The 2014 Calgary Mail-In Forging Exercise had a record of 117 shoes sent in from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, South Africa, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. And while there were new participants from around the globe, one familiar name came out on top: Mark Lieser.

The Elisa, Texas, shoer finished with the top overall entry. This is the sixth time he has won the mail-in forging competition.

Other top entries in order were:

2. Tom Peterson of Bozeman, Mont.
3. Chad Chance of Pilot Point, Texas
4. Robbie Watson-Greaves of Laddenbrook, Gloucestershire, England
5. Richard Davidson of Sturgis, Mich.
6. John McAteer of Woodtown House, Meath, Ireland 

“It’s especially valuable to shoers that don’t have the time or dollars to attend the big competitive events,” Leiser told AFJ about the Calgary Mail-In Forging Competition in general. “Being part of this forging exercise has really helped me develop my forging skills. Plus, it’s interesting to compare and see where you stand with other participants.”

The shoes were judged by the Calgary Stampede’s World Championship Blacksmiths Competition judges, Bob Pethick of New Jersey and Gary Darlow of the United Kingdom.

Contestants had to forge a sidebone shoe based on one built by Chris Gregory of the Heartland Horseshoeing School in Lamar, Mo. The shoes were sent into the American Farriers Journal offices, where they were tagged and photographed. The entries were then shipped to Calgary.

Images of the winning shoe, along with forging advice from top finishers will appear in the September/October issue of American Farriers Journal.

Mark Lieser's winning sidebone shoe