The American Farrier’s Association’s Rules Committee has added some new shoes for the 2000 AFA convention contest in Ontario, Calif., and wants you to be aware of the entry procedures and contest rules.

Entry Procedures

There will be one flat fee of $300 for AFA members and $370 for non-AFA individuals to enter all classes, except the Draft Shoeing class and the Shoe Case Classic, which are separate.

Contest entry forms must be post-marked by December 1, 1999. (They will be accepted until December 15, as long as they are post marked by December 1.) Entries should be faxed or sent registered mail.

In addition, contestants who wish to withdraw from the competition after submitting their entry fee must send a written request to the AFA office postmarked no later than December 1, 1999. Money will be refunded less a $25 administrative fee. Any entry fees from contestants who withdraw after December 1, 1999, will be forfeited. Exceptions to this rule, which will be reviewed by the Rules Committee, include sickness or injury with a doctor’s written excuse, serious injury or personal tragedy.

Non-AFA members and nonresidents of the United States and its possessions earn no points toward selection to the American Farrier’s Team.

Contestants from foreign countries must submit a formal entry blank before the deadline to participate. Foreign contestants must pay all entry fees in full no later than AFA convention registration time. Failure to comply will cause denial of participation.

Contestants must supply their own free-standing work unit. No trucks or farrier rigs will be allowed in the arena during competition.

When filling out the entry form, competitors must include names of other shoers who will work beside them during the contest. This will allow the Rules Committee to effectively organize the arena prior to competition.

Entry forms will be printed in the September/October, 1999, issue of the American Farriers Journal and will also be available from the AFA office.

North American Challenge Cup

The qualifying class is open to all contestants. Two shoes are made within a 45-minute time limit.

For the North American Challenge Cup qualifying class, shoes will be placed from one to 20. The top finishers will compete in reversed order, with the contestant in twentieth place competing first and the contestant in first place competing last.

(1) Front Shoe: 5/16 x 3/4 x 12 inches, fullered, toe clip, six nails, #5 city or #5 slim blade nails.

(2) Beveled Front Shoe: 13 x 1/2 x 1 inch, punched for seven #7 E-head nails, clip from masselotte, beveled outer and inner edges, hammer finished.

Only the top 20 contestants will move on to the Live Shoeing class. Live Shoeing contestants will shoe one front foot and make a specimen shoe for the opposite front foot. The same shoes will be made as in the qualifying class. Time limit: 60 minutes.

Contestants will shoe one front foot with a hand-forged shoe made from 5/16 x 3/4 x 14-inch bar stock. The shoe shall be fullered, have a toe clip and have six nail holes for appropriate Capewell nail.

Contestants will forge a specimen front shoe for the opposite front foot. Made from 13 x 1/2 x 1-inch bar stock, the shoe is punched for seven #7 E-head nails, clipped from masselotte, has beveled outer and inner edges and is hammer finished.

If the horse has a shoe on, the contestant may not remove it until the start of the class. The contestant may not pick up a foot to clean or otherwise inspect it prior to the start of the contest. The contestant will notify the steward when the foot is ready to be judged.

The hoof prep judge will score the “dressed foot.” A time limit of 15 minutes is set for hoof preparation. Contestants will begin at specific intervals to facilitate the judging process.

The next judge will score “shoe quality” and “fit” of the shoe.

Stewards will notify the judge when this portion is ready to be judged. The competitor should allow enough time to nail and finish.

The third judge will score “nailing and finish” after time expires.

A scoreboard will show names and scores of the top 10 competitors as the class progresses.

Specimen shoe scores will be kept confidential until the Saturday night AFA awards banquet when the winners will be announced.

Contestants score sheets will be available at the banquet. Contestants won’t be allowed to talk to the judges during judging. Doing so will be grounds for disqualification.

A steward will be assigned to each contestant. The steward will bring the horse to the contestant’s horse handler and take the horse to the holding area after completion. The steward shall ensure compliance within the contest rules by the contestant and recommend disqualification to the Chief Steward for any breach of rules.

Disqualification may also be recommended for laming the horse, abusing the horse during shoeing, abusive or profane language or conduct unbecoming a professional farrier. The Chief Steward has the final authority to disqualify contestants prior to judging.

Bar stock will be furnished to the contestant at the time the Chief Steward calls for the contest to begin.

Bar stock may not be marked or cut by the contestant prior to starting. All bar stock shall be marked by the AFA.

Hand tools and top anvils are allowed. No mechanical benders are permitted. A top anvil toe bender that is non-mechanical, non-hydraulic or non-electric, or any other device powered by the contestant, is considered a top anvil and is permitted. Grinders, stall jacks, portable anvils or devices other than a stationary anvil are not allowed. A shoeing block or foot stand shall be used only to rest horse hooves.

Contestants must use the required number of nails per shoe. Capewell #5 city head or #5 slim blade nails will be furnished by the steward, although any appropriate Capewell nail may be used.

Upon completion of shoeing, the foot and shoe must be completely free of any foreign material. Application of any foreign substance will cause disqualification by the judges.

A finished job is defined as a foot with nails clinched, which by definition means the nails are at least bent down against the hoof wall.

Capewell Cup

In addition to first-place cash prizes, the winner’s name will be engraved on the perpetual Capewell Cup. The winner will receive a replica. Guaranteed purse and cups are donated by Capewell Horsenail, Inc. of Bloomfield, Conn.

Runner-up trophy and $500 guaranteed purse is donated by Diamond Tool and Horseshoe Co., Orangeburg, S.C.

Judging Rules

Judging is based on the AFA booklet, Guidelines For Evaluating Farrier Competitions And Certifications. Contestants will be provided a copy after their entry is received along with a blank judging sheet. Horses not shod according to those rules and specifications will be disqualified immediately and will not be scored or judged.

Spectators may watch the judging process, but may not interfere with or question the judges. Insofar as possible, horses will be available for inspection upon completion of judging.

Judges’ score sheets won’t be available to contestants or spectators before the announcement of class winners.

A contestant will be disqualified if time is exceeded. The horse must still be completed by the contestant even though time has expired. Maximum time allowed: 60 minutes.

Veterinarian On Site

A veterinarian will be present. If a medical condition occurs during shoeing, time will be stopped and an examination completed.

If a condition is caused by the farrier, the contestant will be disqualified. If not caused by the farrier, the contestant may continue without penalty.

Handlers Required

Each shoeing contestant is responsible for supplying his or her own horse handler in the live shoeing class. The handler will not aid, assist, advise or in any way be involved with the contest during shoeing. No restraining device, such as a twitch or war bridle, is permitted. The use of lip, mouth, nose or bar chain is allowed, provided no abuse to the animal is rendered by its use.

Propane Safety

In the interest of increasing competition safety, propane cylinders will be rented at the contest site. Number of cylinders required by each contestant will be listed and paid for with the contestant’s entry form. Upon arrival at the contest site, contestants will be issued coupons for the number of cylinders ordered.


Forging contests are open to everyone. Non-AFA individuals and nonresidents of North America earn no points toward selection to the American Farrier’s Team.

Entries will not be accepted after December 1, 1999.

Hunter Shoes

For the hunter shoe division, one pair of hind lateral support shoes will be made. The shoes will be made from 3/8 x 1 x 10 1/2-inch bar stock. Shoes will be fullered for six #5E nails with quarter clips. Rapsing is allowed. Time limit is 35 minutes.

Draft Horseshoes

Farriers who have been members of a national team (any nation) past or present may not work together in this class.

One farrier will make a pair of front shoes and switch places while the second farrier makes a pair of hind shoes. Points will be awarded equally to each farrier. Which shoes are to be made by the first farrier aren’t specified.

One pair of bevel front shoes will be made by one contestant. The shoes will be made from 18 x 1 1/2 x 1/2- inch bar stock and punched for eight #10E nails with toe clip.

The other contestant will make a pair of hind bar shoes from 21 x 1/2 x 1-inch bar stock, fullered for seven #8E nails with toe clip.

Clips will be measured from the front on the foot surface (one inch). Filing or rasping is prohibited.

Steel for the second set of shoes can enter the fire when the first pair comes out of the fire for the last time. The second set can’t come out of the fire until the first set is on the ground.

Entry fee: AFA member $50 and non-AFA individuals $60 per team member due by December 1, 1999. Time limit is 75 minutes.

Journeyman Class

Four shoes will be made. The front pair will be made from 11 1/2 x 5/16 x 3/4-inch bar stock, will be punched for six MX50 nails and will have toe clips that are hammer drawn only (any style hammer). No bob punched clips are allowed.

The hind pair will be made from 11 x 5/16 x 3/4-inch bar stock, will be punched for six MX50 nails and will have quarter clips that are hammer drawn only (any style hammer). No bob punched clips are allowed.

All shoes will be hammer finished. Time limit is 30 minutes.

Mustad Specialty Forging

Either three or four shoes will be made. The Rules Committee will select particular shoes from a list of 12. Contestants will not know which shoes they will make until the contestants’ meeting at the convention.

A 5- or 10-minute time change may be implemented by the judges to accommodate shoe selection. Time limit: 90 minutes.

Purse and trophy donated by Mustad, Inc., of Bloomfield, Conn.