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Calgary Stampede (aka The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth)


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well I went to the blacksmithing world championships at the stampede and I will be going again tonight. Pretty cool to watch. They were hammering out 4 horse shoes and putting them on the horse. They had to do this in 2 hours. I never seen people hammer so fast and hard. There were teams from all over the world. We will see what tonight's challenge is and the overall champ will be named.

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Blacksmithing World Championship, shoeing horses. Seems to be something wrong here. Maybe it should be the Farrier World Championship. Once again the myth that blacksmiths only shoe horses is perpetuated.

Woody

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that's what I thought first time I heard about it Woody a long time ago. But, the National Blacksmiths and Weldors Association I belong to started out as a bunch of horseshoers(farriers) in NY in the late 1800's. I am one of the few in the Association who can forge iron now. LOL

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Woody in fact shoeing and shoe makeing is only part of what they compete in,,,for instance a few hyars back they had to make a length of chain,,then it was tested with a forklift and heavy weights,,they kept adding weight untill all bu one failed. They have also had a class that that they had to mang a pair of tongs,,then use them to forge a horshoe,,the tongs and the shoe were critically judged. Another test was given a piece of metal make something artistic with it,,,everyone got the same size stock. One more thing of interest is that all anvils and forges are provided...Contestants draw for a station. Can use your own hand tools only. Only in the last decade or so has the USA been able to compete at this world level. If you should decide to attend next year Woody,,,Run by and pick me up,,,,,,,,,,,,,See ya

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ya I guess I should have made it more clear, that was the compitition that day. Plus, it is a cowboy event, the Calgary Stampede, so having horse shoeing is natural. BTW they did have a Canadian Ferriers Team there. There is also a shop there that sells products made a two local smithin shops around Calgary, which I got lots of ideas for my first projects, when I get my equipment together. Cool stuff to look at.

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RICH; is right about the different segments in the contest. The overall champion is the combined scores in the different classes. Art, tool and shoe making with the shoes having to be put on and finished.

Some years the number of shoes is three or four. Each one is a shoe from a different country. Some rather unusual shoes, if you are not from Europe.

They send you a flyer with the rules and what is going to be expected of the teams. Some years the teams choose not to enter because of the 'weird choice" of what has to be made inside the two hour limit.

All of this is against a clock.

Last year JIM KEITH of TUCUMCARI, NM. won the $25,000.00 dollar first prize in Artistic Blacksmithing... Quite an honor to go with the cash.grin.

Chuck

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RAmbling on: The winner of the worlds smithin contest each year will travel widely and give clinics. Almost always they are hosted by state or local shoeing groups. They are not really pricey, Usually Saturday they will demonstrate shoe making and shoe a horse to high standards. The rest of the day they will help those that attend with shoemaking at whatever level they are at. Sunday is usually hands on, And they will work more or less to your level and desire. I have attended clinics with at least five of the champions and It is certainly worth the time and effort. Even if you do not shoe horses the techniques, tools and skills are worth it.

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I've always tried to follow the events of the Calgary Stampede on TV if I could, and I never realized that there was any such events until I read this post. I guess all the advertising goes to the more glamorous events such as bull and bronc riding. :(

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