For Want of a Shoe, the Olympics Could Be Lost

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Todd Meister on the job at home in Pennsylvania. Photo courtesy of Todd Meister.

We’ve talked a lot about the importance of veterinarians and veterinary officials in keeping the Olympic horses healthy and safe. But as every horse owner knows, there’s another member of the horse-care team who’s equally important: the farrier.

There are farriers at the Olympic Games (like the official farrier at a horse show); but as with veterinarians, many nations choose to send their own hoof-care experts with their equestrian teams. Since the late 1990s, the Team USA pros have been from the well-known farrier group Chester County Farrier Associates, based in horse-centric Unionville, Pa.

CCFA partner Steve Teichman was the first to get involved, shoeing the U.S. event horses. Since 2003 he’s been joined at major international championships by his CCFA colleague Todd Meister, 44. Meister’s first U.S. Equestrian Team assignment was the 2003 Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Meister served at the 2004 Athens Olympics and at the 2008 Hong Kong Olympics; and after Teichman completes his duties for the U.S. eventing squad in London, Meister will fly over to take over at the anvil for the jumpers and the dressage horses at the 2012 London Olympics. asked Meister to describe the duties and responsibilities of a team farrier

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