh air, always in contact with humans and animals," the appeal continues. "(It is) honest work, the result can be seen. That's what we love...The reward for the strenuous work: Iron, glowing, and children's eyes that glow. Only - there are so many children who are not in a home-style environment to grow up and be surrounded by horses. Children who need help. The critical and extremely vulnerable conditions of their lives. That is exactly where we want our action to help."


Some facts about the real gate

Built in the late 1700s, the gate to the city was the symbol of the division of Germany into two parts after World War II. No one was allowed to pass through the wall next to the gate, and when the wall came down in 1989 and Germany was reunited, the gate was open as well, and soon restored to pre-war splendor.

Atop the gate is a chariot pulled by four horses, known as a quadriga. It is the chariot of the gods. Napoleon was so taken by it during his occupation of the city in 1806 that he had it taken down and moved it to Paris. When the Germans reclaimed the quadriga after the Napoleon's defeat in the Battle of Waterloo, they changed it, and added an iron cross on a staff, with an eagle to fly above the horses.

After Germany's defeat in World War II, the iron cross came down, but it has now been restored.

The proceeds from the "Glowing Ambition" project are donated 100% to the organizations 'A Heart for Children' and the 'HAZ Christmas Charity'.

In 2010, the same group of farriers built a replica of the landmark church in Hamburg, Germany know as St. Michel. It has a tall, towering steeple, which required some very careful fabrication. The tower of the Lutheran church is 132 meters high (433 feet). This video shows the farriers at work creating the church from horseshoes from 2900 horseshoes, which earned them a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.



Watch the landmark St Michel's Lutheran church in Hamburg, Germany take shape!


If you'd like to help the farriers meet their goal of 100,000 Euros for children, visit the Nordhuf website and contact either Jochen Lahmann  (j.lahmann@gmx.net; tel: 05136-7441 | mobile: 0176-55 15 98 51) or Torsten Becker (torsten@hufschmied-becker.de).

Here are some of the companies who backed the project:



© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is the news service for Hoofcare and Lameness Publishing. 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 headlines-link email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to blog@hoofcare.com.  
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1 comment:

Ada Gates said...

Fran,
Love the quadriga, the whole wonderful story. Only you bring us these world events, they are so exciting. My sister in law is German, am sending this to her! Merry Christmas and love. Ada