Pictured Above: Vermont horseshoer Deanna Stoppler was the winner of the trailer raffle, which is organized by the Texas Professional Farriers Association and Oklahoma Professional Farriers Association to raise funds for injured and/or disabled farriers. Photo by Ron Hoague.
When Vermont horseshoer Deanna Stoppler purchased a raffle ticket to raise funds for disabled and injured farriers, she knew that her money was going to a good cause. What she never expected is that she would actually win the grand prize — a fully stocked Stonewell Bodies Middi Horseshoeing trailer worth $20,000.
“I was so excited and my adrenaline was so high I thought I might actually be sick,” Stoppler said. “Then I just felt incredibly grateful.”
This was the second year that the Texas Professional Farriers Association and the Oklahoma Farriers Association held the trailer raffle fundraiser, with the drawing taking place in March at the American Farrier’s Association Convention in Tulsa, Okla.
Before winning the trailer, Stoppler conducted her business from a GMC Sierra 2500 with a commercial cap and a Classic 1000 bedslide in the back where she kept her anvil and the bulk of her tools. She stashed adhesives, hoof boots, glue-on shoes and miscellaneous inventory in the backseat.
“Everywhere I went I had supplies in my backseat,” she says. “It didn’t feel very efficient but it worked.”
Besides feeling more organized and efficient, Stoppler says the trailer has had a life-changing impact on her physical well-being.
“The truck was pretty high,” she says. “I would have to take the anvil off the bed slide, pick it up above my waist, turn it around and when I was done, hoist it up and turn back to put it away. After a long day that can be difficult to do.”
Her newfound efficiency is also unparalleled.
“Before, I would need to take out my anvil stand. Then take out my 90-pound anvil. Then take out my cart. If I had to cut a pad, I would grab my pad cutter. Put it in the hardy hole. Take it out of the hardy hole. Grab my vise. Put it in the hardy hole … and on and on,” Stoppler says. “Now I just unlatch a pin, swing the anvil around and I am all set. If I need to cut a pad, I flip a switch on the bandsaw and I'm in business.”
The trailer alone would have been amazing, Stoppler says, but on top of that it came fully equipped. “The forge heats shoes more quickly than my old forge; the bandsaw kind of freaks me out because it’s so powerful, but it cuts through a variety of materials and is easier to use than a pad cutter,” she says. “And I have plenty of storage for shoes.”
It’s also the perfect size to back into and out of narrow driveways with no turn-arounds.
“I’ve become a master at maneuvering,” she says.
After winning the trailer, Stoppler wanted to pay her good fortune forward. She outright gave away her commercial cap and her old bedslide to two other farriers, Peter Rainville and Scott Bissonette, respectively.
Since graduating shoeing school 2 years ago, Rainville had been using an old cap his father gave him. It was pretty beat up, Rainville says, and had a wooden door on the verge of coming unhinged. Rainville’s new cap from Stoppler is a significant improvement — offering a backdoor that covers his entire slideout and enables him to work in the rain without getting his tools wet. It also has a window, and a cupboard for storage.
Stoppler wanted to pay her good fortune forward and gave her truck cap to fellow farrier Peter Rainville.
“I am so thankful for the friend Deanna is,” Rainville says. “The farrier world can be tough and it’s so great to have close friends to lend a hand when needed.”
It’s that sense of community among shoers that was the spirit of Injured and Disabled Farrier Fund the trailer raffle supports. Last year, the raffle raised about $1,400 per association, says Chuck Milne, who owns Texas Farrier Supply 2 and helps organize the fundraiser.
“Our initial intent was to raise money so that the people who go to the injured farrier’s aid don’t have to reach into their own pockets to help out,” Milne says. “Thanks to the generous donation of shoes and nails from Werkman and Kahn Forge, more of the money we raise can go to help the injured person. Oklahoma Professional Farriers Assn. increased its weekly payout of $200 a week for 6 weeks to $400.”
A variety of other vendors and individual also support the effort including Atkinson, American Farriers Journal, Blane Chapman, Cowtown Graphics and Signs, Delta-Mustad, Double A Forge LLC, Farrier Product Distribution, GE Forge and Tool, Heartland Horseshoeing School, Kentucky Horseshoeing School, Keystone Leather and Rate Hoof Packing, NC Tool Co., Paul Dorris, Raffle Tickets, Soft-Ride Inc., Texas Farrier Supply, Thrivent Financial, Vettec Hoof Care, Visby, Well-Shod, and Yoder Blacksmith Shop.
Dick Fanguy, national sales representative for Stonewell Bodies, which donates the trailer, explains that giving back to farriers in this way makes sense.
“Our company is based in this industry,” he says. “We have to support it.”
Advertisers interested in purchasing a spot on the trailer can call Nolan at Nature Farms, (405) 307-8031, or James at Texas Farrier Supply, (817) 478-6105. The sides are $500 a square foot and the back is $700 per square foot.
You can check out this trailer at the 2020 International Hoof-Care Summit in Cincinnati, Ohio. Raffle tickets can be purchased from any member of the Texas Professional Farriers Association or Oklahoma Professional Farriers Association or at participating stores, including Nature Farms Farrier Supply, Stonewell Bodies, Well-Shod Farrier Supplies and Texas Farrier Supply.