Making the Thoroughbred Rounds

Bluegrass farrier’s typical day takes him from foals, through yearlings to working racehorses

Lexington, Ky., farrier Chris Beymer divides his shoeing day between breeding farms and the Keeneland Race Course. He provides hoof care for foals, yearlings, brood mares and training and racing Thoroughbreds, often on the same day. The horse in the lower photo is “The Last Meow, a filly out of “Rich Woman,”and the last foal by “Storm Cat,” a legendary foundation sire.

For Chris Beymer, Thoroughbred feet come in all sizes — just about every day.

The Lexington, Ky., farrier, who has been shoeing Thoroughbred horses in the Bluegrass Country for 27 years, spends his mornings at area breeding barns, where he might handle a foal’s foot for the first time, trim a barn full of brood mares or nail the first pair of shoes on the front feet of a yearling just before a sale.

In the afternoon, he’ll be at Keeneland Race Course, handling the hoof-care needs and nailing on race plates for horses that are in training and already racing. All in all, that means a day of “Shoeing For A Living” with Beymer gives us a chance to see a nice cross-section of the Thoroughbred industry.

Beymer, who was born and raised in Lexington, is a “hardboot.” That’s Kentucky slang for a horseman, supposedly derived from the fact that the boots of that type of horseman were typically hard-caked with a mixture of mud and manure.

While Beymer’s time in the business may not seem like so many years to some veteran farriers, his career…

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Pat tearney

Pat Tearney

Pat Tearney is a long-term newspaper and magazine veteran writer and editor. Before retiring, he served for a number of years on the American Farriers Journal staff and continues to share his writing talents with our readers.

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