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  Calgary Stampede, July 3 - 12, 2009

30th Anniversary
World Championship Blacksmiths' Competition

1st - 5th July 2009
Calgary, Alberta
Updated 4th July 2009

For the past few months competitors entered for the 30th Anniversary World Championship Blacksmiths' Competition in Calgary have been practising furiously in the hope that they may be the farrier to lift the coveted trophy and become World Champion for 2009.

Practise time has run out.

Beginning two days before the official start of the Calgary Stampede, 6 tonnes of coke and 1,300 feet of steel bar stock stand between them and the $35,000 prize fund.

Over the next few days this page will keep you up to date and bring you the latest news and images from the most prestigious farrier competition in the World.

For a complete breakdown of the competition, rules and regulations visit the Stampede website. To view the 'role of honour', click here.



Sunday, 5th July 2009

Wow. It's all over. Following the semi-final, the 'top five' to compete were Grant Moon, Steven Beane, Ian Ritchie, Darren Bazin and Derek Gardner.

After a tense wait the results were announced -

WORLD CHAMPION BLACKSMITH 2009 - Steven Beane (England)
Reserve World Champion - Darren Bazin (England)

Huge congratulations - full results and final images to follow in the next couple of days.

Saturday, 4th July 2009 - evening

The evening we had been waiting for! Victorious in class '60/70' were Steven Beane and Grant Moon with the Hind Preventer and Front Hunter respectively. Darren Bazin stole the honours in the Eagle Eye, class '90', and two-man team Steven Beane and Derek Gardner winners in class '80'.

In no particular order, the 'top ten' through to compete in the semi-finals in the morning are:
Craig Trnka
Derek Gardner
Gene Liesner
Darren Bazin
Jake Engler
Grant Moon
Steven Beane
Andy Reader-Smith
Iain Ritchie
Ben Casserly.

That is SIX competitors from the UK, three from USA and one from Canada. Best of luck to everyone!!

Saturday, 4th July 2009


30th Anniversary World Championship Blacksmiths' Competition  

Following yesterday's long day this morning was the final class before the semi-finals - class '80', the two-man shoeing. Many pairs struggled for time resulting in nerve racking finishes with nailing-on and clenching occurring for many with just a couple of minutes left on the clock.

As each class passes tension and speculation mounts as to who may have made it into the final 'top ten'. The four-man draft shoeing saw the UK team of Grant Moon, Darren Bazin, Brian Saunders and Andy Reader-Smith take the top spot. The placings so far have been pretty mixed and with three classes still to be presented the 'top ten' could change dramatically. To keep the suspense just a little longer, the announcement for the semi-final tomorrow morning will take place this evening.....

Friday, 3rd July 2009


30th Anniversary World Championship Blacksmiths' Competition  

Today has been a long day and certainly of test of stamina! This morning class '60/70', a shoemaking class consisting of a hind preventer and a hunter front shoe with jar caulks, started at 7am. With both shoes requiring a very high technical element this class saw quite a few upsets with a number of jar caulks going astray. Class '90' - the eagle eye - followed and each competitor was given 10 seconds to view a foot for which a heart bar shoe had to be made in just 25 minutes.

Following a short break came the much-awaited first set of results for the first class '20/30'. Two competitors from the UK took home the top spots, with Darren Bazin successful in the shoeing and Steven Beane in the shoemaking.

Just to ensure a complete test of stamina had been made, the final class was '110' - the four man team draft horseshoeing. A terrific class, even if resembling organised chaos at times! Each team had 135 minutes to shoe a draft horse all round.

Outside the Stampede itself is now fully open and getting extremely busy with visitors, competitiors and exhibitors from all over the world. Partying goes on until the early hours but for our competitors this is put on hold, for just a couple more nights anyway!

Thursday, July 2nd 2009


30th Anniversary World Championship Blacksmiths' Competition  

The 2009 World Championships kicked off this morning with class '20/30', a shoeing class including a straight bar shoe specimen forged from concave steel. Classes are split and the starts within each split staggered to allow adequate time for judging - the first ten minutes designated for trimming. Each judge is scoring each element of the shoeing to calculate an average mark. Competitors finishing their rounds and coming off the shoeing floor were reporting mixed experiences, some obviously happier than others! With marks given for just the top ten placings in each class everyone is keen to get an early start on the scoreboard, the accumulation of points in the next couple of days is essential to stand any chance in getting into the ‘final ten’.

Following a short break, class '40/50', the shoe and tong class saw contestants forge a pair of tongs with blanks and rivets and use them to forge the front concave specimen shoe. Along the line of anvils were a number of different types of tongs being forged with competitors allowed to demonstrate their own style of tong making within the guidelines. At the competitor's meeting last night a heavy emphasis had been placed on a 'pair of tongs' with each half being equal. Precise adjustments were made to ensure that they move freely and hold the required steel section securely.

The final split finished at 7.50pm and competitors disbanded to their hotels, the first day complete.

Wednesday, July 1st 2009

Competitors have arrived in preparation for the competition over the past few days, some a little better at adjusting to the time difference than others! The majority of competitors stay at the Carriage House Inn in Calgary, which is where registration took place earlier this morning. The countdown to the start of the Stampede itself is displaying on huge clocks around the city, although for us the excitement, and perhaps nerves, begin a little earlier as the Championships start before the official opening of the Stampede.

Shortly after registration competitors grouped in the Big Top in Stampede Park. The Park itself, currently closed to the public, is a flurry of activity with officials and tradestands madly preparing for the coming days. Today was a chance for a last minute practise, to check tools and assess the fires and coke. This was followed by a clinic provided by the two judges, Jim Quick and Billy Crothers. Jim and Billy provided the competitors with guidelines for the coming classes and shod a horse with a concave front and three-quarter fullered, quarter clipped shoe behind.

The evening followed with the Competitor Meeting and Photo and the Opening Reception, for most this then included an early night!