THE 2022 Ireland Farrier Team has claimed victory with an historic win at The International Team Horse shoeing Championships for the first time in 41 years.
The British Farrier Blacksmith Association (BFBA) hosted the 41st International Team Horse shoeing Championships on October 28 to 30, 2022. The prestigious competition is held annually at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, England, with teams of farriers from all across the world going head to head in a battle to be crowned international champions.
This year saw 10 international farrier teams enter – each of those 10 farrier teams comprises of their country’s elite and talented competitors representing their nation. This year, the team from Ireland was represented by Alwyn McKeown AWCF, team manager; Paul Robinson AWCF; Rodney Ross AWCF; Edward O’Shaughnessy AWCF; Will O’Shaughnessy AWCF and David Lynch AWCF.
The team members undergo several shoemaking and shoeing classes over two days and, in each class, they accumulate points, which tally up to a team score at the prize giving ceremony. In each class, awards for best specimen shoe and best shod foot are presented to an individual who has produced the best work and scored the highest points. This year, notably, the best specimen shoe in the gas team class was awarded to Will O’Shaughnessy of Team Ireland, with Ireland then taking first place in this class; also awarded for best shod foot overall on day one was Rodney Ross of Team Ireland; day two saw Paul Robinson of Team Ireland awarded best specimen shoe for day two overall.
The competition itself is the pinnacle of the competitive farrier’s calendar; it is their aspiration to claim victory at this world-renowned event, representing their country with pride – therefore winning the championships is a momentous accolade, that is a dream for Team Ireland to achieve.
Ireland produces many world-class farriers and, throughout the history of the event, various team formations have worked together and competed as one at this competition. The original idea of The International Horse shoeing Championships was conceived at Dublin Horse Show, before moving to Stoneleigh in England.
The various Irish teams have spent many years striving and narrowly missing out on the top prize, never to have claimed it until this year when they came together and everything clicked. The years of the team members’ own hard work, team dedication, passion and commitment were fulfilled and deservingly rewarded, as Ireland was crowned as International Farrier Champions.
Alwyn McKeown AWCF, Team manager, said: “I feel incredibly lucky to be part of something special, I have had the privilege and honour to oversee the outstanding effort, dedication and admirable commitment needed to reach our goal of winning this historic competition. I can only hope this will inspire the next generation of farriers to strive for their dreams, as hard work and determination pays off for those who chase it.”
Edward O’Shaughnessy AWCF, Team member, said: “I am so delighted and proud of the Irish Farrier Team! British farriery is among the best in the world, so first place is a prestigious prize indeed. Ireland has never won it until this year. I have been trying for around 17 years. It’s been longer for some of the other team members!”
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