European Farrier Championship
European Farrier Championship: world-class forges
For the first time, the Swiss Farrier Team organized the European Farrier Championship. The perfectly organized event on the 22nd and 23rd of June 2018 at the Bildungszentrum Aarberg attracted a large audience and showed the farrier's profession at its best. The winning team comes from England, as well as the new European champion Steven Beane.
The figures are impressive: 68 participants from 19 nations, including 5 world champions, forge at 18 gas stoves and 18 anvils for the title of European champion. Still, the atmosphere is calm and concentrated, even though the temperature is rising during the day.
High level competition
The competition offered a solemn surrounding atmosphere: the education center Aarberg of AM Suisse celebrates its 50th anniversary and at the same time the inauguration of the extension. The organizing team and numerous volunteers, professionals and trainees prepared the competition area perfectly. A lot of people gathered in the tent and were fascinated by the heating, hammering, rasping and nailing of the world-class farriers. Alex Würsch from the OC noted that many visitors showed great interest in the work of the farriers due to this demonstration. In terms of competition, his assessment is positive too: "The level is generally very high, and due to the different working methods in different countries you can learn a lot by watching."
The tasks required all the skills of the farriers. Two horseshoes in 60 minutes, one of them a surprise iron, the same exercise in 50 minutes, followed by a speed competition - a pair of horseshoes in 15 minutes - and then a horseshoe including fitting in 60 minutes. Two horseshoes, one each in front and in the back, had to be forged and shod for the final test. The judges Jan Ritschi from Canada and Chad Chance from the USA did not have an easy task. But they did not let themselves be disturbed and evaluated the work on the horse and in the jury room.
Steven Beane takes the victory
The title goes to the English veteran Steven Beane. Together with his colleagues Liam Collins, Alex Collier and Robbie Watson-Greaves, he also won the team prize. In second place followed Paul Robinson from Northern Ireland, third was the Frenchman Yoamm Policard.
Impressive is not only the commitment of the volunteers, but also the list of sponsors. OC President Roland Bosshard's thanks go to a wide range of recipients: "I am happy and grateful for the commitment of the more than 70 helpers. Many thanks also go to our numerous and loyal sponsors." A particularly likeable activity was the one with the hoofjacks, which were available to the teams in the national colours of the respective countries. Residents of the Foundation Brüttelenbad had carried out the elaborate painting work. The institution provides a home for people with cognitive disabilities. The hoofjacks were auctioned at the gala night, the profit went to the foundation. Overall, Roland Bosshard gives a positive summary: "The international competition provided the professionals an interesting and informative insight into the working methods of foreign colleagues, and in addition we succeeded in presenting the farrier's profession to a broad public at its best."
Text: Rob Neuhaus
Photos: Rob Neuhaus/Marcel Sigg