Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Horseshoer Joe Alfano celebrates 50 years of service with Pennsylvania National Horse Show Hall of Fame honor.

Joe Alfano has been the horseshoer at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg for 50 years. The horse show honored him this year by inducting him in the event's Hall of Fame. Joe is shown here with his niece (left), well-known equestrian Jennifer Alfano, and PNHS Executive Director Susie Shirk. (Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography)

How do you top reaching the landmark of 50 years of farrier service at one of America's most prestigious horse shows? Joe Alfano knows the answer to that question.

And he might be the only one who knows. It's hard to imagine that anyone else holds such a record for longevity of service to a show.

Friday, June 16, 2023

Shire horses inspected for controversial “couping” horseshoe practice at British horse shows in 2023

Shire horse couping shoe inspection by Grant Moon
At England’s Staffordshire County Show earlier this month, British farrier Grant Moon, FWCF represented the Worshipful Company of Farriers in an inspection of Shire Horses entered to show. This is one of the hind feet he inspected. (Photo courtesy of Grant Moon)

The feathery hooves of Britain’s magnificent Shire horses are receiving close scrutiny in 2023, as the breed society addresses possible welfare impacts of shoeing practices on the feet of show horses exhibited for conformation.

At England's recent Staffordshire County Show, held May 31-June 1,  the Shires’ hooves were inspected by British farrier Grant Moon, FWCF,  acting as a representative of the Worshipful Company of Farriers. 

Tuesday, May 09, 2023

Hoof bruises 101: Forte's Kentucky Derby scratch had a common but loosely-defined cause

Shoeing for the Roses (Kentucky Derby)

On Saturday, the 2023 Kentucky Derby favorite was scratched from the big race, just hours before the horses headed to the starting gate. Two-year-old champion Forte stayed in the barn that afternoon, after a Kentucky Horse Racing Commission veterinarian scratched the colt following a post-gallop inspection in the stable area.

foot bruises in the horse
Forte’s scratch by regulators came at a time when a dark cloud already hung over Churchill Downs. He would be the fifth horse to be scratched that week from the roster of three-year-old colts who had qualified for the 2023 Kentucky Derby. By Derby time, seven horses had lost their lives at Churchill Downs, including two as a result of injuries suffered in undercard races on Derby Day itself.

As tragic as those losses were, it was Forte's scratch that attracted the most attention and discussion on Derby Day. Should he have run or not? Was the colt a victim of discrimination by regulators who feared that such a high-profile and valuable horse might be further injured if he raced? We'll never know that answer, but Forte is safe tonight, and will almost certainly run again.

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Meet University of California at Davis new veterinary hospital farrier Ian Davies

Ian Davies, DipWCF is hard at work in his new job.

The British-born and British-educated farrier has joined the University of California School of Veterinary Medicine Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital in Davis, California. The vet school welcomed Ian to his new position yesterday.

Wednesday, March 01, 2023

Research Supports Compression Treatment System Ability to Relieve Horses’ Painful Swollen Limbs

Human patients use them--why not horses? Therapy devices don't always translate for parallel use between humans and horses, but a system developed at a US veterinary college may bring relief for horses suffering from swollen limbs and lymphedema. And it can do on all four legs at once.

Friday, February 10, 2023

PETA vs the Budweiser Clydesdales: A match worthy of Super Bowl weekend

You might have heard that the Budweiser Clydesdales will be missing from your television screens at Super Bowl LVII this Sunday in Arizona. The St Louis brewer will not run its traditional, expensive, and hugely popular ad featuring America's favorite team. (Yes, a hitch of giant Clydesdales are more beloved than either the Chiefs or the Eagles will ever be.) 

But there will be a Budweiser Clydesdale commercial, you can be sure of that. It just might not be one that Budweiser wants America to see.