Pictured Above: Sponsored by Victory, the 2017 Summit Mail-In Forging Exercise required making a fullered mule shoe with calks and a brazed-on toe bar.

By American Farriers Journal Staff

Narvon, Pa., farrier Raymond Stoltzfus captured the 2017 Summit Mail-In Forging Exercise, sponsored by Victory.

Knapp, Wis., farrier Bernie O’Meara and Simco, Ontario, farrier Russ Gaudet placed second and third respectively. Craig Trnka, founder of World Championship Blacksmiths and newly inducted member of the International Horseshoeing Hall Of Fame, judged the exercise.

This year’s Mail-In shoe was a fullered mule shoe, double heel calks and a brazed-on toe bar for the left front foot. The specs of the hammer-finished shoe were devised by Chris Gregory, Hall Of Fame farrier and owner of Heartland Horseshoeing School in Lamar, Mo.

“Although using power tools is a fine way to make and modify shoes on an everyday basis, I wanted contestants to hammer-finish this year’s shoe again,” Gregory says. “After all, this exercise is about learning and practicing the necessary skills to be a well-balanced farrier.”

The ability to forge a mule shoe offers an interesting change of pace for the third annual project.

“Mules tend to get a bit of a bad rap from farriers,” Gregory says. “I admit there was a time that I didn’t care much for shoeing them. Their personalities tend to be only part of the problem for farriers. Their feet often present the bigger challenge. Although there likely isn’t enough of these equids to fill your books, learning how to shoe them is a good skill to have.”

Be sure to pick up the March issue of American Farriers Journal for more about Stoltzfus’ victory in the 2017 Summit Mail-In Forging Exercise.