David Gulley.jpg

David Gulley’s apprenticeship tree, which adorned the wall at his forge, is a testament to his contributions to farrier education. “He has touched so many lives,” says Tiffany Gardner, CFJ, DipWCF, who visited Gulley’s forge as part of the BFBA-AFA Cultural Exchange Program. Image: Tiffany Gardner

Remembering David Gulley

British farrier built his business on “shoeing skill and personal integrity”

International Horseshoeing Hall of Fame member David Gulley, FWCF, from Leicestershire, England, passed away May 2, 2024, according to the British Farriers and Blacksmiths Association (BFBA). He was 84.

“A past president and lifelong supporter of the BFBA,” the organization posted to its Facebook page, “he was highly regarded and much loved, and leaves a wonderful legacy.”

The industry reacted with heartfelt remembrances of his contributions to the industry and individuals.

“What a man,” says Simon Curtis, PhD, FWCF, a fellow Hall of Famer. “Tough but fair; that was David. A great raconteur to match his ability, knowledge and skill. It’s a cliché, but true of David Gulley: They broke the mold after him.”

Humble Beginnings

Although Gulley’s farrier career formally began with training in the Royal Army School of Veterinary Farriery, the interest started early.

“As a small boy, Gulley followed the local farrier about on Dartmoor Devon, his home,” Judy Gulley, David’s wife, wrote for American Farriers Journal (AFJ) in 1982. “The young man longed to be a farrier.”

Despite the heightened interest, the hoof-care business in 1954 was stagnant, and the prospect for growth was dim.

“David’s mother took him around to all the local farriers, but none wanted to take on an apprentice,” Judy Gulley wrote. “They worried that they would lose what little business they had to an apprentice when the training period was over.”

While he was disappointed, Gulley turned his attention to alternatives with ties to farriery in blacksmithing, welding and fabrication. After…

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Jeff cota 2023

Jeff Cota

Jeff Cota has been a writer, photographer and editor with newspapers and magazines for 30 years. A native of Maine, he is the editor of American Farriers Journal.

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