Could You Forge This Shoe in 12 Minutes?

Follow minute-by-minute as former reserve world champion blacksmith James Blurton forges a front pleasure shoe



Turning a bar of steel into a finished shoe in 12 minutes certainly takes plenty of forging skills and the ability to work fast.

If you’re among those farriers who believes that speed is money, you’ll be impressed with the shoe turned out by James Blurton during the World Championship Blacksmiths’ Competition held during last summer’s Calgary Stampede. Hailing from Welshpool, Wales, Burton was named as the reserve champion blacksmith at the Calgary Stampede in 1996.

While Blurton turned in an impressive demonstration of forging speed and quality forging skills, he didn’t win the class last summer. First-place honors in speed forging the front pleasure shoe went to Bill Poor of Abilene, Texas.

No Easy Assignment

The 60 contestants in last summer’s speed forging class at the World Championship Blacksmiths’ Competition found it to be an extremely challenging and exciting forging exercise. The contestants forged a three-quarter fullered front pleasure shoe with toe-clip and holes for eight nails in only 12 minutes.

Watching the clock closely, these photos were taken every 60 seconds during the 12 minutes allotted for forging a front pleasure shoe. 

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Frank lessiter

Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has spent more than 50 years in the agricultural and equine publishing business. The sixth generation member to live on the family’s Centennial farm in Michigan, he is the Editor/Publisher of American Farriers Journal.

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