Calgary Stampede Classic 1

Photo: Delta Mustad Hoofcare Center

After 35 years of hosting a World Championship Blacksmiths’ Competition at the annual Calgary Stampede in Calgary, Alberta, the show developed a new program to showcase blacksmithing across all 10 days of the event from July 3 to 12. The new Calgary Blacksmith Showcase and Classic, sponsored by Delta Mustad Hoofcare Center, involved daily demonstrations of blacksmithing — the Showcase — with a 3-day competition on the final days of the Stampede — the Classic.

The Blacksmiths’ Showcase portion of the event featured educational blacksmith and forging demonstrations for thousands of spectators illustrating the different skills and uses involved with blacksmithing.

The Blacksmiths’ Classic took a new twist on the traditional competition, changing the format to a team concept. The competition at Calgary in the past drew dozens of farriers from around the world to compete. Some years, more than 100 farriers from more than 20 countries would arrive in Calgary to test their skills and be named the world champion.

This year’s Classic, judged by Travis Koons of Hemet, Calif., and Iain Ritchie of Maple Ridge, British Columbia, was by invitation only, calling upon 16 farriers from the United States and Canada to compete in four teams of four farriers. The four rounds of the competition required teamwork, but also individual skills and knowledge in farriery and forging.

The World Champion Blacksmiths’ (WCB) team of Tom Petersen, Bozeman, Mont.; Dusty Franklin, Minco, Okla.; Cody Gregory, Lamar, Mo.; and Lamar Weaver, Denver, Pa.; took first place in the competition, becoming the first team to win the Calgary Stampede Blacksmith Classic.

Calgary Stampede Classic 2

Photo: Delta Mustad Hoofcare Center

The other three teams in the competition consisted of the American Farriers’ Association team (Jeremy Scudder, Tom McPhee, Victor Frisco and Joe Nygren), which came in second; the Western Canadian Farriers’ Association team (John Dixon, Chad Lausen, Justin Fountain and Jason Wrubleski), which came in third; and the Canadian Farriers’ Team (Jack Ketel, Dan Corkery, Travis Buck and A.J. Mastalerz), which took fourth place.

The winning team recieved $8,000 plus 4 full sets of tools and a tool bag consisting of a Mustad Pull Off, nipper, clincher, nailing hammer, rounding hammer and Heller's newly released eXcel rasp.

The other competitors each also recieved one set of Delta Challenger shoes and a box of Mustad EXL nails, one set of LiBero shoes and a box of Mustad LiBero ARC nails, a Heller t-shirt, an eXcel rasp and Pro Finish rasp and other miscellaneous gifts.

The first round of the competition had the teams crafting 8 cob, or light draft, shoes. Round two was an individual speed class giving each competitor just 15 minutes to forge a shoe. In round three, competitors shod two saddle horses in 2 hours and round four was a four-man draft horse shoeing.

A member of the winning team, Gregory told the Calgary Stampede in a press release that he liked the new team format for the competition.

Calgary Stampede Classic 3

Photo: Delta Mustad Hoofcare Center

“It was a great format,” he said. “The best thing about it is the team we got to bring up and compete with. We’ve got quite the brotherhood.”

Team member Franklin agreed, saying, “This is way better. Everything’s won or lost as a team. We have four team members who know where they’re good and what they need to work on. We put everyone where they need to be to get the best score.”