It is tough to find a farrier who takes notes as meticulous Thoroughbred shoer James Jimenez. The California shoer, one of the early adapters of computers in horseshoeing, pays keen attention to the detail he documents for his horses. He travels with a laptop in his shoeing rig now and documents details ranging from the horse, shoes, any modifications to the shoes, to notes from the trainer. He also monitors and records ancillary details concerning the horse, including race results.
He believes the meticulous approach to recording data separated his practice from the competition early in his career, and continues to today. When he works with Doug O’Neill, the trainer of I’ll Have Another takes pride in showing off Jimenez’s set-up. “He’ll show them my rig and the information I store on his horses,” says Jimenez, who shod the 2012 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner for O’Neill. “It shows I am serious about my business.” Jimenez adds that perception provides a great selling point for potential clients.
It isn’t only about marketing or protecting yourself in case of a disagreement. Jimenez says this is the level of detail required for any Thoroughbred shoer working at the tracks. He also says that regardless of the horse, you should customize a level of detail that will help you better serve the client. “It doesn’t matter if you only shoe 5 horses in a year, how are you supposed to remember all of the data?”
He also adds that the data comes in handy for anyone working with the horse once it leaves his care. Jimenez says he receives frequent calls from farriers, vets, trainers and owners desperate for information about the horse, especially concerning a lameness issue. He will quickly pull up the horses report and provide any insightful information. Many times this has come at a great benefit to a horse fast approaching a race.
He also sees delivering this data as his responsibility. “I want to give back to this industry that has given me so much,” he says. “I know what it is like to have a problem and needing to turn to another farrier for help. I want to share as much knowledge that I can, because it is no value to you to take it to the grave.”