46th Annual Michigan Horseshoers Association Clinic Boasts Tough Competition

With four speakers and 3 days of competition, this historical event continues to offer learning opportunities

The Michigan Horseshoers Association (MHA) recently held its 46th annual clinic and contest in East Lansing, Mich. Sixty farriers from as far south as Texas and as far north as Canada came to attend and compete in the event. From Jan. 8-10, attendees participated in lectures and demos by Tom Willoughby of Crown Point, Ind.; Andy Canoy of Grand Blanc, Mich.; Laura Pylman of Laingsburg, Mich.; and Roy Bloom of Drummund, Wis., who was also the judge for several forging competitions held at the event.

“This is one of the oldest horseshoeing clinics in the country,” says Dick Becker of Lapeer, Mich. “It’s older than the American Farrier’s Association (AFA) convention.”

“The contest was so highly regarded that the AFA modeled their contest after ours,” adds Doug Russo, who is a former MHA president and currently the head farrier at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

First Day

The first day of the event began with Bloom taking forging requests from novice and intermediate farriers. He tackled a number of exercises including how to forge trailers, square toe bends, proper hammer techniques and fullering.

While Bloom demonstrated forging techniques, the open division class #1 began the competition.

The competition was split into three divisions, novice, intermediate and open, in ascending level of difficulty. Each division was then split into four classes. The first three classes in each division built a different shoe and the fourth class was a live shoeing.

The open division class #1 started off the competition on…

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Jaime Elftman

Jamie Elftman is a former editorial intern for American Farriers Journal and Lessiter Media.

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