Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Jim and Team Rule the World!

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

In February Jim and his team mates Matt Randles, Andy Reeder Smith and Mark Evans headed for Kentucky to compete in the World Horshoeing Classic. This prestigious event held at Kentucky Horseshoeing School attracts teams from all over the world. This 3 day event test the skills in draft Shoeing and shoemaking.

On day one the team were just in the lead after a good day on the hunter shoes but Jim found out he had to buy dinner!

The UK team finished strong pulled away and got the first day win on the Draft Horses

The second day was the roadster shoeing and it was pretty evident that all the competitors had settled in and they had a new perspective on what it was going to take to win this deal. We reversed the go rounds so if you were in the first round the first day you would be in the second round today. The shoeing in the first round had obviously tightened up from the previous day and it only got tighter in the second round.

The final day of competition saw the UK team pull away with some great work on the foot and anvil and eventually they ran out winners by 50 points


Friday, April 6th, 2012

Hereford College of Technology specialist Rural Craft Centre hosted its national competition last weekend attracting over 140 blacksmiths and farriers from all over the UK to the Holme Lacy Campus, with some competitors travelling from as far away as Scotland and Devon to compete. Now in its eighteenth year the competition gives the ideal opportunity for young apprentice farriers to show off their developing skills and for the master farriers to showcase their professional craft.

Featuring some of the biggest names within the industry, many spectators got to see these amazing skills first-hand. Competitors took part in a series of competitions throughout the day with prizes generously donated by Arthur Cottam and Co, Jim Blurton, Mustad Hoofcare, Strömsholm and Steve Cooper. Team Leader for Rural Crafts, Charlotte Gibb commented, “It is great to see this much support and action from so many professionals in this industry and it is also a real chance for our students to get involved practically and put their skills to the test.”

The Forden Farriers team travelled with High hopes. Jim took a team of 4 apprentices to this prestigious competition and hopes were high after recent success in other competitions. At a practice session in the forge there was very little to choose between Rhodri Thomas and Ryan Sutton in the shoemaking class. The shoeing class would be even tighter with nothing to choose between James Gant and Daniel Rabin. The in house money was on Rhodri and James but it was anyone’s guess who would come out on top! This was not going to be an easy day for Jim competing twice in both classes.

Fuelled by Caffeine and adrenalin Jim started off with Rhodri in the shoemaking class closely followed by the shoeing class with James. A quick snack and it was back to the shoe making with Ryan and then the final shoemaking with Daniel.

Competition was tough but everyone gave it their all. Nerves were fraught awaiting the results but it turned out to be a very, very successful day for the team. Rhodri Thomas won the best apprentice shoe in the shoemaking and Jim won the best shoe for the Master. Needless to say as a team they won the Master and Apprentice shoemaking class with Jim and Ryan Sutton narrowly missing out on a top 3 finish.

The shoemaking was even tighter. James Gant won the best dressed foot and Daniel won the best made shoe. Jim won the best made shoe and best shod foot in this class. But who would win and would the in house money be safe!! By the narrowest of margins, 0.1 of a point, Jim and Daniel took the Capewell shield for the shoeing making class with Jim and James finishing second.

This was a great day for all involved and just rewards for everyone’s skill commitment to being the best farriers they possibly can. Jim was immensely proud of all the boys and even managed a smile or two!! “All four boys have shown immense skill and commitment not only today but every day they come to work and this is just rewards for the hours spent honing their skills”. Don’t be fooled by the glasses they are only used so he can see everything in even more detail! Jim’s skill and dedication were praised by many of the other competitors and his reputation as one of the world’s best farriers  and teacher was further vindicated by this fantastic display.

A Great Start to the Year for the Blurton Boys!

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

On a cold and frosty Sunday morning the 4 apprentices of Forden Farriers also known as the “Fab Four” headed north to Middlewich to compete in the winter’s foremost competition held at BL Farrier supplies. It was a tough journey as the snow was falling heavily but when they arrived they were greeted by a very hot warehouse with 21 fires on the go. Rhodri Thomas and Ryan Sutton were competing in the First year apprentice competition, Dan Rabin in the second year and James Gant in the third.

They soon got to grips with the cold outside and extreme heat inside and took on the challenge with some Gusto. Ryan Sutton won the 1st year apprentice shoe making with Rhodri finishing third. Dan Rabin won the 2nd year and James Gant completed the clean sweep for the sweaty foursome. The remedial shoemaking saw Dan gain enough points to win reserve champion for the day narrowly missing out on the top spot.

The first competition of the season was a great success for the Forden Farriers “Fab Four” and just rewards for the long hours spent in the forge during the short winter days. The bench mark of success has been set for the year and we look forward to further success throughout 2012.

NEW Lateral Extension Hind Shoes

Friday, January 6th, 2012

Jim Blurton has developed his range of horseshoes to incorporate the new lateral extension hind shoe.

This shoe is manufactured to the highest standards and continues to push the boundaries for readymade specialist shoes. The shoes have individual Pitch for each nail hole as well as being safed off in the toe and seated out. Side clips are standard and they have the stud holes already punched. Jim has made sure that the farrier can easily fit these and have confidence in their stability. A deeper fullering on the outside branch of the shoe maintains a good strong nailing.

For More Information Click Here

A Sizzling Summer for Forden Farriers Team

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

It has been a sizzling summer for the team at Forden Farriers. Jim Blurton has hosted a number of small clinics at the forge along with doing a number of clinics around the UK on behalf of Stromsholm which have been hugely successful. In between this he has been passing on his wealth of knowledge to the young members of our team.

This has paid dividends for them and we now have 3 nationally recognised apprentices. Rhodri Thomas was the first to take honours this summer finishing third at the Royal Welsh show in the 1st and 2nd year apprentice.

This was his first competition since signing his papers with Jim and was just reward for his head down hard work. Do not be fooled be his quiet demeanour Rhodri is our silent assassin and not to be underestimated.

Buoyed by his stalemates success James Gant went one better and finished second in the 3rd and 4th year apprentice competition at the Royal Welsh. His relaxed exterior hides a steely determination to succeed in everything he does and he has developed tremendously this year.  

Rob Turnbull also had an excellent Royal Welsh show winning 2 of the best shod classes and narrowly missing out on the best shod champion by 0.1 points.

Not to be out done Dan Rabin headed for the well attended Handmade shoes competition and came away with Reserve Champion in the 1st and 2nd year apprentice class. This was just reward for the many hours Dan had put in over the anvil and I am sure if anyone could understand a word he says he may well have won it!

The National Championships beckoned all 3 of red hot apprentices. With a Yorkshire man, a south Waleian and a Brummy all seeking inspiration from Jim, his linguistic skills have been tested to the limits recently!  All 3 were looking to finish in the top ten but unfortunately James Gant popped his shoulder during the first round of competition and was unable to finish the competition. The silent assassin Rhodri has no such trouble and finished 9th overall. Dan started off superbly and finished strong in both classes and was deservedly crowned National 1st and 2nd year Apprentice Champion. It is a superb achievement for Dan and the whole team here congratulates his success and dedication.