The sounds of hammers and rasps were loud and clear echoing from White Park over the weekend with three full days of horse shoeing at the Professional Farriers Association NSW Branch State Title Farrier and Blacksmith Competition.
The event saw one of the youngest competitors ever shine in the limelight when eight-year-old Campbell Hinze took to the stand in the novice division.
Growing up around horses and with a dad as a farrier, Campbell is no stranger to the scene, and he showcased what his father had taught him placing fourth, sixth and 10th in his first ever competition.
Campbell made history being the youngest person to ever compete, entering the novice division where he said he had to turn a front shoe into a hind shoe and vice versa, put toe clips on a shoe and re-shape a shoe for the judge’s inspection.
The three day event was organised by the Professional Farriers Association NSW Branch and led by local James Balfe.
There were events for novice competitors including apprentice farriers and those who have just completed their apprenticeship.
These contestants were tasked to make a shoe, make a specimen shoe and shoe two feet.
The open competitors showcased the art of blacksmithing using two pieces of metal to make an ornament, as well as making shoes and shoeing a horse.
Sunday saw the three man draft, which is a team’s event with six teams shoeing three large draught horses.
Each team shod one side of a horse and the best team was the winner.
Mr Balfe said this part of the competition was always a highlight as it is a lovely sight to see such a big horse walking away all shod up.
He said about 30 competitors took part in this year’s event being the second time the competition has been held back in Scone as part of the Scone and Upper Hunter Horse Festival.
Competitors travelled from Western Australia, Victoria, Queensland and across NSW to take part and gain feedback from the judge, multiple time world champion farrier Dave Duckett from America.
Mr Balfe said the competition is very beneficial to farriers as they learn a lot from the event.
Professional Farriers Association NSW Branch president Brad Hinze, who also won the open shoeing, said the committee were very excited to be back in the horse capital exhibiting a traditional horse event.
Mr Hinze said the event was great as it creates great camaraderie between farriers and it is an opportunity to gain knowledge of all the different aspects of shoeing from all around the world.
The committee plans to make a donation to the Upper Hunter Riding for the Disabled Association from the event.