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ruaraidh robb’s single malt collection was a little depleted by the time we returned south.


IMprInT DeMonSTATIon AT John MAnn'S DeVon


community we work in. one of the many privileges of being a small industry is that we can get to know many of our colleagues and if we want to, can make significant and positive changes in our profession. I take my hat off to the likes of Cliff Barnes AWCF the recent BFBA president and his predecessors for their selfless time and energy dedicated to the trade. I would say that we are much more of a profession than when I first entered it in 1980.


rAnge DeVelopMenT


We developed solutions for a wider range of foot and limb conditions; such as foal developmental correction, with foal shoes and extensions for delicate, immature feet. We then introduced Imprint plus shoes that were designed to add grip and provide more durability, something like aluminium, for convalescing horses in light work that need shoe support. hot on the heels of the Imprint plus came Imprint Sport - a shoe that does what a conventional steel shoe can, without nails or steel. I have a local dressage horse that lives in these shoes and to date I have fitted 85 successive sets to his hooves. Alongside the research that has gone into developing these materials are the Imprint adhesive and hoof repair, which have stand alone properties for repairing hoof cracks, partial hoof reconstruction/casting and hoof extensions.


eDuCATIon – CpD


With the expansion into these areas, we began to offer CpD courses with new content. These courses are designed for small groups allowing for intensive tuition; the mornings are given over to theory lectures and discussion with practical demonstration, while the afternoons are devoted to practical hands-on tuition.


More than 10 years ago a farrier sent me his CV offering his help as he was interested in what I was doing. That’s how I met Dean Bland BA (hons) DipWCF (hons), from yorkshire; and since then we have worked together offering equine foot care CpD in new farriery techniques and close to a thousand participants have now attended these events. We have been to some european countries and travelled as far as Salt lake City utah, uSA. I am indebted to Dean for his commitment; he is a great teacher, communicator and friend.


IMprInT roADShoW


We have met many great farriers on our roadshows. nigel Stevens near St Ives in Cornwall must be about the most southerly farrier; and at the other extreme is Alan Tait from orkney. It is worth a 1200 mile round trip to meet such people as robin pape crofter, farrier and larger-than-life Scot, and I think


34 Forge | August 2015 www.forgemagazine.co.uk


When we first started the roadshows we were encouraged by the interest and support of so many farriers. I remember on one trip we enjoyed the hospitality of Doug Bradbury at Clay Cross and made an Imprint contribution to his amazing museum. Before nipping over to peter king’s at Matlock, Doug was having a bit of trouble with his calliper and asked if my plastic could fix it. I had a go and when we got to Matlock he said: ‘It were that good that ah broke int’ trot!’ David gulley was there too with his camcorder glued to his eye; a grand time was had by all.


We have travelled from south to north and east to west; Jason Megan and Jonathan nunn were great hosts in Staffordshire. Jonathan said: ‘I have been on more than one of Andrew's training courses, however, his products are so unique and constantly evolving, that I always learn something new’. Vet, richard Stephenson, of poole house Vets in lichfield was quick to voice approval of the shoes for the early treatment of laminitis, saying that using the system meant there was no delay between diagnosis, x-ray and shoeing.


In Sussex, Andrew Casserly welcomed us on a number of occasions as did current Master of the Worshipful Company of Farriers, Wayne upton, who said: ‘every now and then something new comes along, which you know is going to help out some old problems by giving you another tool in the box, and I believe this thermoplastic shoe concept is just that something’. These are just a sample of the people and places visited over the years; all the farriers and vets involved have been a pleasure to work with.


MIleSToneS


The european Design Show - Design Museum london 2005 and Millennium galleries Sheffield 2006 – Best Designs in europe. We were delighted when Imprint Shoes were selected as the most innovative product in equine orthopaedics. Also in 2005 the first Imprint Sport shoes were used successfully to help keep an advanced event horse sound in competition. Following three years of testing and development the launch was held at the 2008 British Festival of eventing at gatcombe park with olympic gold Medallist


DeAn BlAnD leCTurIng AT WorlD horSe WelFAre BelWADe FArM


needed some serious trimming. I was given a lump hammer and some misshapen machine shoes, so I improvised using a concrete step for an anvil, sorted out the shoes and then nailed them on.


neW AVenueS


realising the potential use of new materials opens up new avenues, and then realising that there are plenty of new paths emanating from them – and all untrodden so far – is very exciting. I believe there is still plenty of room to explore further. So, rather than being yet another plastic horseshoe company, Imprint has endured and the products continue to evolve.


WhAT hAVe We AChIeVeD?


eVenTIng AT BlenheIM on IMprInT SporT


I feel we have achieved something positive. personally I have found ways of treating many horses with diverse problems that previously I would not have expected the sort of improvements that I now anticipate. It has encouraged me to look and keep looking at the anatomy and physiology of the limbs and feet of these incredible creatures. I keep learning, I thoroughly enjoy it, even 35 years in. The deeper you look the more you see; it is surprising where farriery can take you.


Jane holderness roddam as our advocate. Subsequently horses ran clear and completed courses at Badminton, Chatsworth, and Blenheim among others. The shoes were trialled and approved for use at the 2008 Beijing Summer olympics in hong kong, and we went on to have winners on the racetrack that previously had been lame. Again, at london 2012, the Imprint product range was on hand for use.


WhAT IS More IMporTAnT?


It is gratifying that hundreds of farriers have been able to successfully treat difficult cases with seriously compromised hooves that needed more than steel and nails with skill, insight and some handy kit. There is an awareness of Imprint abroad; I have travelled extensively, but for establishing and teaching new practical skills with new materials, even with online videos, there is nothing like one-to- one tuition and technical backup on the end of the phone as we offer in the uk.


This has not stopped farriers, vets and horse owners around the world from contacting us for advice and requesting our products. occasionally I make trips to treat horses overseas; to date, the furthest I have travelled to see one horse is Tbilisi in georgia, eastern europe, travelling via Azerbaijan. The horse I went to treat was subsequently able to live without pain and enjoy a longer life. In the event, I ended up being asked to look at eight horses while I was there and found they


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