IPFA/ISU SCAAEP Spring Farrier Clinic and Competition – submitted by Mike Hansaker, CF
On a rainy weekend in Ames, Iowa on March 25-26, 2017 the Iowa State University (ISU) Student Chapter of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (SCAAEP) hosted a joint farrier/veterinarian clinic with the Iowa Professional Farriers Association (IPFA). The SCAAEP sponsored lunch and breakfast both days as well as arranging for tables, chairs, the clinic flyers, the sound system and helped with the registration, preparation and clean up. The weather outside may have been a bit on the dreary side, but you would never know inside the beautiful, state-of-the-art facility at the ISU College of Veterinary Medicine. Thirty farriers traveled to the event from Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, Kentucky, Indiana, California and Iowa. Three veterinarians were in attendance along with twenty-six ISU, nine University of Minnesota and two Kansas State University veterinary students and an undergraduate student were in attendance. Three vendors; Stockhoff’s Farrier Supply, 3B Enterprises Farrier Supply and Chris Ludlow representing Dechra Veterinary Products; American Farriers Association (AFA) President, Donnie Perkinson, CJF, AFA Immediate Past President, Jon Johnson, CJF, and Jeremy McGovern from the American Farriers Journal completes the list of seventy-five enthusiastic attendees at the event.
ISU Veterinary College Surgical Professor, Dr. Dane Tartarniuk, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVS-LA, volunteered his entire weekend to present topics and discussion on various hoof pathologies. ISU Resident Farrier and instructor Doug Russo, CJF, AWCF, provided the farrier perspective complementing the presentation by Dr. Tartarniuk and leading the Round Table Discussion. Topics presented and discussed were Septic Bursitis and Street Nail Treatment, Subsolar Abscesses, Laminitis, Navicular, Heel Pain and the veterinarian/farrier partnership in the treatment of these conditions. Discussions moved to the lab where Dr. Tartarniuk demonstrated a Street Nail Procedure surgery, opening a window through the frog, digital cushion and deep flexor tendon to treat an infected navicular bursa. The multiple screens available allowed everyone in the room to have a close up visual of the procedure.
Throughout the weekend excitement was in the air as farriers from multiple states participated in the first leg of the first Annual Midwestern Triple Crown Farrier Contest. The second leg will be on October 12-14, 2017 at Grand Island, Nebraska, with the third and final leg completing the contest on October 27-28, 2017 in Minnesota at a location to be announced. Although anyone can compete in each leg of the Triple Crown and receive high point buckles and prizes at each event, the overall Triple Crown buckles and prizes will be awarded at the end of the third leg in Minnesota when the total overall points will be tallied. Richard Becker, CJF, and Jennifer Horn, CJF, who have been very successful over several years in judging and conducting these contests in Michigan, were so kind to bring their experience to Iowa. The results of the Iowa Contest are as follows:
Novice Class High Point Champion – Randy Hoy, CF (Iowa)
The crown jewel of this event was the Vet/Farrier Classic Contest. Multiple teams consisting of one farrier and one to two veterinary students all evaluate the same lameness on an equine cadaver limb, and the team collaborates to determine treatment and shoeing. In this contest the lameness was a proximal suspensory ligament strain. The veterinary students determine the treatment and work with the farrier to determine the best shoe to apply. The farrier forges the shoe and with the farrier’s guidance, the veterinary students punch and pritchel the nail holes, clinch and finish the foot. The team then presents their shod limb and their treatment protocol to the attendees. Dr Tartarniuk scores the team on their presentation of case history and diagnoses while Richard Becker, CJF, scores the team on their shoe selection, forging, fit and finish. Scores are then tallied to determine the winners. In some cases, one of the veterinary students acted as the owner of the horse to demonstrate the three-way communication. The presentations are highly entertaining and demonstrate how treatments and shoeing for the same lameness can differ, but still be correct. The best part is the demonstration of how vet/farrier relationships are critical to the best resolution to equine injuries and diseases. The results of the Vet/Farrier Classic are as follows:
Jenetta Porter is a third year veterinary student at ISU, a farrier and has also served as Secretary of the IPFA for the past two years. Jenny somehow finds the time in her veterinary studies to be a hardworking member of both the ISU SCAAEP and the IPFA. Here, in collaboration with the Executive Members of the ISU SCAAEP, Jenny shares the veterinary student perspective of this exceptional weekend.
“As young, aspiring veterinarians, we are all enthusiastic when we get the chance to work with other professionals in the equine industry. Veterinary medicine is not only a collaboration with other veterinarians, but also with professionals from all branches of the equine industry. Farriers are of particular importance when it comes to equine veterinary medicine. Lameness and other limb diseases are much of what equine medicine encompasses. No matter how old or what breed, all horses have one thing in common, four legs and four hooves.
Working with the IPFA farriers and other farriers across the country has allowed us to create a special network. The vet-farrier relationship has been ignited at Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, in a large part due to in-house farrier, Doug Russo, CJF, AWCF. He has encouraged the students through lectures, clinics, as well as life challenges. Doug is open to all the students’ questions and teaching us things we cannot learn in the vet school classroom. The ISU SCAAEP- IPFA Vet-Farrier Classic Competition at this spring’s clinic has been the largest yet, and it will continue to grow. Students jump at the opportunity to learn about the foot and get hands-on experience. It is invaluable the amount of knowledge we can gain from the experts that work on the hoof and limb every day. One student said that this clinic was the best experience they had acquired while in veterinary school. It is a great opportunity to view and participate in a side of the equine industry that many of us are not accustomed to. It is encouraging to come up with a treatment plan in which several facets can collaborate in order to better serve horses and clients.
A special thanks to all the members of the IPFA for working so closely with the veterinary students. It is very encouraging to know that the “rift” between farriers and veterinarians is lessening, and based off the foundations the ISU Farrier Clinic continues to lay, the relationship will become stronger. Instead of thinking of ourselves as separate entities, we should consider ourselves to all be part of the equine professional industry with the common goal of helping horses and educating owners. We cannot survive, one without the other, nor should we.” – Jenetta Porter
That sums up an extraordinary clinic that in combination with the clinical lectures, initiation of the Midwest Triple Crown Contest and Vet/Farrier Classic that has made great strides in building the bridges to a bold future in equine health and hoof care! Thanks to all who attended, our sponsors, Dr. Tartarniuk, the ISU SCAAEP, those who donated auction items and all those whose hard work contributed to a wonderful weekend!