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Earlier this summer, Pam and I attended the Mark and Stephanie Merz wedding in downtown Milwaukee, Wis.
Among the 350 guests at the wedding reception was Neil Drysdale, the southern California based trainer of Fusaichi Pegasus. This is the horse that won the Kentucky Derby, is set to run in the November Breeder’s Cup and had his breeding rights sold for $70 million.
A good friend of Shawn Dugan who is one of the groom’s cousins, Drysdale hardly knew any of the 350 guests at the wedding except for a few family members. So he was delighted to talk for 15 minutes about track shoeing.
Inducted this summer into the Racing Hall of Fame, Drysdale is based at Hollywood Park. The farrier he works closely with, Wes Champagne, headquarters in the stables and has shared his ideas in the past on glue-on shoeing with American Farriers Journal readers.
Checking the horses on a daily basis, Champagne comes to Drysdale with potential hoof problems and together they come up with the needed solutions.
During our wedding reception conversation, Drysdale told me that while he really likes glue-on shoes, he doesn’t see glue-ons replacing nailed shoes. Yet the trainer is convinced that glue-ons definitely have an important place where proper nailing is a problem due to damaged hoof walls.
Drysdale has also had good luck with Luwex AirRide hoof cushions. However, he removes these pads from horses when they are actually racing.
During the actual races, many of…