34th Michigan Horseshoers Association Annual Contest
The text of Jennifer Horn’s article in the ProFarrier magazine is below;
By Jennifer Horn
34th MICHIGAN MHA Clinic & Contest
For thirty-four years, the Michigan Horseshoers Association has hosted an annual clinic and contest shortly after ringing in the New Year. This year followed tradition of inviting top-notch educators to share their knowledge and experience with attendees at the Michigan State University Livestock Pavilion in East Lansing. Clinic Committee Chairman, Greg Gray, assisted by willing volunteers, planned and conducted another successful event to be proud of.
Farriers, competitors, vendors, representatives, and others related to the industry came from as far north as Montreal, QC and as far south as Belton, MO and areas in-between to welcome this year’s judge and clinician, Mark Milster of Dibble, OK, who was sponsored by Mustad, St. Croix Forge, and Capewell. Adding to the attraction was clinician, Mitch Taylor of Mt. Eden, KY to educate, demonstrate, and lecture his well-known anatomy presentation.
Guests arriving on the evening of January 8th, 2004 gathered and enjoyed a hospitality suite sponsored by Chesterfield Farrier Service. The generous invitation continued for the entire event, and each evening, farriers and friends gathered to build friendships, share ideas, and exchange camaraderie.
Friday’s schedule began with a forging demonstration by the very talented Mark Milster. His exhibition focused on the contest shoes. Mark built the specimen shoes for a captive audience perched upon bleachers who listened for every word from the soft-spoken man. Mark discussed the techniques he was using to build the shoes, emphasized basics and fundamentals, and elaborated on their applications and usefulness. Mark’s presentation continued with a live shoeing. Again, he discussed his methods as he shared information about properly trimming, fitting, and shoeing the horse.
Following Mark’s performance, Mitch Taylor fascinated an abounding room with his fluent discussion of anatomy and the importance of the structures affected by the farrier. A slide presentation interpreted by Mitch took us step by step through a lower limb dissection. Each structure’s clinical and common names were used when discussing their locations, attachments and functions. Mitch’s personality and wit, coupled with his intense understanding of the topic, made this lesson anything but boring.
Next, several specimens, cadaver limbs, and examples were discussed and used to experiment with the loading forces on the limb in Mitch’s “leg machine.” This became very interactive, very educational, and some what entertaining. Mitch also brought an unusual specimen of a hoof that had grown so long that it curled upwards and began to grow back into the fetlock.With the assistance of a few MHA members, and their connections with the veterinary clinic of MSU, we were able to obtain a radiograph of the hoof for everyone to view.
The agenda for January 10th, 2004 anvil raffle sponsored by Goodyear consisted of an eagle eye and three forging competitions, which lead to a live shoeing event for the top 5 qualifiers. The contest was fast paced and provided plenty of energy for participants and spectators. Concluding the contest was a “Fun Class” for everyone. The rules were decided and judging executed by the participants, which included vendors, and even our judge. Two man teams were formed and horses assigned for a 30-minute class. Each team shod a pair of feet with anything safe for the animal. At the conclusion of the class, each team cast one vote for the best job. The winners were announced and the jackpot awarded to Randy Brassard and Chris Zizian at the banquet that evening.
After a banquet dinner, Mrs. Dave Kelly was selected to win the Emerson anvil raffle sponsored by Goodyear Horseshoe Supply. Contest awards were announced and a new MHA travelling trophy crafted by RIchard Becker was introduced as “The RObert Reaume Memorial Trophy for the Best Shod Foot”. John Reaume presented this award to the very overwhelmed Novice competitor and High Point Winner, John Stedelin. As the celebrating began, so did our annual fund raising auction with Mr. Dave Kelly, auctioneer singing into the night. This was a clinic: well balanced, a contest: well attended, and an event: well remembered! If you missed out… mark your claendar January 7th & 8th , 2005
– Jennifer Horn, CJF