Jim McDonough has been a farrier for 56 years. He was even the official farrier for the State of Missouri.
“I’ve been doing this all my life, literally. I’ve shod too many horses to remember,” he said.
McDonough was raised with mules, he said. As a youth he would spend his days working in the tobacco fields, with what he calls big mares and mules.
McDonough gained a reputation as a farrier, and for the U.S. Bicentennial in 1976, he was named the official farrier for the state of Missouri. Initially McDonough turned down the nomination from friend Bill Spencer, but Spencer did not let up.
“I eventually received a letter from the governor himself, and I said yes,” he said.
McDonough said that working with the team that pulled the Bicentennial wagon train is one of his fondest memories of his time working with draft and harness horses.