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Olds Classic Horseshoeing Contest Returns

March 29, 2023

olds-classic-horizontal.jpegAfter a three year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the long-running Olds Classic Horseshoeing Contest returned to the McLellan Arena on the Olds College of Agriculture & Technology campus. The event, which has been running since 1982, was presented by North 49 Farriers and featured 48 competitors in the two-day contest, and 60 participants in the clinic which took place the day before.

On the evening of March 25, the Alumni Center was the venue for an awards banquet and auction that raised money for a benevolent fund to assist farriers who are in need or have been injured.

Olds College was represented by the Farrier Science Diploma program, which saw eight of its students participate in Division One of the competition. Kai Cunningham placed second overall, while Anneke Baarda secured the top spot in one of her shoeing classes. Brett VanOosten was first in Eagle Eye and sixth overall, followed by Mindy in eighth, Sandy in ninth, Thoryn in 10th, Katelin in 11th and Susan 12th.

“I cannot express enough how proud we are of their dedication to practicing and their enthusiasm leading up to the contest,” commented Madeline Kwan, instructional assistant for the Farrier Science Diploma program. “Despite all their nerves they maintained an excellent attitude throughout the entire event. They demonstrated leadership and team work to the finest degree. We had so many industry leaders and peers come up to us and compliment their work ethic and drive for improvement.”

A small inter-school contest was also held with Kwantlen Polytechnic University, which consisted of the students from both schools building a specific shoe prior to the clinic day and judged by Dan Sullivan, Olds College alumnus and retired farrier with 40 years in the industry, and Taylor Moore, a full-time farrier on the west coast and owner of Source For Horse farrier supply store. Anneke Baarda came first place with Kai Cunningham taking second prize.

“I would like to make a specific shout out to Venneth Simons; she was an outstanding member of the floor crew,” commented Kwan. “Venneth was at the arena everyday for 5:30 a.m. to help and cheer on her classmates competing in the early morning rounds and stayed till the very end each day.”

Aaron Perry, instructor from the Farrier Science Diploma program, acted as striker for students Katelin Schimple and Thoryn Bue, as well as his apprentice Caleb Braucht – a 2022 alumnus. Kwan, who helped organize the event, also competed in Division Two, placing 12th overall.

"Striking is a mentor position in the contest where the individual is responsible for managing the fire so the competitor does not burn their shoes, advising them on technique with building their shoes and shoeing the horse and also swinging a 8 to 12 lb sledge hammer to help speed up the process of building the more complicated shoes," comments Kwan.

With over 100 people in attendance, the arena was filled with enthusiastic fans, cheering on the competitors and witnessing this annual tradition's return. Congratulations to our students and faculty who competed!


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