Twenty-two farriers and 50 apprentices fought for the titles of show champion and national champion at the PRO FEET National Farriery Championships.
Gary Darlow, from Cheshire, accumulated the most points over the first three days of competition, held at the Royal Festival of the Horse (8-11 July) and involving rigorous shoeing and shoemaking tests, to be crowned PRO FEET Show Champion and take home a £250 cheque.
David Smith (pictured) from the Cotswolds took reserve. Both farriers were former national champions.
The PROFEET National Championship competition, held on the final day of the show, is a single class requiring each competitor to making and fit a hunter style and make two further specimen shoes to the judge’s specifications, in just 75 minutes.
David Smith came out on top to be crowned the 2010 National Champion, receiving a £1,000 cheque, the impressive Mustad New Century Cup, and a Gold Medal from the British Farriers and Blacksmiths Association.
David’s striker, Andy Martin, from Chipping Norton, was reserve champion.
Mr Smith said: “I was pleased with today, when you’re up against such a high level of competition and in a such tight time you need a little bit of luck.
“This is my sixth national champion title, I just need one more and I’ll be level with Gary’s seven, so I’ll have to come back next year.”
And at the World Championship Blacksmiths Competition at the Calgary Stampede (11 July), Yorkshire’s Steven Beane secured the title of World Champion Blacksmith for the second year running, beating America’s Jake Engler by 32 points in the final competition rounds.
The first back-to-back winner since the mid-nineties, Mr Beane was delighted with his results.
“It’s unbelievably hard to do that. Really, really hard,” he said. “You’ve got so many good guys competing here. You’ve got to be on the top of your game and I’m lucky I was today.”