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For the sixth year, VICTORY has sponsored the Summit Mail-In Forging Exercise. This contest challenges participants to make the shoe specimen made by the judge. Edgewood, N.M., farrier Craig Trnka provided this year’s challenge, a sidebone shoe. Pulaski, Wis., farrier Joe Nygren bested the other competitors with his shoe.
Trnka says what separated Nygren’s shoe from the other entries was its match to the specimen. When making a contest shoe, Nygren’s mindset is to approach the specimen like helping another farrier.
“I look at it like a farrier is on vacation and the horse lost the shoe, so the farrier asks me to make it and put on the horse,” he says. “You are trying to build the shoe that the judge made with a particular foot in mind. That is why the shape and nail placement come in to be important.”
The specimen measures 5 inches at the widest part of the shoe, 5 ¼ inches from the heels to toe, 3 inches to the from the tip of one heel to the other
Having judged this contest for 3 years, Trnka has seen the exercise grow not only in popularity, but also the competitiveness.
“The quality presented this year shows the contest is tightening,” he says. “The quality of the top 10 shoes this year would have made any of them the winning shoe a few years ago.”
Participants could mail their shoe or drop it off at the 2020 International Hoof-Care Summit. Every participant in this contest…