Fran Jurga’s Hoof Blog: The Best Shod Horse at Burghley

The classic eventer hind shoe. Photo courtesy of Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog. The classic eventer hind shoe. Photo courtesy of Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog.

Fran Jurga runs a wonderfully educational blog on all things hoof care, which is a useful resource for those who are looking to learn more about the ins and outs of shoeing and hoof health. At Burghley last weekend, the award of Best Shod Horse is a tradition that rewards excellent farrier work and horse care, even if the winning horse does not take home top honors at the event.

This year, the winner of the Best Shod Horse was Cooly’s Luxury, a 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding ridden by Tom Crisp, who finished 11th overall. The winning farrier was Jim Hayter, who also won the Best Shod Horse award in 2010 and 2011 and is one of the most highly sought after farriers in the area.

“The Best Shod Horse is not always a horse that shows up in the results, but happily, this year’s winner finished 11th overall. Congratulations to his farrier, Jim Hayter, who has been featured here before as farrier of the Best Shod Horse at the 4* Badminton Horse Trials, also in England.”

It’s fascinating to see the photos of the work done on the horses’ shoes, and the philosophy behind the work.

“What are the judges looking for? Apparently there are standards, but when you get to this level, many of the horses are shod by the best farriers in the British Isles. They not only know the craft of shoemaking, they know the sport of eventing and what these horses need for their training and competition.”

You can read, in much more detail, about the shoeing jobs at Burghley and the farriers behind the work on Fran’s blog here. You can also sign up to get updates on new blog posts by sending an email to this address. Many thanks to Fran for sharing her insight with us; it’s truly fascinating to read about!

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