V.21 No.25 | 6/21/2012
Edgewood’s international blacksmith contest
By Russell Page, fearless intern [ Mon Jun 18 2012 1:03 PM ]
Sparks flew, fire burned and metal clanked on metal. In a mere hour and 10 minutes, farriers—equine hoof care specialists—from around the country and the world transformed pieces of steel into working horseshoes.
Over the weekend, 70 farriers gathered at Wildlife West Nature Park in Edgewood, N.M. to test heir skills. Craig Trnka, who founded the World Championship Blacksmiths, said folks had come from England, Wales, Canada, and Mexico.
“And Arkansas,” he joked, “We have a few foreigners from Arkansas.”
After competing in horseshoeing competitions for many years, Trnka, an Edgewood resident, decided that farrier contests should be used to teach, too. He created the World Championship Blacksmiths in 2006 with the goal of showing the public the value of well-educated farriers.
“There are six go-arounds, but you’re only competitive in one,” Trnka said. “You’re watching way more than you’re actually competing. This is my ideal dream of how a competition should be formatted.”
During their off rounds, competitors watched others and studied other techniques. Swapping tips and tricks, all participants benefitted. “There’s very little education for farriers in this country,” said Trnka, “So this is a continuing education process.”
Although the organization has expanded and holds contests countrywide, Edgewood is still a favorite destination for competitors. Trey Green, a member of the WCB national team, fondly remembered early versions in New Mexico happening at Trnka’s house. “This was the original one,” Green said.
But the move to Wildlife West was a nice change for both the competitors and for the park, he said. Half of the proceeds from the 2012 Championships went to the wildlife rescue zoo, which protects animals native to New Mexican and Southwest ecosystems.
The Edgewood competition drew international star in horseshoe-making Mark Evans of Wales. A master of the craft, Evans has been shoeing horses for 30 years, competed throughout Europe, America and Britain, and taken on 10 apprentices. While evaluating each of the competitors, Evans meticulously followed each stage of their shoemaking process. He gave marks for the shape of the shoes, their fit and how they were nailed into hooves.
From the master farriers down to the onlookers, all who attended the World Blacksmith Championships came away more knowledgeable about the craft.
V.21 No.20 | 5/17/2012
Warrior Dash, recapped
By Justin Goodrum [ Thu May 10 2012 2:08 PM ]
What do get when you throw an adventure race, live bands and fried food into a blender? You get the Warrior Dash.
On Cinco de Mayo, participants made their way through 13 challenging obstacles at the Founders Ranch in Edgewood, NM. A race more about physical toughness than speed, Warrior Dash pushes anyone who dares accept the challenge. It was a fun atmosphere which saw racers young and old wearing costumes ranging from Village People to masked wrestlers.
The races went in 30 minute intervals, with loud music in the background and the charismatic race announcer preparing the pack to make the transformation into “warriors.” Some solo warriors pushed through the course as quickly as possible, others went through each obstacle as a team. After racers completed the 5K course, they were greeted by volunteers ready to give medals, water, bananas and received mud hugs from the dirty “warriors.” Spectators cheered on friends and loved ones to not only finish but also get as dirty as possible by sliding toward the end of the course.
The warriors may have found themselves covered in mud from head to toe, but everyone was in good spirits, attempting to get cleaned off by massive a water hose, or remaining covered in their badge of honor. The conclusion of the race was just the beginning as muddy warriors took pictures in front of the dirty Warrior Dash sign and enjoyed food and live music.
For people still deciding whether to try crawling under barbed wire, mud pits and jumping over fire, race director Alex Yount says the goal of the race is to challenge you while having a once in a lifetime experience.
“Warrior Dash is truly for everyone, the goal of Warrior Dash is to challenge your self. So we had people come out that are marathon runners that are trying to get the best time on the course, and we also had people come out that never ran a race before in their lives.”
With around 11,000 New Mexicans making this year’s event a success, Yount says the registration for the 2013 edition of the Dash has already started.
V.20 No.30 | 7/28/2011
Music to Your Ears
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
A Wild Party
Only 20 minutes east of Albuquerque (in the mountains where it’s 10 degrees cooler) Wildlife West is equipped with venue facilities and hosts regular events. Beginning on Friday, July 29, and running through Sunday, July 31, is the biggest of the year: The ninth Wildlife West Music Festival. The three-day fest features two shaded stages (attendees will not be sitting in the sun, promoters say) and more than a dozen performing acts of the acoustic persuasion—bluegrass, Western swing, old time and folk, to name a few.
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