At the 9th annual International Hoof-Care Summit in Cincinnati, Ohio, American Farriers Journal recognized three novice farriers for their post-graduation endeavors. Each of the winners received a plaque, a 1-year subscription to American Farriers Journal, Summit registration and the American Farriers Journal "Kitchen Sink" package — a 3,406-page footcare reference library valued at $575. Also, the grand prize winner received $1,000 and the two runner-ups each received $500 to help them continue their hoof-care education

In addition, each school will receive a plaque honoring the selection of one of their graduates for this award.

Grand Prize Winner

The grand winner of the 2012 "Rising Shoeing Star" program is Gwen Nardi from The Plains, Va. She is a 2008 graduate of the Kentucky Horseshoeing School in Richmond, Ky.

Nardi is the youngest woman to recieve CJF status and has secured accounts in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Nardi works a rigorous schedule 7 days a week and is continuing to learn while persuing Therapeutic Endorsement from the AFA.

Runners Up

Maximo Gomez, Buellton, Calif. Gomez is a 2008 Pacific Coast Horseshoeing School (Plymouth, Calif.) graduate. Originally from the Dominican Republic, Gomez and his family moved to the Santa Barabara area after his graduation to begin his career.

Beyond his shoeing clients, Gomez travels to Central and South America on his own dollar to improve the quality of footcare and knowledge of footcare in remote villages.

Armando Herrera, Overland Park, Kan. A graduate from the Heartland Horseshoeing School in Lamar, Mo., Herrera has a strong work ethic and fierce determination to excel. After school he rode with at least seven different farriers and reached CJF status.

While he has his own shoeing clients, Herrera still works with two different farriers one day per week each to continue learning and growing as a farrier himself.