For 11 years, farriers unable to participate in the World Championship Blacksmiths’ Competition at the Calgary Stampede could still have a presence at the contest. During this time, American Farriers Journal had organized the Calgary Mail-In Forging Exercise, in which participants could send in various forging challenges to be judged at Calgary.
Co-sponsored with Delta Mustad Hoofcare Center, the 2014 Calgary Mail-In Forging Exercise called for contestants to forge a sidebone shoe based on one built by Chris Gregory of the Heartland Horseshoeing School in Lamar, Mo. There were several reasons why he found this shoe to be a good challenge.
“The sidebone shoe is fun to make,” says Gregory. “It’s practical, involves bumping, fullering, punching and beveling.” He adds that the additional challenge was that the contest called for a hammer finish.
The shoes were sent into the American Farriers Journal office, where they were tagged and photographed. The entries were then shipped to Calgary.
This year’s contest had a record 117 shoes sent from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, South Africa, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. And while there were new participants from around the globe, one familiar name came out on top: Mark Lieser.
The Elisa, Texas, shoer finished with the top overall entry. This is the sixth time he has won the mail-in forging competition. Other top entries include:
2. Tom Peterson of Bozeman, Mont.
3. Chad Chance of Pilot Point, Texas.
4. Robbie Watson-Greaves of Laddenbrook, England.