About the BWFA Hall of Fame..
Our BWFA Hall of Fame was the first of its kind in the farrier industry with the first inductees in 1992. The inception of the Hall of Fame was developed by Marcus Pierce who volunteered to host the first convention with fellow North Carolina farrier friends at the Ashville equine convention center.
The intention was to celebrate to work and life and times of fellow BWFA members which include farrier professionals, farrier industry business owners and horse owners who have shown their dedication and participation in the BWFA.
BWFA members can nominate other members annually, alive or passed on.
The Current Inductees will actually make the final decision each year.
Your submissions are important to us. Send in the person’s name and why you think he or she would make a good candidate. If they are chosen, they will need to be present at the time of the award presentation. We will need an 8x10 photo which we will frame along with articles, newspapers articles, past history photos, a written history of the person, etc for their Hall of Fame display at the BWFA Headquarters/FNRC Museum. Items are gladly accepted like aprons, anvils, shoes, something they personally owned and used.
Use this section of the “Members Only” to make your entry. All we need at this point will be a name, location, their age, dates of their career and BWFA membership and the reasons for your thoughtfulness.
Sonny Pistilli learned the art of horseshoeing at an early age from the famed Seamus Brady of Ireland. With unsurpassed attention to detail and the desire to learn all he could, Sonny has become a BWFA Master Farrier and is a certified BWFA Master Educator as the owner of Far Hills Forge School in New Jersey and later in Pennslyvania. From hand making shoes to correcting a variety of gait problems and lameness concerns, to shoeing the show horse, pacer, trotter, jumper, hunter, and so on. Sonny has the vast knowledge and experience that can only be had after spending 49 years in the business.
Sonny is no stranger in the equine world. He has been around horses his entire life and has never lost the love that we all share with our equine friends. Sonny has bred and shown top quality Quarter Horses, some of which have been sold to like hearted folks in other countries.
As an educator, Sonny has the system of teaching one to become a farrier down to a science. Sonny has been taking students who possess the desire to learn and transforming them into successful farriers for the last 30 years. Sonny's blacksmith and shoeing skills are so well honed that his teaching approach is second nature. He knows what his students need to learn to be successful and he knows how to present the material to his students in an understandable manner
He likes hand making shoes to correct a variety of gait problems, corrective, therapeutic, and lameness concerns.
A Farrier since 1968, Pistilli has been a strong supporter of the BWFA by offering farrier certification, mentorship at his school, as well as promoting the BWFA in print. His dedication and fellowship within the entire farrier industry is proof that he deserves this prestigious awar
2003 I attended Tennessee State Blacksmith and Farrier School owned and operated by Bucky Hatfield. I took his Masters course approved by the Veterans Administration under the Disabled Veterans Re-education Program. This was the four month class. Bucky expected nothing but perfection from me because I was a veteran. He pushed me and would not pass any test or forge work that was not 100%. Because of this I graduated top of my class with a near perfect score. I was only in the school for two days and Bucky had me out shoeing horses after hours because he said I was more than capable to shoe but I most definitely must pass his course to be certified. I did this all throughout my time in his school.
After I graduated from Bucky's school I was turned out into the real world of Farrier work. Going back into my own area I soon realized that farrier work did not matter to owners. All they cared about was slapping shoes on their horses and didn't care how it was done or how good. To me this was a sad state of affairs and I vowed to change that in a hurry. Many times I butted heads with the old timers and old thinking that we only shoe horses when they wanted to ride them, trim horses maybe once a year or two and for pasture and breeding stock there wasn't even a thought about their care. You only call someone when they can't walk. It was a nightmare of outlaws and wild horses with more problems than you could shake a stick at with foot problems.
At that point I said it was time to educate and change people's minds and ways of doing things. Lots a chatting, talking and showing them everything I could find finally changed their minds and thinking. Now these old timers are some of my most loyal clients. Word of mouth spread quickly and the use of social media and computers. The old saying, “pictures are worth a thousand words” is still true today. Technology actually became my biggest tool I had. This move was huge for change in our area; no other farrier or shoer had gone this far to help them. Our area is a very poor area and not very up to date on some of the thinking in equine care. I kept my rates low so all could afford and receive the care needed for their animals and bring them into modern times of Farrier Science. This way of attacking the problem around here was successful and still works. I have always gone about this work not by how much money I can make but what I can provide to clients so all can afford it. To me this is not about money but about the horse. I will never be rich or make tons of money but feel better about providing to all.
I attended BWFA Conventions, clinics and referred to my mentor and now friend, Buck Hatfield for assistance. I joined the BWFA with an Apprentice II certification with goals of upgrading.
The first four years we took on every foundered horse we could lay our hands on. We would come home at the end of a day and there would be 2-4 horses standing or laying in my front yard. Some were standing, most were lying down because they could not walk. People just drove up to the house and drag a horse off the trailer and leave, most of the time we didn't even know who dropped them off. We had up to 22 horses in various stages of laminitis and founder all the way to sinkers. This was my learning tool. I shod all these horses differently to see what works and what doesn't. We took notes and pictures to map progress. Even the local Vet got involved with this so he would learn more about the effects of founder and never charged us for work he did. It was a win, win situation for all involved. Out of the 22 horses we had we only lost two because they were too far gone to help. The rest of these horses returned back to normal usage from riding to pasture mates for other horses. My name became the vet’s first choice in foundered horses in our area. The Vets would tell their clients if you want to save your horse you better call a professional farrier, Jon.
Next step of understanding was White Line Disease. We attacked it the same way as the foundered horses. Nobody in our area knew about this or what it was. Many others didn't even catch the signs of White Line. We learned how to control and stop the damage.
I have spent many hours of educating clients on these problems and brought forth awareness. Again my biggest tool was pictures and the internet. I will use whatever I can to achieve the end goal.
2007 I felt I had learned enough to test out for my Journeyman Certification so I tested and passed. My goals were still to further educate clients and expand their knowledge and mine also. I started to offer and host clinics and round tables whenever I could to get everybody involved. We conducted them at local horse campgrounds and clients barns. I still attend every clinic I can find to continue my education in all aspects of equine care and health. This information I then pass back to my clients to help them. I have achieved and bettered our area by doing this. My cell phone never stops ringing from people with all kinds of question from health, care, maintenance and feeding programs.
I have made huge improvements in care of our horses in this area compared to 13 years ago. We see less horses being euthanized because of lameness issues and hoof problems. My attack on these problems has been successful and shows results within the community. All of my clients are on board with saving as many horses through knowledge and skill.
I am dedicated towards the horse with my heart, mind, body and soul. I promote the art of Farrier Science every chance I get. Not only do we care for equine in this area I have been called out for cattle, goats, sheep and even was called out to a farm to trim a pet buffalo. I have even made a hit in the Barefoot community because they are not happy with the way their people conduct their business and care for their horses. I am not done yet. There is so much more to learn and share back into the community.
I am going to use this nomination to draw in the next generation of Farriers and horse owners and spread the art of Farrier Science for the health and care of the horses in my work area. I want to show people what can be achieved with all the proper care and knowledge.
Prior to my shoeing career:
Born: December 29, 1963 in Grand Island, Nebraska
1981 enlisted in the US Army in May for the RANGER Battalion on the Delayed Entry Program
1982 completed Basic Training, AIT, Airborne School and Sniper Training at Fort Benning GA. Later I returned to Fort Benning to complete Senior Parachutist School. Served all over the world where my skills were needed. I served a total of 13 years in the military.
1994 Last duty station was at Fort Dix NJ as a Drill Sergeant. I also served as a Drill Instructor in the Young Marine Corp Youth Cadet Program.
In the civilian world after the military I worked as a truck driver, security guard and as an ironworker/welder until 1999
1999 moved to Tennessee and continued to work as an ironworker and welder
Rick Wheat has traveled and trained horses around the world including 47 U.S. states, Canada, Germany, France and Italy. Rick and his Noavel Headstall have been featured in numerous magazines and newspapers in those countries and coast to coast in the U.S. from Sacramento, California to Plant City, Florida.
He has spent a lifetime working with horses but also dedicated 6 years of his life to the U.S. Military.
Rick created an early version of the Headstall in the 1980’s. Since the final version was patented in 2001, Rick has used his Noavel Headstall to train 2 to 5000 horses per.
He has trained and made friends with many television and singing personalities including George Strait, Charlie Daniels, Ed Bruce, Danny Stonestreet, Lynn Anderson and Brooks & Dunn. He has conducted clinics at Loretta Lynn’s beautiful Hurricane Mills dude ranch in Tennessee, where hundreds of trail riders and horse enthusiasts had a chance to watch Rick and learn how to handle their horses from the ground up. Rick has also worked with a Governor and Senator in Georgia and has met almost every Old West movie star.
He has taught clinics at Cornell University, Olds College in Alberta, Canada and U.S. colleges from Jefferson, Texas to Auburn, Alabama including Arkansas State University at Jonesboro, Casey & Son Horseshoeing School, Farriers’ National Research Center and other BWFA sanctioned clinics. Rick has students from Arkansas State University Mountain Home.
Some of Rick’s awards and recognition include:
• “All Around Cowboy”
• “Producer of the Year”
• Training World Champion Youth Reining Horses.
• Nominated by the last Marlboro Man and West Quest and awarded the “American Cowboy of the Year” title 2006 & 2007 at the Celebrity Rodeo, their most attended event.
• Numerous awards from farrier clinics and humane societies.
• 8 Trophy Saddles and 20 Buckles.
Noavel Headstall dealers past and present include:
• Tractor Supply Co.
• Life Data Labs
• 85 individual dealers throughout the U.S. and Canada.
• Valley Vet
• DL Swartz
• Mike Barker
• Trent Loos
• Casey & Son Horseshoeing School
The BWFA met Rick in 2001 and immediately began working together in clinics and T.V. shows to share his professional experience and introduced the Noavel Headstall to more Farriers and Horseshoeing Schools across the U.S.
Born in Kansas City Mo, the American Royal Livestock show captured Dave’s interest at a young age, with his all time favorite being the American Saddlebred Horse. Initial exposure to horseshoeing began with Howard Creed of Springfield, Mo.
After graduating from high school and a year of college, Dave thought horseshoeing may bring an honest and honorable career.
He attended the Kansas Horseshoeing School in 1977 under the instruction of Robert “Mr.Bob” Beckdolt.
Dave continued working and learning from all time greats- Virgil Earl, Richard Garret, Bill Kabis, Bill McDonald, Jerry Shriver, Carl Saddler and Sammy Weisenborn of the Greater Kansas City and surrounding area.
In 1986 Dave was contacted by the Kentucky Horse Park after Shorty Roberts retirement and offered the job of caring for the parks horses. While working in the Farrier Shop he had the opportunity to trim and shoe many outstanding breeds of horses from the show ring and race track winners circle.
He also repaired and made hardware for horse drawn vehicles, forged tack room accessories and created gift shop items. Educating visitors and exhibiting the trade of a working blacksmith/farrier was daily fare.
He was certified by Ralph Casey and Bucky Hatfield with The Brotherhood of Working Farriers Assoc., affiliated with the American Farriers Association and Artist Blacksmith Association of North America. “The best experience of all was meeting so many tradesmen from all over America and the World.”
(Deceased at time of induction)
From the back cover of Tony’s book “PBM: A dairy of lameness.”
Originally from Hawaii, Tony has been shoeing for 21 years. During that time he has studied the physiology of the horse and how it relates to movement, both with a rider and without. Out of that study came the philosophy of Proper Balance Movement, which has changed the lives of so many horses and riders.
This book recounts case histories that highlight the origins and discoveries of Proper Balance Movement. It shows how horse owner and farrier can communicate to achieve a better understanding of lameness, its causes and treatments.
Tony lived in northern Virginia, in the heart of horse country, with his wife and two daughters.
Dan Marcum was born in Driggs, Idaho where he grew up working with horses. In the winter he drove sleighs and spent his summers packing in the mountains. In 1980, he moved to Texas and by 1989 had settled in Kirbyville. He married his wife Kathy in 1992. Dan's daughter, Annie, works for them as a trainer and Kathy's son, Travis, helps out with the maintenance. Karen Ross and Hannah Brook round out the training staff.
The Marcum's operate an all breed training barn, working with a wide variety of horses. They especially enjoy the Pleasure type Pintos. They attended their first Pinto show in 1994 at the Pinto National Show, and have been back every year since then. One of the things they love about Pintos is the diversity. It fits in with their "specialty" all around horses.
From 1995-2000, the Marcum's competed with Oshquah , a half-Arabian stallion co-owned by them and Mimi Hoppe Wolf. Over those years, he won the PtHA High Point Pleasure type saddle four times and racked up eleven National World titles and 20 Reserve titles. He was also a PtHA Supreme Champion. Many of his offspring are already following in his footsteps, earning PtHA World Champion titles themselves.
Dan is a professional Master Farrier certified by the BWFA and an Equine Adjuster who has devoted his career to the care of the overall horse. This has led him to develop the EFT (Equine Flexion Therapy) techniques.
Buck provided years of dedication and service to the Bovine & Equine Industry with his knowledge, professionalism and personality.
He is an honored and valuable member of the BWFA and we will continue his legacy in our teachings of the importance of nutrition.
Buck retired his family business as of December 31, 2015.
- Frequent Lecturer Western Veterinarian Conference, American Farriers Convention, marketing Seminars and Horse Industry Conferences, Various Youth and Civic Groups
- Lameness Clinics across US and Canada
- Inventor of the PBM Protector Pad
- Columnist and author of numerous articles
- Consultant to a variety of horse industries
- Accomplished farrier for 21 years
- Appearing on PBS TV series “Living with Animals”
Buck McColl graduated from NC State University in 1961 with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture. He is currently the owner and nutritionist for Mobile Milling Service, Inc, a family owned and operated business since 1953. After Buck graduated from college he became involved in animal nutrition with Mobile Milling Service, Inc in Thomasville, NC. Since 1962 he has been developing feeding programs for dairy, beef and equine with equine being his specialty. He teaches basic equine nutrition at farrier’s schools across the country and is regularly invited as a speaker at clinics and symposiums. Portions of Buck’s published works are included in NC State University’s Equine Nutrition Short Course as well as other universities. His ability to communicate at various levels and nutritional experience sets the stage for an exciting learning experience.
Achievements & Recognitions
1996 BWFA S.H.O.E. Chapter National Supporter of the Year
2001 Recognition Award 24TH Annual Eastern Farriers Conference at
Danny Ward School
2004 Speaker at the International Hoof Care Summit in Cincinnati, Ohio
2005 Speaker at the International Hoof Care Summit in Cincinnati, Ohio
2006 Speaker at the International Hoof Care Summit in Cincinnati, Ohio
2007 BWFA Equine Education in Equine Nutrition Award
2008 Speaker at the International Hoof Care Summit in Cincinnati, Ohio
2008 BWFA S.H.O.E. Chapter Educator of the Year Award
2008 Lifetime Achievement Award
2011 BWFA S.H.O.E. Chapter Patriot Award
2012 BWFA Hall of Fame Inductee
- Top farrier and blacksmith for over thirty-five years
- Influenced by his Great Grandfather Ray Winters and Cousin Jim Peshette, both farriers who shod Drafts and various other work horses. Mentored by Aurie McCabe of Fultonville, NY
- 1976 worked with Stark Bridwell of Wickenburg, AZ; 1977 worked with Elmer Seybold in Mineral Wells, TX
- 1979 joined the AFA Certificate #485
- 1980 permantently moved to Arizona. Shod racehorses, Jumping and Arabian show horses throughout Arizona and southern California
- 1980 worked with Bernie Chapman on several laminitic horses throughout Arizona and California
- In the late ‘90’s worked with the late Edward Martin in Closeburn, Scotland
- American Farrier’s Association Certified Farrier and Brotherhood of Working Farrier’s Certified Master Farrier and Tester
- Traveled coast to coast in the US, Canada, Dominican Republic and Mexico shoeing and consulting for top trainers of race and show horses
- Former official farrier for the Scottsdale Arabian show
- Has shod horses that competed in the Kentucky Derby, the Arlington Million, AQHA World Championship Show, NRHA Futurity, Arabian Nationals, and the Tevis Cup Endurance Race.
- Competed in, hosted and organized farrier contests and clinics from 1980 to present
- Speaker and clinician for both farrier and blacksmith Associations
- Past Board of Director for the Arizona State Farriers’ Association
- Past Board of Director for the Brotherhood of Working Farriers’ Association
- A thirty-four year member of the American Farrier’s Association
- While mentoring several farrier helpers and appreticices also refined and used an workable apprentice program
- Greatly influenced by Bob Skradzio, Sr., Ambler, PA; Lee Green, Yucaipa, CA; Jim Sproles, Duncan, AZ and the late Jack Miller
- Actively lobbied against the licensing movement to require all farrier to be lisenced by the U.S. Government
- Shod over 39,000 horses in his lifetime
- Member of the Arizona Artist Blacksmith Association
- Volunteers yearly to host Arizona Artist Blacksmith two-day clinic and hammer-in
- Published author of monthly articles in the America’s Bridle and Bit Magazine. Also has had articles published in the American Bottle and Glass Collectors , Anvil’s Horn, American Farrier’s Journal, Hoof Care and Lameness and the official magazine for the British Farrier’s association, The Forge.
- Judged past Miss Rodeo Arizona pageant and other local and county beauty pageants.
- Winner of the Champion Amateur Reining 2007 and 2008 for the Arizona Quarter Horse Association. Possibly one of the only owner/rider/trainer combinations to have shod his horse and made the bridle-bit that he competed with.
- Current President of the Yavapai Republican Mens’ Forum
- Published photographer of models, horses and ranch life. Has had six calendars published to his credit representing a well known auto parts company
- Barry’s photography is the subject of an upcoming episode of IN FOCUS ADVENTURES on RFD-TV
- Entertains crowds with the patriotic Bar U Bar Ranch Show. It consists of various equine tricks, roping skills and a bridleless routine
- Currently is operating the Bar U Bar Ranch in Skull Valley, AZ where he is a good will ambassador for horses and the western lifestyle
- He is also a BWFA TESTER offering his services to help other farriers with Forge work and TESTING. Always helpful and available to help others by phone.
- BWFA Member since 1991
Max Williams is considered one of the best horseshoers/blacksmiths in the world. Max has given shoeing and forging demonstrations worldwide, has a Masters Degree in Equine Science with an emphasis on horseshoeing.
He is a BWFA Certified Master Farrier and Master Educator, and an AFA Certified Journeyman Farrier. He holds teaching certificates in several states and taught at the university level while he was the head of Farrier Technology at Sul Ross University in Alpine, Texas.
Ronney DeBoard began shoeing horses over 27 years ago. Because of his love and compassion for horses, he decided to pursue Horseshoeing as his career. In 1985, Ronney graduated from North Texas Farriers School in Mineral Wells, Texas. Ronney specializes in therapeutic shoeing. He has always taken pride in his work. He is the lead tester for the BWFA. Ronney loves working with other farriers to upgrade their certification.
Ronney has received several awards over the years. In 1992, he qualified as a Certified Master Farrier. In 1993, he received the Ralph Casey Award and has received many appreciation awards from the BWFA for all his service and hard work. He was awarded Farrier of the Year in 1994. In addition to working with the BWFA, Ronney has been involved with the local schools in Cartersville. He has done demonstrations for the 4-H and FFA clubs.
Ronney has a love for his family. He has been married for 25 years. He and his wife Lisa, have raised two girls. Holly, 17 years old, is a senior in High School. Robin, 23 years old, is married with two children. Like their Dad, both girls have a love and compassion for horses. Over the years, there was never a time when one or both of his girls didn’t accompany him in everyday shoeing, clinics and annual conventions.
Today, Ronney still enjoys shoeing horses for a living and being involved with BWFA. He recently was inducted into the BWFA Hall of Fame. In his spare time he enjoys cooking for the weekly men’s prayer breakfast at his church and spending time with his family and especially his two grandchildren, Jake and Katie.
Douglas (Doug) Eidenier, began his career as a graduate from Macomb Illinois Horseshoeing School in 1966. Doug has 44 years of experience as a professional farrier and remains active in the field. A portion of Doug’s experience and specialty was working with standard bred racehorses from Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio, and Pennsylvania and into South Carolina. He has also worked with all other types of horses from the very large to the very small. For 12 years, he manufactured stand bred harness horseshoes under the name D.E. Forging in Michigan. He received his License from the Racing Commissioner in 1982. He is a member of the Michigan Horseshoers Association and American Farriers Association.
In 2004, he opened the South Carolina School of Horseshoeing in Aiken. He joined the Brotherhood of Working Farriers Association in 2005 as a Master Farrier, BWFA TESTER and Master Educator.
“I enjoy my work and being around other farriers while sharing knowledge of their input and output and with horse’s and people.”
Doug has been married to his wife, Naomi for 45 years and has put two sons through college. His grandson, Aaron, age 22, wants to follow in his granddads footsteps.
Wayne J. Allen was born on December 20. He married Frankie C. Howell Allen on November 3, 1961. He has two children, Scott Jerry Allen and Melinda C. Allen Jordan.
He is a Journey Farrier AFA approved examiner, area and supervisor AFA 459. His grandson Christopher Scott Allen is a fourth generation farrier. He has 5 grand children and one great-grandchild.
Wayne grew up in a blacksmith shop on a farm in Alatoona, GA. His father ran a large shop for the time and area. His earliest memories are of coal dust and turning the hand blower for his dad, many times all day for several days in a row.
At the age of 13 he would be called upon to apply the keg shoes his father had "set".
His father died when he was fifteen and a half years old. He obtained a special drivers permit and with his dads pick-up started driving to the horses that were not brought to the shop. HE went to work for Horiato Luro, the trainer of two Kentucky Derby winners, Northern Dancer and Decidedly, both track record holders. Mr. Luro sent him to Al Pensions School of Horseshoeing in Grapevine Texas in 1967. He graduated from the advanced class at the head of his class.
Wayne worked for Mr. John Patterson, Harness Horse Hall of Famer for 16 and a half years, his son Scott did the work for Mr. Patterson for 15 years. He learned more about Harness Horses from Bruce Daniels and Bob Scages (both Hall of Famers) than any other horseman or farrier he had been around.
He was flown to Japan in 1994 to work on Wimpee Hirsiho, Olympic horses, two of which were shown in the Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia in 1995.He also has been to over 40 states to shoe several different breeds of horses, most with lameness or gait problems.
He has shod in many local, state, and national championships and has been blessed to be around some really nice horseflesh. He continues to shoe 5 days a week at the age of 65.
Things that are important to me: God, family, community, country, and my vocation. 11/3/07 will be 46 years married to the same person and living in the same county in Georgia since birth.
2005 Inductees: Members Who "Built" The Farriers' National Research Center
Top Row, from left to right: Keith Seeley (Farrier) Georgia, Link Casey (Farrier) Georgia, "Happy"Ken Crimmins (Farrier) South Carolina, Davy Tucker (Farrier) South Carolina, Phil & Carolyn Roberson (Farrier & Horse Owner) North Carolina.
Bottom Row, from left to right: Chris Glover (Farrier) Georgia, Ken Moody (Farrier) South Carolina, Ginger Casey (Horse Owner) Georgia, Mike "Alabama" Foreman (Farrier) Alabama, Wally & Barbara Droust (Horse Owners), Billy & Kathy Fortner (Horse Owners) Georgia.
John Marino was born October 16, 1934 in Staten Island, NY. When he was 12 he began working after school as a stable boy. One day he was angry about something when, out of this 12 old, came a stream of expletives as he made his way through the barn. Reverend James Sargent, a local preacher and part-time blacksmith overheard him. The Reverend grabbed John and scolded him for his ways. Perhaps this was Divine Intervention, because, as punishment, John was instructed to work the bellows of the preachers’ forges—thus a lifetime love of blacksmithing was born.
In 1952 John joined the Air Force. He did not return to the area until 1956. When he completed his tour of duty, he began serving an apprenticeship as a blacksmith/farrier’s assistant with a Mr. Svendensen in North Branch, NJ where he learned “old world” shoeing - making shoes from iron bars and shaping them hot in the fire. Eighteen months later Mr. Svendensen died and John was on his own. He built up a nice business, but he still had the desire to increase his knowledge of the craft. Eight years later, he enrolled at the University of Arizona Farrier’s School in 1966 where he studied under Donald Canfield, considered one of the best in the field of corrective shoeing.
In his time off, he loved to rodeo....bareback, saddle bronc and bull ride...in later years he did “slow” down and did only roping.....competing frequently at the Cowtown Rodeo in Woodstown, NJ. Shoeing was his life and he did most of it in Monmouth County, NJ until he moved to Texas in 1980 to “warm up”. Two years after arriving in Texas, he opened “Across the Anvil Farrier Supply” store in Peaster, Texas which he operated until he sold it in 1991. In 1984 he started JHM Manufacturing and revolutionized the anvil industry by introducing a line of farrier anvils with wider faces and turning cams.
About this same time, he was holding a “Wednesday night” forging class each week in his shop. There would be, usually, 6-10 farriers in attendance. They all wanted to improve their skills in order to participate in forging and shoeing competitions. Many of them went on to much greater things as a result of John’s instruction.
In 1985 John sponsored Grant Moon in his move to America from England. That year, John and Grant won the Two Man Forging Class 1 AND the Class 2 US Forging Championship competition in Malibu, California. During the next few years, John and Grant worked closely together, learning from each other, shoeing and competing in contests. In 1988 they joined forces to open the “Texas School of Farrier Science”, a horseshoeing school where they both taught. They closed the school in 1992 and went back to shoeing exclusively. John continued to shoe and compete in contests until 1995 when he retired from shoeing.
John holds the Certified Master Farrier designation in the BWFA of which he is a charter member. He also holds the Certified Journeyman Farrier designation in the AFA and the TPFA. He served as Vice-President of the TPFA for 6 years. He is an active lifetime member of all three organizations.
He continued to operate JHM Manufacturing, making 6 styles of anvils and anvil stands until April of 2005, when he sold the business to Anvil Brand Shoe Company and retired…again.
John has dedicated his life to improving and furthering the farrier industry through education and professionalism. His influence has been far reaching and has enhanced many a career.
C.B. Jolly, “Charles Brady Jolly” is a fifth-generation farrier whose family shoeing history dates back to the time of George Washington! He is well loved and respected by farriers and horse owners in and around his state of Texas. Residing in the Ft. Worth area, he learned to shoe from his father and shod his first horse for money at age 14.
When he was 18 his dad gave him a 1936 Chevy Truck and a load of tools and some nails and said, “go get ‘em”. It taught him the value of a dollar and the value of work. Work took him farther south toward the Gulf of Mexico where he met and married his wife, Joann in 1968.
In 1978, after 2 years of talking, C.B. was “the person” who was instrumental in forming the Gulf Coast Farriers Association with 30 or so farriers. As he traveled thru Texas to recruit more farriers, he found work in a fireproofing business working with asbestos products, which unfortunately has stricken his health today, causing him to be unable to shoe. He loves the farrier industry and misses the work terribly.
Although C.B. is unable to shoe, he still visits old customers and offers his knowledge to farriers and horse owners alike. He faithfully passes on his wisdom of the horseshoeing trade, causing him to be respected and loved by those who have the honor of knowing him.
John was born on August 9, 1949, in Fouke, AR. He grew up around horses and has always had a love of horses. When he was 14, he shod his first horse. He is 52 now and still continuing his education in farrier science of the equine.
He graduated from North Texas Farriers School at Mineral Wells, Texas, under Elmer Seybold, on June 1, 1986. He continued to attend the school for a refreshment in the knowledge of farrier science for the next eight years. He went on to achieve the level of a Journeyman II and B.W.F.A. Tester. He went to school to study Laminitis, which was taught by Burney Chapman. Being one of the few certified farriers in the Four States area, laminitis is now one of his specialties. He feels it is truly a challenge to work on a lamanitic horse. He is always trying to find ways of improving his knowledge of the horse.
He is the Arkansas Board Member for the B.W.F.A. and owns and operates his own farrier business called John Burt’s Farrier Service. He also operates the National Farrier Research Lab IV in Arkansas. Over the past few years, he has brought several items to the B.W.F.A. National Research Center in Georgia and has hosted several clinics and won numerous awards at various clubs and organizations.
In November 1992, at the First Annual B.W.F.A. Convention, he received an award for his dedication and contributions to the B.W.F.A. In November 1993 and 1994, he hosted the B.W.F.A. conventions in Texarkana, AR, at the Four States Fair Grounds and received the Host Award and many other awards as well. These conventions were very educational and allowed him to work with some of the biggest names in the farrier industry such as Burney Chapman, Elmer Seybold, Bud Beaston, Bucky Hatfield, Dr. Susan Kempton (University of Idleburg, England) and B.W.F.A.’s Founder and President, Ralph Casey, along with many others.
As he was inducted into the B.W.F.A. Hall of Fame in May of 2001, John said, “I am a proud member of the B.W.F.A. and hope to continue my education and services to help in any way I can.
Tony started his shoeing career in 1988 in the Gainesville, Georgia area. He was one of the seven farriers who met in 1989 to form the BWFA and has played an active role in promoting its goal in his business. As a clinician for BWFA clinics & Tester, he has been instrumental in helping to spread education in sound shoeing to both farrier and owner.
Among his accomplishments, he has been awarded Tester of the Year, Appreciation Award and induction into the Farriers Hall of Fame.
Owner of the Eastern School of Farriery in Martinsville, Virginia and a third generation farrier, Ward has been instrumental in continuing to provide education for farriers. He has helped to develop a line of farrier tools, travels to speak to farrier groups and is active in the farrier Industry.
Burney, born in Texas, had a burning desire for the farrier profession to help the horse and educate the equine owner. During his 57 years, he traveled the world helping and learning from others. He is best known for his work with the “heart bar shoe”, laminitis and white line disease. Burney died on November 11, 1999.
Reggie is the owner & Head Instructor of the Oklahoma State Horseshoeing School in Ardmore, Oklahoma. He is recognized as a Master Educator and Master Farrier Gold member by the Brotherhood of Working Farriers Association.
His professional reputation has been earned through his research and development of specialized horseshoeing methods as well as his commitment to sharing this expertise in a trade traditionally known for closely held secrets.
Reggie continues expanding his knowledge by attending national horseshoeing conventions, lectures and contests and passes on his skill at numerous school clinics and college lectures. The U.S. Navy invited Reggie to instruct its personnel in the Philippines. His speed at shoeing horses is matched by few; his techniques are passed on to the OSHS instructors. The Oklahoma State Horseshoeing School was established in 1975, largely crafted by Kesters own labor.
Sadly we lost Reggie on Dec. 30, 2008. He will be missed.
John Blombach, Sr.
(Deceased at time of induction)
Farriers- some are around for just a short time and then move on to other professions, others last forever, or so it seems. The Old Guard is dwindling. In 1986, New England lost one of it’s well-known and well-loved farriers, Mr. Richard Ham of Lexington, MA. In 1991 another pillar of our industry passed away - Mr. Allen Elden of Amherst, NH. 1993 began with the loss of superb hunter/jumper farrier, John Blombach, Sr. of Hudson, MA
John Blombach and his family emigrated from Germany to the United States when he was eight years old. Growing up in Keene, NH., his father, a narrow fabrics designer, trained his son in the family business. This made Mr. Blombach an expert weaver, although he preferred hanging around the local blacksmith shop.
In 1925, he left home to join the U.S. Cavalry and enrolled in the horseshoeing school at Presidio of Monterey, California. Along with being a superb horseshoer, Mr. Blombach was also an excellent rider and performed Roman Riding exhibitions with the Eleventh Cavalry Rodeo Riding Team. He remained in active service until 1934.
From 1934 until 1949, he returned to the family business as a weaver to support his wife and children. This was due to the Depression and the serious decline of the horse industry, changing from horse drawn transport to automobiles. He was also drafted back into the Army during WW II.
As the equine industry began to get back on it’s feet again after the war, changing from the work horse to the pleasure horse, Mr. Blombach returned to his greatest love, the horses.
Moving to Clinton, MA in 1950, he began his business shoeing for $6 a house out of the back of a Packard with an old Cavalry field forge, anvil and tools,
A real hard working gentleman and an excellent farrier, within a year he was shoeing six days a week. He build himself a trailer, pulled by a 48 Chevy, to carry his equipment in, possibly the first mobile shoeing rig in the area. Mr. Blombach was very unique for his time. Most of the old farriers were gone, with no shoeing schools training new farriers - a trade in the process of dying out - and an equine industry starting to get back on it’s feet with very few hoof care professionals left. Mr. Blombach spent his life encouraging young men and women to take up the time-honored profession of farrier.
From elite hunter/jumper barns such as Hulick’s Saddle River in Sterling, and the Wright Farm in Concord to good old “Tony the Pony” in the back yard, Mr.. John Blombach will be greatly missed by all his human and equine friends, horse, owner, vet and farrier alike.
(Deceased at time of induction)
A valuable farrier and friend to many,
Jim led an active life & career.
(Deceased at time of induction)
Jacob Swank was a man with quite a history. He was born in 1855 in Indiana. At the age of 18 he headed West and worked with the Indian Agency in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, where he learned the blacksmith trade.
He liked to follow the boom towns, where he went through some interesting and exciting events. He went as far north as Washington state and then to Utah. In Utah he was the blacksmith on the Mormon Tabernacle, where he made most of the ironwork. All this time he was traveling with the wagon trains and shoeing their horses.
Finally returning to the Midwest, he set up a blacksmith shop between Caney and Coffeyville, Kansas. The Dalton Boys camped out at his place and had him shoe their horses before they made their infamous Coffeyville back robbery (all but one of the gang was killed.)
His shop in Caney, Kansas, was the best shop in the area. The shop is part of the Chevrolet garage now and still has the original wood block floors and remains of the forges.
Most of the work in those days was shoeing draft horses and crafting wagon wheels. At one time in his shop he employed 3 blacksmith/horseshoers and was equipped with the finest equipment. Included in the equipment were stocks, which enabled two horseshoers to work on the same horse at the same time, one in front and one in back.
Not knowing it at the time, Mr. Bud A. Beaston started working in a blacksmith shop in western Arkansas, for an old man that would plant a seed in his head that would be nurtured into a life-long profession. At that time in his life, he started out as a young man of 14 years old, trying to make enough money to eat on. From that very time, this old man worked Bud in such a way that he taught him first to be a blacksmith, then a horseshoer. As time passed, the old man taught Bud well, and worked him hard. From that hard work of learning the blacksmith trade, and later the farrier trade, Bud learned that there could be a real future in the business, if he would only put forth the extra effort to learn everything he could about his chosen profession and apply it in a professional manner; so that he did, and built a reputation of being one of the most sought after farriers in the world. He soon became known nationally for his ability to shoe a horse correctly, and making hand-crafted shoes for correcting a horses faulty gait. For these accomplishments, he would soon have the reputation as being “The Master Farrier”.
Having been known as a man of may faces, some of Bud’s lifetime accomplishments included: Craftsman-for hand-crafted shoes; Mechanic-for understanding and correcting faulty gaits in a horses locomotion; Inventor-for his one handed hoof testers, adjustable nail clinchers, a trailer hitch lock, and a special barrel racing shoe, a lightweight, self-cleaning, therapeutic horseshoe, a horseshoe bender, a multiple horseshoeing stand, a hoof gauge, a sta-put spur, save-a-foot, and aluminum plates; Farrier-for shoeing the horse correctly; Blacksmith-hand crafted horseshoes and making jewelry; Educator & Proprietor-owner and head instructor of Oklahoma Farrier’s College; Author-for writing The Master Farrier text book; Lecturer-three times at the American Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus, Ohio, at universities, colleges, seminars, conventions, and horse shows.
In his career that spanned some 70 years, this man shod a total of 9 World Champions, 5 of which were shod in one year. He is the only man in history to be asked to lecture for 3 years at the American Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus, Ohio, and the only farrier to have a display of 37 hand-forged shoes at the Cowboy Hall of Fame in the Western Arts Division in the Exhibit Hall at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Until the time of his death in 2003, Mr. Beaston made his home in the small town of Sperry, Oklahoma, located just north of Tulsa, in the northeast part of the state. He and his wife Kathie owned and operated one of the worlds largest horseshoeing schools, with Bud as the Master Farrier. He has passed on a lifetime of knowledge to the future of the horse industry, in a fashion noted throughout the United States, Canada and many foreign countries as not only being a Master Farrier, but also being a Master Educator.
Bud was born in Sand Springs, Oklahoma and raised in the northwest corner of the state. He was a former champion calf roper and horse trainer. During his career, he designed and produced various shoes, corrective braces and artificial limbs for horses.
He has received several awards, citation and honorable mentions. Some of which are as follows: Future Farmers of America Honorary State Farmer, Host for a day for Miss Teenage America Pageant, Host for a day for Miss Rodeo America Pageant. He received citations from 5 state Governors, was named “Man of the Year” by the Skiatook, Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce, has three films on hoof problems produced by Cambridge Film Studios, lifetime membership in the national F.F.A. Alumni Association, Master Farrier, Master Educator, a Gold Card Member with the B.W.F.A. and host of the Southwestern Certification Clinic.
Born in 1956, Becky began her shoeing career in 1985 while married to Ellis Cameron in Phoenix City, Alabama. Becky immediately became active in state and National Associations and editor of several newsletters. She served as vet/Farrier liaison for Auburn University, Alabama. After an illness in 1994, she moved to California where she is still involved in the Farrier Industry. On the personal side, Becky served on numerous committees to help better the way of life for abused children. She is the former Vice President of the United Methodist Women and Senior Women. She has also acquired a degree in finance.
Bucky started his farrier career as a boy of 14, helping his uncle shoe mules for a coal mining operation in the mountains of West Virginia. He is a direct descendant of the Hatfield-McCoy feud clan. In 1960 he joined the marines during the Vietnam war. After returning to the states he attended Oklahoma Farrier College studying under Mr. Bud Beaston. He then went on to open the Tennessee State Farrier School in 1988. He has over 30 years experience in the field, and has published numerous articles on corrective shoeing and foundry.
Hearing the news about a new farrier association forming in 1989, he traveled to a meeting at Elmer Seybolds Ranch and School in Texas where he met Ralph Casey, and there he accepted the first position of President for the BWFA Master Educator Division, 1989 - 1993. Bucky has the role of organizing farrier certification testings in horseshoeing schools and ensuring they are held fairly, so as not to discriminate against anyone who is honestly working towards self improvement in the farrier industry. His role as the BWFA International TESTER takes him all over the world.
Bucky is very active in most known farrier groups. His school was the second to receive the Horseshoeing School of the Year Award in 1993, along with Blacksmith of the Year.
He has over 30 years experience in the field, and has published numerous articles on corrective shoeing and foundry. He is registered with the American Farriers Education Association and is also a member of American Farrier’s Association, the Tennessee Farriers’ Association, and the Texas Professional Farrier’s Association.
He is the founder of Guild of Professional Farriers Association and was re-elected as President of the Master Educator Division of the BWFA again in 1999 – 2004. As a master farrier and RJF Tester, Mr. Hatfield has the job of ensuring that all farrier certification testings are held fairly, so as not to discriminate against anyone who is honestly working towards self improvement in the farrier industry. He constantly keeps in touch with other Master Educators and Testers all over the country, getting the latest information on horseshoeing so as to better instruct his students.
2000 International Examiner and Tester for BWFA
2000 June Humanitarian G.P.F
1999 President of Master Educators 3 year term BWFA
1999 President of the Tennessee Farriers Association.
1996 Founder of Guild of Professional Farriers Association
1995 Humanitarian Award BWFA
1993 Horseshoeing School of the year BWFA
1992 Blacksmith Of The Year BWFA
1991-1993 Best Educational Program BWFA
1988-1994 President of Master Educators BWFA
BWFA Hall of Fame
Member of World Farriers Association
Shoeing Specialities: All breeds.
V.P. Guild of Professional Farrier Association
Billy & Kathy Fortner
Billy was born in Marietta, Georgia, where his love for horses started at the young age of 6 when he got his first pony. At the age of 11 he started working in a Walking Horse barn riding horses to prepare them for showing, and later started breaking horses to ride.
Kathy was born in Canton, Georgia, where she started working in a barn at the age of 13 and cleaned stalls to purchase her first horse. At age 17 she started working with Cherokee County Animal Rescue and has worked with several counties to help abused animals and to help build animal shelters.
Billy and Kathy were married in 1991 and live in Ball Ground, Georgia where they are still doing animal rescue. They are very proud to be horse owners in the Farriers’ National Research Center. Kathy is over the BWFA Hall of Fame and is president of the non-profit organization The National Equine & Hoof Research Foundation. Both Billy and Kathy feel honored to be inducted into the BWFA Hall of Fame.
Bill Quick Sr. was born on October 26, 1922, in Santa Monica, California. At one and a half years of age his family moved to Texas in order to farm. At age 83 Bill still resides in Texas and calls it his home.
Bill worked as a machinist in his step-father’s machine shop right out of high school and worked there for 35 years, until the age of 60. During this time he raised 2 daughters.
In 1960 Bill purchased two horses. Due to the expense of owning horses, he started trimming his own horses and this eventually evolved into shoeing. As a machinist he picked up on the forge work pretty easily.
Bill is a self taught shoer, as most were in those days. He had no formal school knowledge and admits that his work was crude and he learned the hard way. He enjoyed meeting other shoers to learn more and quickly joined the Texas Professional Farriers Association (TPFA) in 1980; an organization started by a fellow Texan.
Bill attended seminars and was very open minded and eager for knowledge. He passed the AFA (American Farriers Association) certification in 1980. He passed the BWFA (Brotherhood of Working Farriers Association) certification in 1992. He became an instructor for Bucky Hatfield at the Texas State Apprenticeship Program in 2004 and was inducted into the BWFA Hall of Fame in 2004.
At age 83, he still shoes today out of his blacksmithing shop at his home in Rye, Texas. Customers bring their horses to him for specialized shoeing, which makes life easier, as well as enjoyable for he and his wife.
Bill passed away on 8/26/06 at the age of 85.
Jud Nelson was born in 1911 in Cherokee County, Georgia and moved to Gordon County, Georgia at the age of 2. He resides there today in the community of Sugar Valley.
Jud was 7 years old the first time he saw a blacksmith shop and it scared him to death with all those sparks flying. He says, “I ran like a turkey!” When he was 9 his dad set up a blacksmith shop on the family farm to do farm repair work. It was Jud’s job to crank the blower for him. As a result of this, Jud started with blacksmithing himself when he was 12 or 13, making wagons for he and his friends to play with. When he was 17 he started shoeing horses for the neighbors to make some spending money.
When Jud was 21 he worked for a man tempering steel and shoeing. With the money he made, he paid half the price for a blacksmith shop, with his uncle putting up the other half of the money. In 1934 Jud and his wife Jenny were married and he built his own shop. In 1941 Jud went to Jacksonville, Florida, to do blacksmithing for the Navy and stayed there until 1945.
Blacksmithing was an important part of rural communities and Jud found much success at it. He worked as a blacksmith and shoer for many years and was featured in the book Foxfire 9 in 1986 in which he demonstrated the building of a farm wagon. That wagon is now on permanent display at the Foxfire Complex in Rabun County, Georgia.
Jud is well known and loved in his community of Sugar Valley where he shares his vast knowledge of the traditions of the past and his great skill as a master craftsman. He is a rare man, possessing extraordinary knowledge of something that was once vital to a thriving rural community.
We lost Jud on June 6, 2011 only 17 days before his 100th birthday. Jud was a great story teller, making everyone laugh and smile. He would tell us how in his shoeing years, the shoes were $0.05 a piece. He was a local visitor to every convention here and will be missed.
Read more about Judd from the Prater's Mill 40th Anniversary Article HERE.
Marcus first entered the BWFA in 1990 along with a group of young and new farriers from Indian Trail, North Carolina. Marcus spearheaded a BWFA Chapter and sponsored continuing education clinics for farriers such as the “Born to Forge,” horse owner clinics and hosted the 1st annual BWFA convention in 1992 in Asheville, NC. He served as a member of the Board of Directors from 1991-1994. This hard work and dedication was rewarded by fellow BWFA members who named him as “Farrier of the Year”. Since then, Marcus has gained a very successful carrier in Hunter/Jumper showing and soon acquired his Master Farrier status. With his professional attitude and generous assistance as a Tester and leader, many new farriers have come a long way since their days in Horseshoeing School. Marcus has been an asset to the BWFA and Horse Owning public.
Larry is a long time member of the International Union of Journeyman Horseshoers, being licensed by the Illinois Racing Board (thoroughbred). He had attended and graduated from the Warrington Horseshoeing School in Townsend, Delaware in 1971. With this experience he joined the B.W.F.A. as a Certified Master Farrier and served as Vice President from 1999-2002. He is also active in the Upper Midwest Horseshoers association as a board member and attends many clinics offered by all farrier associations
After 22 years, 11 working primarily at training centers and breeding farms and 11 working full time on the Maryland Thoroughbred Racing Circuit, he decided to go into semi-retirement in June of 1993, and work a very limited schedule. He moved to Marengo, Illinois, where his wife’s parents, children and grandchildren reside.
In March 1998, he decided it was time to pursue a little more challenging schedule, so he created the Urgent Care Farrier Service for horse owners. Larry has also been active as a B.W.F.A. Tester helping other farriers.
Zachary Scott Ledbetter was born in Shreveport, LA on May 18, 1958. The son of Betty and Ray Ledbetter, and brother of Jennifer, he lived throughout the United States with his family in the course of his father’s Air Force pilot career. As a youth, Scott was active in baseball, basketball and in the Boy Scouts of America, achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. Upon graduation from Wheeler High School in Marietta, GA in 1976, he attended the University of Georgia and was the Lacrosse Team’s starting goalie. Scott graduated from the University in 1980 with a degree in Political Science. He then attended Mercer University and The Atlanta Law School, receiving his Juris Doctorate in 1986.
Ledbetter was in the employ of AT&T when he began developing an interest in horses. Trail riding, and later, show-jumping evolved into a pursuit for full time involvement with horses. Scott graduated from the Casey and Son Horseshoeing School in 1991 and was a co-recipient of the Brotherhood of Working Farriers Association Rookie of the Year Award in 1992.
He began to attract a following of horse owners seeking a higher level of performance from their mounts. In a quest to provide superior care in farrier science, Scott traveled to Kentucky, Florida, Texas, California, Washington State, Cornell University and other locations, studying the teachings of Burney Chapman, Tony Gonzalez and Ralph Casey. He began writing articles for the horse industry on proper care of the horse’s hoof and lower leg. In 1994, he published the book, Business Skills for the American Horseshoer. Scott was awarded the BWFA Journalism of the Year Award in 1995, and he appeared on CNN in 1997.
Lowell “Shorty” Roberts
(Deceased at time of induction)
Shorty was born on June 13th, 1922 in Oberlin, Kansas. He first started in Tennessee although he spent most of his working lifetime as a Blacksmith-Farrier, serving horse people primarily in the Bluegrass area of Kentucky. He was world renowned for his craft to such an extent that he was called to work in Canada & South Africa. His father was also a Blacksmith & did Leather Tooling.
Some of his other achievements included:
• Wrestling and was recently honored by his high school in Kansas
• He was in the army during World War II with the
515th Parachute Infantry Co. C and received an honorable discharge
• Was a rifle marksman
Some of his honors included:
• American Theatre Ribbon
• EAME Theatre Ribbon with a Bronze Star Victory Medal
Most Famous Horse Shod was:
My My - a Standardbred TN Walker
Professional Farrier 1996 and Educator 1972.
Inventor of the Wide Web Aluminum Shoe; (lighthoof) and others.
Consultant for major manufacturers and the horse industry.
Author, and owner of the Farrier Science Clinic in Hamilton, Ohio.
Achievement F.E.I. World 3-day event in 1978.
Farrier for the Pan Am Games in 1978.
Certified Master Farrier Member of the BWFA 1989.
BWFA Humanitarian Award 1993.
BWFA Hall of Fame recipient 1994.
Lifetime Achievement Award and a Journalism Award.
The Farrier Industry “Legend” 1995-2000.
Specialties include shoeing pleasure, hunters, jumpers, 3-day events, racehorses and standard breeds. Have conducted studies on White Line Disease and found the cure. Lectured at Equitana KY, Equitana West, Southern Equine and the General Farrier Industry.
Needless to say; he is as proud as a peacock and dedicated and devoted to his friend “the Horse” and those who apply their talents for the horses comfort.
(Deceased at time of induction)
Frank McGinnis of Cincinnati, Ohio died in November of 1982 after a long illness. Frank was a well-known and well-respected farrier whose contributions to shoeing have been numerous.
Frank lived in the Cincinnati area all his life. He learned horseshoeing from his father in the 1930’s and was a shoer in the army during World War II.
Frank worked on all types of horses, under all conditions. He is noted for developing the “hoof groove” to alleviate lameness, and has shoes on display at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center.
In 1981, Frank was recognized for 44 years of service as farrier at the Greater Cincinnati Charity Horse Show. In 1982 he attended his last AFA Convention, at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, and was the clinician judge at the 1982 Texas State Forging Championship.
Known as the “mechanical horseshoer”, Frank dedicated his professional life to making improvements in horseshoeing that would help horses and horse shoers, alike. His achievements and his willingness to share his expertise with others were examples of how an independent, individualistic professional can touch the lives of others.
(Deceased at time of induction)
Vern was born in Greenburg, Kansas, December 22, 1911. He worked hot iron since right out of high school, working with his father in his blacksmith shop. In 1932, at the age of 21, he moved to Denver, and began shoeing horses. After the war, Vern came back to Denver and served an apprenticeship with Eddie “Mac” Machnicol that led to a very long and successful career as a racetrack shoer.
He was president of the Farriers Union for many years and worked a circuit on tracks from the Atlantic seaboard, across the South and Midwest, to the shores of sunny southern California. He had a knack for shoeing performance horses; he knew how to keep them sound and he understood locomotion. Perhaps this was his greatest legacy, and this is what he passed down to those lucky enough to learn from him.
Vern was a tough teacher. He believed on hands on learning. Every student worked on a hundred head before graduation and every shoe went through the fire before it was nailed on. Vern would bark and bellow when things were not done his way. He could be blunt when confronted with ignorance born from lack of attention. He was heartless toward minor cuts and bruises and wounded egos. If you worked hard, he would teach harder. He understood the value of repetition – do it, do it and do it again until you no longer have to think what your hands were doing. Then you could concentrate on shoeing for soundness and performance.
Vern Olinger devoted his life to the trade he loved and he unselfishly gave that knowledge to others. He could be gruff and crotchety, stern and blunt, but he was also compassionate. He never judged a book by its cover.
Vern was 80 years old when he died. He was a living bridge; the knowledge he gained from those who had worked in the nineteenth century, he passed on to those who would work in the twentieth century. Hopefully farrier will pass on his legacy into the twenty first century.
Elmer Seybold was more or less raised in a Blacksmiths shop or a harness shop. His father was a teaming contractor in the early day oil fields and had over 500 head of horses and mules. It was necessary to have three blacksmiths and they were also farriers. The first job he ever had, that he actually received money for, was turning the Buffalo Blower for the head blacksmith, Tennessee Tom. Tom gave him a nickel an hour to turn the crank and supply the air to his forge. In 1928, an electric motor replaced Elmer and put him out of a job, although he never did work over three hours a day for Tom, because he only needed 15 cents to get into the picture show and buy a mug of root beer.
Elmer shod his first horse in 1927. He was 13 years old and lived in Seminole, Oklahoma. He took his horse to the blacksmiths shop to get shod and his papa was there and he said “Son, you’re big enough and old enough to shoe your own horse, so just get at it”. Elmer has been shoeing horses ever since.
Elmer gravitated to ranching in later life and was always teaching one or two cowboys to shoe their horses properly. He had the chance to teach at A&M college, and there he met Dr. Romain who asked why Elmer did not have a school for farriers. Elmer talked to two of the blacksmiths that worked for his father in the oilfields, Curly Hallmark and Shorty Woods. They advised him against it, because they said the trucks had replaced the horse. Elmer was stubborn and went ahead with the idea and opened the north Texas Farriers School in Mineral Wells, Texas in 1955. He started with just one student, and had the oldest Farrier School in the Nation. In 38 years, he graduated over 4,000 students who are now successful Farriers.
Elmer Seybold dedicated most of his life to the Farrier trade and to passing on the knowledge that he possessed to his students. One of Elmer’s students wrote him a letter and said “When you give knowledge through teaching, you give one the greatest gifts of all. You sir, will live forever through the gifts you have given your students.”
When asked why he wanted to be a farrier and why he began teaching others to be farriers, he replied “I was kind of forced to become a farrier. I was more or less raised in a blacksmiths shop and had excellent teachers. Tennessee Tom Garrett taught farrier work in the calvary, and came to work for my father in the oilfields. Curly Hallmark had been in the calvary and followed Tom. Shorty Woods had been shoeing horses for over 20 years when he came to our teaming camp. Tom was a hard taskmaster. He would show you one time and if you did not get it and he had to show you a second time, you got a foot in the seat of the pants. I got my fair share of feet in the seat of the pants. Yes, I had excellent teachers. I also became a farrier because when papa died, there was no one to shoe the horses on the ranch. I did not need the money but I started teaching others to shoe horses simply because a lot of farriers did not know what they were doing, and I wanted to teach them how to do it properly for the welfare of the horses. This should always be the reason for shoeing horses. A farrier is the most important person that cares for a horse.
In 1947, Elmer invented the Lateral Extension shoe. At that time they used one caulk on the inside or outside to turn the foot, he figured there must be a better way than what they were using. The foot always turns to the high side or the long side so he reasoned that to help a horse with toe-in or toe-out he should put an extension on the toe and a low heel caulk, which was better than what they had been using.
In 1951, Elmer invented the Keyhold shoe. Over a period of years that he had been raising horses, he found that some old horses would be walking fine one day and the next day they would be walking on their Sesamoid bone, particularly on their hind feet. He put a number of these Keyhole shoes on these said horses and in about 15 or 20 days they were walking normally and they have never reverted to this condition again.
In 1952, Elmer invented the Rocker Plate Shoe for stiff ankles. The low ring bone or the high ring bone or combination of both can cause Ankylosis or stiff ankles. If you stop and think about it, you realize that the flexibility of the ankle allows the hoof to be raised and moved forward with the rocking motion that is smooth and uninterrupted. At one time, a horse with this problem was shod with 3/4” square stock thinned out at the toes and buttresses, this having a rocking motion when you picked up the foot and placed it forward. This was a heavy shoe and Elmer likes to use as light a shoe as possible to do the job. So he devised a lighter shoe that has the rocking motion of the ankles. He calls this a Rocker-Plate shoe. The advantage of this shoe is that it is about half the weight of the old bar shoe and it will not sink in the sand of the area or mud as easily as the old type of shoe. Of course, if a horse is in this condition, he is crippled and will always be crippled no matter what type of shoe you use on him, but if you wish to do something with this horse that requires some traction, you can run a bead of hard surfacing rod across the steel plate and you will have some traction.
In 1955, Elmer had a chance to meet with Dr. James R. Rooney DVM in Lexington, KY. This was a man that Elmer admired very much. He asked Dr. Rooney what would be his ideal shoe and the shape of the shoe. Without any hesitancy Dr. Rooney replied “ the shoe that would give the best traction in any direction would be a triangle shaped shoe. Elmer had been using a triangle shaped shoe for about 40 years and had made the shoe for the reason that Dr. Rooney described. Elmer says he does not know if he invented it or not but that he has never seen it used by anyone else.
Elmer traveled all over the world and everywhere that he went, he would visit with farriers and compare notes. The first meeting of the B.W.F.A. Master Educators was held at Elmers school in 1989. He was instrumental in gaining recognition for the B.W.F.A. throughout Texas by sponsoring clinics on continuing education for farriers.
Among his many distinguished awards, he was inducted into the BWFA Farriers Hall of Fame in 1992. He also received the Lifetime Achievers Award in 1994. Elmer passed away in 1995 and will be sorely missed.
Born in Dublin, Texas, on April 20, 1940, Jack started his shoeing career at age 17. when he attended Horseshoeing School under Al Pinson in Grapevine, Texas. He also had a little fun as a Rodeo Clown in his twenties while shoeing for a living in the western states.
He was introduced to walking and gaited horses and got hooked. He was then interested in Arabs, Hackneys, and Morgans and finally settled to specialize only in hunter & jumpers in 1980. He is known to his friends as the “Road Warrior” as his clients have him flown in to shoe their horses. He is the most respected & well loved farrier on the hunter and jumper circuit.
Jack offers his ideas & techniques to any farrier willing to learn. In 1992, he helped design the BWFA Farrier Certification Tests that is still used today.
Sadly, we lost Jack July 25, 2010. He will be missed.
After opening his horseshoeing school in 1988, Casey saw a need to offer continuing education for working farriers and more education for horse owners, thus in 1989 he was the founding member of what is known today as the Brotherhood of Working Farriers Association. The BWFA, a non-profit trade organization has grown from a handful of 7 farriers at that first meeting to over 8,000 farriers, horse owners, companies, clubs & veterinarians today, making it the largest farrier association in the world.
Casey has traveled throughout the United States and Canada, offering clinics, seminars and meetings for horse owners and farriers. With the goal of “Horse Owner Education” in mind, he has helped increase the number of certified farriers in the BWFA and other farrier associations. In 1992 he founded the 1st BWFA Farrier Research Laboratory in Georgia, where he constructed the Adjustable shoe, the CaseyCam & Track and Soaking Tank to fight hoof diseases. This has spurred three additional labs in the U.S. today. In 1998, Casey announced plans to construct the Farriers’ National Research Center for all farriers and horse owners, something that had never been done before. Construction began in February 2000 and was completed for a grand opening ceremony on May 19th, 2001.
Casey is recognized as a Certified Master Farrier, Master Educator, the first and present President & Director of the BWFA and President & Promotional Director of the FNRC. His school was the first to achieve the Horseshoeing School of the Year Award in 1992. He is the author of two books and contributes articles on hoof care and farriery to over 50 monthly magazines. His innovative ideas and personality have helped to “shake-up” and “wake-up” both the farrier industry and horse world by providing continuing education for both farrier and horse owner, all for the welfare of our horses