A group of elite farriers in various disciplines have banded together to form the first farrier syndicate in the horse industry. International Farrier Syndicate is the brainchild of Thoroughbred farrier Pat Broadus and recent International Horseshoeing Hall of Fame inductee Danvers Child.
Child described the syndicate as a “group of like-minded farriers working together as a syndicate but still maintaining their independence and independent practices.”
Pat Broadus, along with his brother Chris and father Sonny, formerly operated Broadus Brothers, whose client horses included many top stakes winners. Child has had a distinguished career in the show horse industry through his Indiana-based Foxtail Forge & Farriery.
Other farriers in the syndicate are:
- Lori McBride, Ohio: general practice focusing on sporthorses and gaited horses;
- Jason Usry, Virginia: sporthorses and eventers;
- Bryan McElwee, Alabama: eventers
- Russ and Katie Gaudet, Ontario, Canada: mixed sporthorse practice;
- Patrick Spaulding, South Carolina: mixed practice of racehorses, hunters, and jumpers;
- Jeff Holder, Texas: mixed practice;
- Nick Denson, Massachusetts: sporthorses and therapeutic work; and
- Dave Purves, Ohio: sporthorses.
This seed group, primarily consisting of farrier-industry clinicians, is expected to grow into a large network of exemplary farriers as the syndicate advances. Membership in the syndicate will be by invitation only to assure that each new member is highly skilled, has years of experience, is well respected in the industry and meets the standards of the syndicate.
Farriers in the syndicate will maintain their individual established practices and set their own prices, just as they have been, except going forward they will have the added benefit of the group.
The syndicate will maintain a database of its clients' horses that includes a history of each horse, any particular issues with the feet and what has been done to address them, X-rays, what type of shoes the horse wears, and any therapeutic recommendations. If a client ships to another location for a show or a race and needs a farrier, all he or she has to do is contact a member of the syndicate at the destination. That farrier will be able to pull up the complete record on the horse and know exactly how to shoe it.
“When they're at a horse show or at the racetrack and they need a farrier, all they need to do is look for our logo, and they will know that the person they get to shoe their horse has years of experience and skill behind him or her,” Child said. “One of the biggest things that upsets farriers and clients both is when they go to a show or a race and someone wants to change what they've done. With this group, that is not an issue. Whoever is going to be there to take care of that horse is going to do similar work, carry the same type of inventory, and work from a similar mindset.”
Broadus said the farriers in the syndicate collectively have decades of experience and knowledge to share with each other, so continuing education within the group will be a focus, with members teaching other members through internal clinics.
Looking down the road, Broadus said senior members who become physically unable to maintain their own farrier practices will transition into consultant roles to instruct and counsel members of the group who may need a hand. Consultants also will travel the country doing quality control to ensure all farriers in the group are doing work that meets the syndicate's standards.
“There are a lot of farriers out there who have a ton of knowledge, but their bodies have failed them,” Broadus said. “This is a way to keep them in the game and keep them helping the farrier industry.”
The syndicate's headquarters is on Iron Works Pike in Lexington, three miles from the Kentucky Horse Park, at the old Crown Colony Farm site, where it offers a haul-in farrier service. Future plans include developing and producing a line of hoof-care products for farriers and horse owners called Synergy Farrier Products.
Child described the elite farriers the syndicate has assembled for its core group as a “farrier think tank” and said he is excited at the prospect of working and sharing knowledge with them.
“Ideally, this syndicate will raise the standards for the industry and get people working together and providing a better service in the long run and some sense of continuity. Working together as a group and respecting each others' work and knowledge is just kind of cool,” Child said.
Broadus added, “In the end, it's all better for the horse.”
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