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X-Rays Made Heart Bar Shoemaking Class Different

Adding a new technology angle turns a novel corrective shoeing class into an incredible learning experience


HEART BAR WINNERS. The Burney Chapman memorial class winners from left to right: 1st place—Craig Trnka, Edgewood, N.M., 2nd place —John McNerney, Timnath, Colo., 3rd place—Dan Bradley, Lockwood, Calif., contest sponsor Dr. Jan Young, 4th place—Vince Vescly, Silver City, N.M., 5th place— Lee Hop, Flagstaff, Ariz.

While there are plenty of shoemaking contests where the shoe has to fit the foot, no contest required reading a lateral X-ray to determine proper placement of a heart bar shoe until last fall.

That’s what happened in the Burney Chapman heart bar shoe class that was part of last fall’s Arizona State Farrier’s Association contest and clinic. As a tribute to the important heart bar shoeing work done by Chapman, Dr. Jan Young dreamed up this unique class and had her Professional Equine Products Co. of Cave Creek, Ariz., kicking in $1,500 to the payout for this class along with a beautiful belt buckle from Mira Loma, Calif., farrier Rusty Brown.

Read, Forge, Fit

The 17 contestants each received a dead leg and a lateral radiograph of the foot to use for determining where the heart bar shoe should be placed. After receiving the foot and X-ray, the heart bar shoe could be hand forged from bar stock or from a keg shoe (St. Croix Eventers, GE aluminum egg bars and flat shoes were used by contestants) with the addition of a welded frog plate. The only requirement was that the frog plate had to be made by the contestant.

Plenty Of Excitement

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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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