Farriers are to battle it out for a £4,000 top prize in a new team shoeing competition at the Royal Bath & West Show next weekend (1-4 June).
Organisers say entries “filled up instantly” for the first team challenge, which boasts a “considerable” prize fund, and that some of the best farriers in the country are among the 12 teams entered.
Head of shows Alan Lyons said: “Team shoeing competitions are incredibly popular around the world and, although this is the first year for us, entries filled up instantly.”
Each of the four team members has to prepare a hoof, make a shoe and fit it, with points awarded for the best prepared hoof and shoe.
“It may sound relatively simple but it takes years of training and experience to become a top farrier,” Mr Lyons said.
“There is an old country saying that still holds true today: No foot, no horse — and the key to a sound horse is still a good farrier.”
“They will be given a pattern for the required shoe and will practise for hours to make sure they get it right on the day.”
Sussex-based Andrew Casserly will be competing with his sons Ben, 29, and 26-year-old Jack, and friend Grant Watt, who works for the family partnership one day a week.
“We are quite an experienced team, but there is a hard core of farriers who compete all round the world, and there are some very strong teams entered at the Bath & West Show,” Mr Casserly said.
“You do it for the prestige and the friendship, but I would be a very proud father if we could win as a team.”
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As well as the team competition, a range of other shoeing classes is on offer, as well as showjumping, showing, driving and Retraining of Racehorses classes, and a 12-team inter-hunt relay competition.
Non-horsey attractions include horticulture, livestock, the British Cider Championships and the British Cheese Awards.
Advance saver tickets for the show are available until 31 May.
To book, click here.