For Harry Patton, Shoeing Was His Life

A remarkable shoer, teacher and gentleman, Harry Patton contributed a great deal to the horseshoeing profession

Known as a world class racetrack shoer, Harry Holiday Patton’s death represents a tremendous loss to the entire farrier profession. After a lengthy bout with Parkinson’s disease and cancer, the Pasadena, Calif., farrier passed away on Oct. 20.

Along with him went some of the finest understanding, appreciation and knowledge of shoeing Thoroughbreds and other kinds of horses that you would ever find.

Besides his wife, Ada Gates, Patton is survived by sons Troy and Bruce, three grandchildren and a great grandchild. As a tribute to his extraordinary talents, he was elected to the International Horseshoeing Hall Of Fame a year ago that is sponsored by American Farriers Journal and the Kentucky Derby Museum. “This was a honor for which he had a special place in his heart and one of which he was very proud,” says his wife.

Others in the industry feel the same way about Patton.

“Harry was a fine person who never seemed impressed with all of his accomplishments and treated everyone well,” says Mike Williams of W-Brand Products in Manhattan, Mont.

A True Innovator

Having shod Thoroughbreds at Santa Anita, Hollywood Park and Del Mar Thoroughbred Club from the late 1950s through the 1980s, Patton was among the real shoeing innovators in the racing profession. Leading trainers relied on his talents for one reason—after Patton shod a horse, they could see a difference in the horse’s performance.

Simply mentioning Patton’s name to trainers and owners almost always leads to recollections of the many stakes winners…

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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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