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HOT FITTING. Hoof smoke rolls up as J.C. Maloyed hot fits a shoe in the shoeing shop behind his Virginia home.
The air is cool in the Appalachian Mountains on this late May Virginia morning, but the weather has been dry and there’s a promise of higher temperatures later in the day. Farrier J.C. Maloyed and his partner, Travis Thompson, are eager to get their day of “Shoeing For A Living” started — hoping to get the majority of their horses done before the day gets too uncomfortable.
Maloyed (the J.C. stands for James Curtis — or “Jungle Cat” he says with an easy grin) and Thompson are headed for Virginia Intermont College, a small coed school located in Bristol, Va., a few miles southwest of Glade Spring, where Maloyed lives. But they aren’t going to the ivy-covered and white-columned buildings of the main campus. Instead, they’re headed for the college’s Riding Center, located about 6 miles away on the outskirts of town.
At Virginia Intermont, Maloyed explains, horses are a big deal. “Riding Matters at Virginia Intermont” reads a banner that’s posed on the equestrian activities page of the school’s Web site.
Virginia Intermont College — or VIC — competes in the NAIA. During 2007, its equestrian teams, won three national championships, giving the school a total of 12 national championships since 2001. The college also offers a 4-year degree program in equine studies.
Maloyed and Thompson spend the bulk of every Wednesday at the Riding Center, providing the…