International Horseshoeing Hall of Fame member John Marino of Lufkin, Texas, passed away Monday, March 18, 2019. He was 84.

Marino began his farrier career at age 12 in Staten Island, N.Y. He worked as a stable boy before working the bellows of the local preacher’s forge, according to the Brotherhood of Working Farriers.  

When Marino returned from the Air Force many years later, he apprenticed under a farrier named Mr. Svendensen where he learned traditional horseshoeing of shaping iron bars. When his mentor died, Marino built up his own business. Later, he went on to study at the University of Arizona Farrier’s School. There, he studied under Donald Canfield, an expert in corrective shoeing. 

Shoeing was not all that Marino enjoyed in his former years. He enjoyed riding in rodeos, roping and bull riding. In 1980, Marino moved to Texas and later opened Across the Anvil Farrier Supply store in Peaster. During this time, he revolutionized the anvil by creating JHM Manufacturing. He produced his own line of farrier anvils that had wider faces and turning cams. As he grew older, he sold his anvil line to Anvil Brand Shoe Co. in Lexington, Ill. 

Marino’s support of the farrier industry goes beyond just shoeing horses and making anvils. An active member of the Texas Professional Farrier’s Assn. (TPFA), American Farrier’s Assn. (AFA) and the Brotherhood of Working Farriers, Marino also opened his shop weekly to invite young farriers to learn from him. 

Marino also helped bring Grant Moon to the U.S. They opened a farrier school together for a period of time and stayed friends long after. Marino was a guy everyone wanted to be friends with, having a high standard of professionalism by being punctual, courteous, knowledgeable and dependable. He never spoke poorly about his competitors. 

With his long-standing contributions to the farrier world, Marino was inducted into the Brotherhood of Working Farriers Hall of Fame in 2004 and into the International Horseshoeing Hall Of Fame in 2010. He was an active member of Anvil 21 Club and served as president of the TPFA for many years. Marino retired from shoeing in 1995.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Friday, March 22, 2019, at Keltys United Methodist Church, 508 McMullen, Lufkin, Texas. Visitation will be from 10 to 11 a.m. Friday before the church service. Burial will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 26 in Greenwood Memorial Park, Garden of Faith, at 3100 White Settlement Road in Fort Worth.

Listen to a short clip of Marino talking about horseshoeing below.