Covering all the Angles

This Standardbred blacksmith says his dividers and hoof gauge are just as important as his anvil and hammers

Terry Burger at work in his blacksmith shop at the Meadows Racetrack and Casino near Pittsburgh, Pa. Burger has been shoeing Standardbred trotters and pacers for 35 years. He graduated from shoeing school and started his career the same year that American Farriers Journal was first published.

Standardbred racing has a long and honorable history in the East and Midwest, as well as in Ontario and other parts of Canada. The racetrack blacksmiths that provide the hoof care for these horses have long been considered among the finest horseshoers anywhere, particularly when it comes to balancing horses. In early June, I made a trip to Pennsylvania, to spend a day with a veteran at a harness racing track, who had something in common with American Farriers Journal. 

8 a.m. Terry Burger and I meet at the security gate at the Meadows Racetrack and Casino a few miles south and west of Pittsburgh. After I’m given a pass for the day, we  head up to his shoeing shop along the track’s backstretch. Burger has one of 10 blacksmith shops at the track, and is in his second stint of shoeing at the track.

Burger got his start as a farrier in 1975 — the same year that American Farriers Journal was published. Throughout this Shoeing For A Living day, we talked about how he developed his career and how things have changed during the last 3 ½ decades.

8:05 a.m. One of the first things Burger does when we arrive at…

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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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