The Chester County Press wrote a profile about Rob Sigafoos, speaking to him about his life, art and work — including innovative farriery.
Sigafoos, a member of the International Horseshoeing Hall Of Fame, started his career after moving out of his family’s home at 16. He began by pursuing art studies at a community college, but ended up working at a polo club apprenticing for a farrier.
Sigafoos went on to be a horse owner and rider and made shoes on his own until taking an advanced farrier course at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine. It was there that he began his 25-year career as its chief farrier.
“I’ve always loved horses. Movement is a fascination to me,” Sigafoos told the Chester County Press.
“One of the things that attracted me to the farrier business was dealing with how you could affect locomotion in horses.”
During those 25 years, Sigafoos co-developed a supportive glue-on aluminum shoe with SoundHorse Technologies that features a urethan shock absorbing layer and a cuff for attachment to the hoof, commonly known as the “Sigafoos Shoe.” Throughout his farrier career, he had a high impact, from his signature shoe’s invention to working on high-profile horses — the last one he worked on was prominent derby-winner Barbaro.
He since has retired from New Bolton, and calls himself a silent partner regarding the Sigafoos shoe business with the exception of occasional technical consultation.
No longer shoeing, Sigafoos still calls himself a workaholic. Now, his art has his full attention.
His affection for animals and nature, as well as his experience as a blacksmith, are obvious in his art as well. He calls himself a metal artist and his business “Vinewoods Forge.”
One of Sigafoos’ pieces just became the first public art piece in Kennett Square, Pa.
“I didn’t want to do something so radical that people wouldn’t get it,” says Sigafoos, regarding the piece, “Kennett Squared.”
“I want people to be stopped by it, but not offended by it,” he told the Chester County Press. “I want people to be awed by it, but also give them a positive feeling as they’re walking away from it.”