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No stranger to forging competitions, Stockport, Ohio, farrier Mike Augenstein has competed twice as a member of the American Farriers Team and in several World Championship Blacksmith contests. With his history of competing, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he took first place with the inaugural Summit Mail-In Forging Exercise.
Sponsored by VICTORY, the contest was free to enter and each participant received a T-shirt and judge’s critiques for their efforts. Contestants could mail-in their entry to the American Farriers Journal office or drop it off in Cincinnati at the International Hoof-Care Summit (IHCS). A total of 39 shoes were entered.
The contest called for participants to send in a hammer-finished heart bar shoe as presented in an article by Chris Gregory of the Heartland Horseshoeing School in Lamar, Mo. It was a three-quarter fullered, left front heart bar that Gregory creased for VICTORY city head 6 nails. The specimen is made out of 14 1/2 inches of 3/8-inch-by-1-inch stock, with a jump-welded frog plate made from a piece of scrap 3/8-inch-by-1-inch. Participants weren’t required to jump weld the plate.
This particular shoe was selected because the IHCS logo is loosely based on a heart bar. More importantly, Gregory picked the shoe because of its widespread usage in footcare and the many benefits building the shoe offers participants.
“The heart bar often is blamed for harm that it did not commit,” says Gregory. “Misapplication of the heart bar can be bad, but the same could be true of any…