Rick Medd and his wife, Michelle, live in Clinton, Iowa and operate Northview Stables. They have raised and showed American Saddlebreds and Hackney Ponies throughout the years, but now just have the Hackney Ponies. He started his horse career at the age of twelve, grooming Saddlebreds and Hackney Ponies for Ramble Ridge Stables. He traveled on the show circuit as a groom from Junior High through High School. While traveling from show to show, he met some of the very best show horse farriers in the nation. It was during this time that his desire to shoe horses developed and he decided being a farrier is what he wanted to do. He attended the Midwest Horseshoeing School in Macomb, Illinois in 1975 and received his Illinois License in 1976.
Rick always wanted to specialize in Saddlebreds and Hackney Ponies, but he soon discovered there were many other breeds and disciplines of horses than what he had been accustomed. He shod many a Quarter Horse for some of the top halter and western pleasure trainers, many of which were world champions at the World Quarter Horse Show. He has shod national champion Arabians and through his brother, Randy, a Hunter-Jumper and running Thoroughbred trainer, he has shod winning race horses at the Laurel track in Baltimore, Maryland. Surprisingly, his first world champion was a Tennessee Walking Horse in 1976, then a series of champion Quarter Horses in the late 1970’s. His first world champion Saddlebred was in 1979, and from that point, he has specialized mostly in Saddlebreds and Hackney Ponies. He has always felt fortunate to have the opportunity to shoe horses of this caliber. He has found it very rewarding and he takes great pride in knowing that he has shod at least ten or more world champions every year for the past thirty plus years.
Rick states he never had the opportunity to apprentice, but he has learned a lot by having the opportunity to work with some of the best trainers in the country and some of the very best farriers, such as, Shorty Roberts, Jack Banghart, John Dacon, John Griffith, Monty Ray, and Bud Willimon to name only a few. He enjoys forge work and for his first ten years, he used nothing but handmade shoes. Today, he still uses approximately 90% handmade shoes and makes shoes for several other farriers and has met with some success in forging competitions. At one time, he was covering five states and had four employees. He would be on the road for weeks at time. In Rick’s travels, he has met and shod for several celebrities including Patrick Duffy (Dallas), Amanda Blake (Gunsmoke), Ed McMahon (Johnny Carson), Sylvester Stallone (Rambo/Rocky), and William Shatner (Captain Kirk of Star Trek). He shod Hackney Ponies for August Busch, Jr. for several years and on a couple of occasions he was asked to work on the world famous Budweiser Clydesdale Hitch.
In 2007, the Medds invested in a Plasmacam (CNC plasma torch). This was his retirement plan, but so far no one will let him quit! Their son, Dalton, was the main operator until he went off to college in 2010, when Michelle took over the task. Medd Metalworks has done trophies for the Midwest Charity Show in Springfield, IL, MidStates Horse Show, Iowa Futurities, and Springfest in Des Moines, Great River Charity Horse Show in Cedar Rapids, and now has been contacted by the Kansas City Royal. They have cut out everything from a twenty-two foot gate to a fifteen fool business sign to a four by four foot horse to a three by five foot logo fireplace screen to a two inch keyring dangle and signs of all kinds. Rick is now getting into ornamental forge work more and more. He does roses, candle holders with pinecones and needles, oak leaves and acorns, grapevine wreaths, sign holders, and many other items. So it doesn’t look like retirement is in Rick’s near future.
Rick has been active in the Illinois Licensed Horseshoeing Association, which is now the Land of Lincoln Farriers Association, the Upper Midwest Blacksmithing Association, and of course, the Iowa Professional Farriers Association (IPFA). In March of each year, Rick and Michelle host their annual Hammer-In at his shop in Clinton. Those fortunate enough to attend, are always in for a good time and great hospitality. His selfless dedication of his time, knowledge, experience, resources, and friendship to these organizations and particularly to the IPFA has been an inspiration to all.