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THE ADVENTURE BEGINS. The very first North American Horseshoeing Team gathers on the day in 1979 when the team was chosen through a series of competitions at the American Farriers’ Association annual conference in Fresno, Calif. Pictured from left to right are Jay Sharp, Bruce Daniels, Gordon Haight, Jeff Dodridge and Randy Luikart. Bob Marshall, captain and coach of the team, is not pictured.
Looking back at the first North American Horseshoeing Team, squad member Gordon Haight says, “We didn’t know what we we’re getting into.” That team, selected through a series of competitions at the 1979 American Farriers’ Association conference in Fresno, Calif., was the first put together in the United States to compete internationally.
In 2004, the team — still chosen in the annual AFA competition — celebrates its 25th anniversary. The name was changed to the American Farriers Team in 1994 when the Canadians began forming a separate team. Since 1998, the team has expanded to often include two squads each year, referred to as the Gold and Silver teams. But regardless of the name, today’s competitors know what to expect because of the team that led the way into international competition.
The first team included Bruce Daniels of Mullica Hills, N.J.; Gordon Haight, Eagle Point, Ore., and his then-assistant, Jeff Dodridge, Escondido, Calif.; Randy Luikart, Mansfield, Ohio; and Jay Sharp, Yorba Linda, Calif. Bob Marshall of Mission, British Columbia, Canada, served as captain and coach.
Dodridge, just 23 at the time and “the kid” of the…