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THREE IMPRESSIVE SHOES. From left to right, the first-, second- and third-place shoes are displayed. Dallas Morgan, Locke, N.Y., won the event followed by Travis Koons, Romoland, Calif., and Ken Naef, Chino, Calif.
Now in its third year, the mail-in forging exercise, co-sponsored by the World Championship Blacksmiths’ Competition and American Farriers Journal, once again dramatically increased its number of participants and the overall value of products those competitors received.
With a 75 percent jump in the number of mail-in shoe entrants from last year’s event, along with more than a $3,000 jump in prizes, Marshall Iles, chairman of the 2002 World Championship Blacksmiths’ Competition, says this event is reaching far beyond what he had anticipated.
“This mail-in shoemaking exercise is really taking off,” Iles says. “We’re starting to get some real top-notch shoers sending in shoes. People all around the world are getting excited about this exercise.”
Spanning many different countries, the mail-in exercise attracted 124 participants, which was more than anyone anticipated.
“Our most optimistic goal was to receive about 100 entries,” says Frank Lessiter, Editor/Publisher of American Farriers Journal. “To get 124 just shows how fast this highly educational forging exercise is growing.”
While the number of entrants grew, so did the prize money. Overall, $44,272.24 was split among the 124 contests with $11,908.24 going to the top 26 finishers (normally it would go to the top 25 finishers, but there was a 3-way tie for 24th). That breaks down to $261 for each individual who took…