The sound of a farrier hard at work means Jan Mueller is about to have a successful day at Churchill Downs. The Louisville woman drives around in her truck with the windows down just listening for farriers shoeing horses.
She says that’s the best way to find used horseshoes at Churchill.
Mueller’s known as the “Horseshoe Lady” at the track and is proof that one man’s trash is another woman’s treasure.
“I’ve been coming out here for about 21-years collecting horseshoes,” Mueller says. “I will even fetch the jewels out of the trash and do a little Dumpster diving.”
Mueller’s persistent when she’s on the hunt and says she started collecting shoes because she’s an avid recycler.
“If farriers throw the shoes away, it will take the shoes 100 years to disintegrate,” she says. “The souvenirs are authentic to Kentucky and it saves a lot of room in the land fill.”
She showed us a few shoes that she found and they are all different shapes and sizes. She says every now and then she’ll find a big plate which people love.
Mueller takes the shoes home, wraps each piece in a bag with a little hay and includes a small card with the legend of the horseshoe on it. The finished product is then sold exclusively at the Kentucky Derby Museum, which is home to the International Horseshoeing Hall Of Fame.