International Horseshoeing Hall of Fame member Gordon Haight of Eagle Point, Ore., passed away Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019, as a result of complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD.
No services will be held.
Haight started his shoeing career after he and his wife Susan bought an American Saddlebred from trainer Bill Wyse, who shod his own horses. Wyse taught Haight how to shoe after a search for a farrier was fruitless. Haight shod a variety of horses at the start of his career, including Thoroughbreds at the San Luis Rey Downs Training Center in Bonsall, Calif. Haight’s reputation as a farrier who was skilled in therapeutic shoeing grew and was often sought out by clients who referred him to them by veterinarians.
“Gordon certainly has shod his share of famous horses in the nation from coast to coast,” Gerald Gardner, an equine veterinarian, wrote when nominating Haight for the International Horseshoeing Hall of Fame. “He has saved the show career of many a horse and the lives of many more. The most knowledgeable trainers and veterinarians have praised his work.”
In 1973, Haight and fellow Hall of Fame farriers Jay Sharp and Lee Green were instrumental in the start of the California Farriers’ Association, which later became the Western States Farrier’s Association. Haight was president of the association from 1973-75.
Haight and fellow Hall of Fame farriers Randy Luikart, Bruce Daniels and Bob Marshall, who served as coach, formed the first North American Horseshoeing Team in 1979. The NAHT would become the American Farriers Team.
He continued building his reputation as a highly skilled farrier and was invited to judge several shoeing competitions including at the Calgary Stampede in Alberta, Canada. He shared his knowledge at clinics and at the American Farrier’s Association conventions, as well as writing several articles for American Farriers Journal and The Anvil.
“He has taught many clinics at no charge and is always available to help other shoers better their skills,” John Pritzlaff, a Santa Barbara, Calif., horse owner, wrote in his Hall of Fame nomination.
Haight was inducted into the International Horseshoeing Hall of Fame in 1998, and was honored with lifetime and honorary memberships with the Western States Farriers Association, San Diego County Farriers Association and the Oregon Farriers Association.
He is survived by his wife, Susan M. Haight; three children, Diane H. Ferdig, Steven M. Haight and Richard L. Haight; two sisters, Diane Whisman and Patricia Husar., and granddaughter, Kyrsten Sievers.
American Farriers Journal will publish a tribute to Haight in the upcoming November 2019 issue.