Charlie Sands has accomplished what’s believed to be a first for a farrier — winning best shod honors at the Random Health Grand National and Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials within a 12-month period, according to Horse & Hound.
Sands, who hails from Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire, England, completed the unique double April 8 at Aintree while shoeing Drop Out Joe. He won the best shod prize at Badminton in May 2016 while tending to Allercombe Ellie, which was ridden by his girlfriend Izzy Taylor.
“Both horses were wearing handmade shoes,” Sands told Horse & Hound. “I put tool and fullered aluminum front shoes, which I have spent months practicing making, on Drop Out Joe. He also has lateral extensions on his hinds to help support him. Allercombe Ellie toes-in badly, so I made lateral extensions for her in front. It’s a real honor to win both competitions, and a nice recognition of what we do.”
Jim Blurton, a former world champion farrier and a member of the International Horseshoeing Hall Of Fame, lauded Sands’ shoeing.
“He shod both horses utterly appropriately and correctly for their jobs and according to their conformation,” says Blurton, who was the lead farrier for the 2012 and 2016 Great Britain Olympics teams. “The fact that Charlie can transfer his skills from one discipline to another is a reflection of his ability and on the training system that the Worshipful Company of Farriers has in place in Britain.”