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For the third straight year, VICTORY sponsored the Summit Mail-In Forging Exercise. This challenge was free to enter and participants each received a T-shirt for their efforts. The overall winner earned a belt buckle and free registration to the 2018 International Hoof-Care Summit (IHCS). Contestants could mail-in their entry to the American Farriers Journal office or drop it off in Cincinnati at the IHCS. Out of the 34 shoes entered, Raymond Stoltzfus of Narvon, Pa., won the challenge.
The contest called for participants to send in a mule shoe as presented in an article by Chris Gregory of the Heartland Horseshoeing School in Lamar, Mo. It called for 3/8-inch by 3/4-inch bar stock. This finished shoe measured 4 3/8-inch by 5 3/8-inch with a toe bar.
“I think a farrier must accept that a mule has a certain shape to its foot, and then must shape or make the shoe accordingly,” explains Gregory. “It has a different shape than a normal front or hind horse foot, and once you determine to make that shape, you will end up having a lot more success shoeing mules. They also tend to have a much thicker wall than a horse, so a common keg shoe for horses does not put the nails in the white line like a well-punched handmade mule shoe will.”
Edgewood, N.M., farriers Craig and Bodie Trnka judged the shoes on Jan. 24 at the IHCS.