A young Englishman has claimed the title of Farriery World Champion for the third time, continuing British dominance of the Canadian-based event.

Darrin Bazin won the 25th Farriery World Championships in a hotly-fought contest, which saw nearly forty farriers from twenty countries battle it out at the Calgary Stampede in Alberta, Canada.

The competition is scored on an aggregate of points won during the four-day event. Seven classes make up the event, including four shoeing classes, when a ‘pleasure-horse-shoeing method’ is used. The judges are looking at:

  • the trimming of the horse’s hoof
  • the quality of the shoe-making
  • the quality of the fit
  • the nail-clinching and the finish

    Although farriers are expected to make their own shoes in the shoeing classes, there are also three specific shoe-making classes, when they are expected to make therapeutic shoes. Farriers will have been given the specifications of the shoes, in drawings, three months before the event, and are expected to recreate them from memory on the day. Here, the judges are looking at:

  • flatness of the shoe
  • dimensions
  • the shape of the shoe
  • the quality of the forging
  • the nail-hold

    The judges are themselves veterans: Bob Marshall, from Canada, is a British-trained farrier who has been crowned world champion five times, and whose father used to shoe racing legend Red Rum, while Welshman Grant Moon has won the title six times, finishing as reserve on four other occasions.

    Mr Moon pointed out that British-trained farriers have always done well in the event, “and even this year it was a battle to the finish between Darren, who is English, a Welshman and a young Scotsman.

    “It was an incredibly close race, and all of the competitors are extremely skilled as farriers, but Darren really pulled it off on the day. They all put into practice the combination of expertise and experience that they have gained over the years,” he added.