On Nov. 7-8, the Derby City Horseshoeing Association held its annual Derby City Classic contest and clinic in Prospect, Ky. With two clinicians, the event drew 60 attendees and 16 competitors.

Pat Broadus, gave a presentation on his glue-on shoes, the Hanton Horseshoes, which have tabs that allow the shoe to be glued to the front of the foot while letting the back of the shoe flex and take concussion. 

Iain Ritchie, DWCF, was the clinician and judge for the contest and clinic. Conrad Trow, one of the event’s organizers and the manager of the American Farriers Team says, “Iain talked about building different shoes and how to build some of the shoes for the competition, but focused on everyday shoeing. He kept to the basics, keeping the feet flat, nail placement, ect. Those were the same things he looked for when he judged the shoes in the contest.”

The contest had 4 divisions, novice, intermediate, open and the 2-man draft. Each division was asked to forge an extensive list of shoes. The novice division was asked to forge a pair of front concave shoes, a pair of hind plain stamped shoes, a pair of straight bar shoes and a pritchel. The intermediate division forged a pair of 3/4 fullered front shoes, a front concave straight bar shoe, a diagonal breakover shoe, a front concave sidebone shoe, a hind light draft shoe and a front plain stamped shoe. The open division and 2-man draft forged shoes from the American Farrier’s Association’s convention list.

The top 5 competitors were then asked to participate in a live shoeing.

While the contest was a hit, Trow says many attendees came for the clinicians. “The clinics were the highlight of the event,” he says. “There were a lot of people there who came to see those guys. They want to learn more. They’re trying to see if they can pick up on any tips that they could use in their own work. Each guy tried to take away something.” 

Trow says the clinicians worked to help each farrier in attendance. “Everybody’s at a different level,” he says. “What the clinicians did, and what I try to do myself, is help one person with one little thing they need help with. There was a time when Iain took some individuals in the novice division and helped them through the shoe building.” 

The Derby City Horseshoeing Association holds the clinic each year to promote continuing education and to give back to its members.