Saturday, October 22, 2016

Video: British Racing Farriers, Thoroughbred Hoofcare Featured on CNN Special Segment

CNN racing reporter Aly Vance interviewed Newmarket farrier William (Billy) Mulqueen, DipWCF about the importance of farriery to racehorses for an extended segment on stable staff working for British Thoroughbred trainer William Haggas.

October 22, 2016 was a great day for everyone who works behind the scenes with (and for) racehorses. CNN aired a "Winning Post" edition on the people behind the horses, including a three-minute special feature on the importance of farriers.

Filmed in Newmarket, England at the racing yard of trainer William Haggas, the show, which is distributed internationally (except to the United States), featured CNN's Aly Vance learning about the Somerville Lodge stable lads, equine physiotherapist, veterinarian and a crew of farriers from Mulqueen Farriery Consultancy in nearby West Row in the county of Suffolk.

The videos are posted below, in two parts, courtesy of CNN.

Part 1 Racehorse care team: stable lad, physiotherapist, veterinarian

The first segment features the stable lad who cares for the yard's top horse this year, Mutakayyef, and then moved to equine physiotherapist Gail Hacking, an independent professional in Newmarket, and veterinarian Ian Beamish, BVetMed, MRCVS, of the Newmarket branch of the international practice of Baker and McVeigh Equine Hospital. The Haggas training yard requires the services of four veterinarians, who tend to the horses' medical needs seven days a week.

Part 2: Mulqueen Farriery Consultancy and Championship Day (Ascot) stakes

The interview with Billy Mulqueen answers the usual basic questions but focuses on the importance of the farrier. The camerawork zooms in on more than the nailing on of the shoe, and finds interest in new and pulled raceplates and steel training shoes. Aly Vance even lingers by the farriers' big stable tool box.

Billy Mulqueen is an interesting farrier to be involved in an international television segment, and CNN could have done the entire show on his company's unique approach to elite racehorse farriery. Billy was converted to becoming a racing farrier after completing an apprenticeship with Jonathan Nunn, AWCF's "Feet First" traditional farrier practice in Staffordshire, England. He even won the heavy horse shoemaking competition at the Great Yorkshire Show, but it wasn't long before he put the heavy hammers down.

One of Billy's early career moves was perfecting the art of tapping gently on raceplates, after shipping off to Dubai each winter in service to Godolphin Racing Stables. In England, Godolphin is headquartered in Newmarket at Stanley House Stables.

Billy's consultancy in Newmarket and Dubai grew into a practice, as well. According to Billy, right now the company employs three farriers and a horse holder, as well as training three apprentices. There's also Billy himself. One farrier's title is "Stud Farrier & Foal Specialist". A former apprentice, Matthew Borroughes, is currently on loan to Turkey.

Billy Mulqueen was on hand in Dubai in March when
American champion Frosted shipped over to race. The
colt was accompanied by a set of bondable raceplates
for Billy and Godolphin farrier in Dubai Derek
Poupard to apply. Next stop for Frosted will be
the Breeders Cup Classic.
"I found that there was a gap in the race horse industry for shoeing to a high standard," Billy Mulqueen said this week. His plan? To offer good service to go with the great results that high-standard farriery would have on a Thoroughbred athlete.

Mulqueen Farriery Consultancy looks after the hooves of more than 400 horses in Newmarket, which means serving top trainers such as Sir Michael Stoute, as well as William Haggas and Charlie Appleby's Newmarket division of Godolphin.

"I regularly travel around Europe and head into the Middle East for specialized cases on racehorses and lecturing for Mustad Hoofcare," Billy said this week. "The trainers we work for have horses in their care for The Queen, some of which we follow back to the royal stud at Sandringham to continue with hoof care."

Jack Partner is senior apprentice with Mulqueen Farriery Consultancy and is featured in the CNN segment. 
One of the famous racehorses whose paths have crossed Billy's is the popular American four-year-old colt, Frosted, owned by Godolphin of the United Arab Emirates, but based in the United States with trainer Kieran McLaughlin. When Frosted shipped to Dubai for the 2016 World Cup, his shoeing was the responsibility of Dubai-based Godolphin farrier Derek Poupard, but Billy was on hand to help.

"Derek was the assigned farrier for him," Billy recalled on Saturday. "I was out there to look after some other horses but we teamed up that morning to get him done. He had plates sent with him and we used Hoof Life to glue them on and (he was shod with) toe grabs and turn downs on the hinds."

British veterinarian Alex Beamish has worked for racehorse practices in New Zealand and South Africa and now is based in Newmarket, England, where he tends to horses at Somerville Lodge for William Haggas.

Both toe grabs and turndowns are illegal shoeing modifications in Great Britain, so it must have been interesting for Billy to be in on an American-style racehorse's shoeing.

Frosted won his UAE prep race, a Grade 2 stakes, and ran fifth in the Grade 1 Dubai World Cup Classic. He returned to his winning ways back home in the United States, winning two Grade 1 races in a row in New York this summer. The Breeders Cup Classic at Santa Anita November 5th is next for Frosted.

Billy Mulqueen said that he was "very happy" with the CNN "Winning Post" segment showing his crew at work at Somerville Lodge. It was great exposure for the entire farrier industry, even if Americans will have to watch it on The Hoof Blog instead of their televisions, since this excellent monthly television show about horse racing culture is not broadcast in the USA.

Thanks for watching, and thanks to CNN and Billy Mulqueen for help with this article.

About Winning Post

‘Winning Post’ is a monthly show that gets inside the unique culture of international flat racing. From the logistics, history and business challenges of the sport, to the cutting-edge technology being used to drive the industry forward; the grass roots passion and the high-stakes fashion. Above all, the characters and stories are founded upon the extraordinary relationship between rider and horse. ‘Winning Post’ is sponsored by Longines. (text supplied by CNN)

To learn more:

Follow Aly Vance's travels in the racing world on Instagram
Follow Mulqueen Farriery Consultancy's travels in the farrier world on Instagram
Watch some old features from The Winning Post on CNN
CNN's Ollie Williams feature on modern British farriery in 2014

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