Calgary, AB – On a day where the heat of the forges was welcome, competition got underway in the Calgary Stampede Blacksmith Classic. The three-day invitational competition has blacksmiths from across Canada and the U.S. facing off for $8,000 in prize money.
This year marks the introduction of a new format for the Blacksmith Classic. Three four-person teams are competing in four classes. Today, teams completed two classes designed to evaluate technical skills with respect to forging and metal work. The teams will shoe a performance horse on Saturday, and a heavy horse on Sunday.
“The competition has always been great in Calgary, but this is a fun new format,” said Craig Trnka, who has been competing at the Calgary Stampede for 25 years. “It’s good to see them pumping fresh, new ideas into the event. It shakes it up for us.”
This year is particularly special for Trnka, as one of his teammates is his son, Bodie.
“It’s a dream come true to compete on an international level with my son,” said Trnka. “I’m probably past my prime, but he’s just getting started. It’s great to see the event through his eyes.”
There are three teams competing:
- World Champion Blacksmiths: Tom Petersen (Bozeman, MT), Lamar Weaver (Denver, PA), Robert Jukes (Weatherford, TX), and Chris Madrid (Sante Fe, NM)
- American Farriers Team: Craig Trnka (Eagleton, NM), Bodie Trnka (Eagan, MN), Tim McPhee (Epping, NH) and Jeremy Scudder (Maryland, NY)
- Canadian Farrier Specialists: Kris Kemp (Barrhead, AB), Mark Currie (Okotoks, AB), Greg Toronchuk (Onoway, AB), Jason Wrubleski (Sherwood Park, AB)
In addition to the competition, there are daily blacksmith demonstrations at the Calgary Stampede.
About the Calgary Stampede
The Calgary Stampede celebrates the people, the animals, the land, the traditions and the values that make up the unique spirit of the west. The Calgary Stampede contributes to the quality of life in Calgary and southern Alberta through our world-renowned 10-day Stampede, year-round facilities, western events and several youth and agriculture programs. Exemplifying the theme We’re Greatest Together; we are a volunteer-supported, not-for-profit community organization that preserves and celebrates our western heritage, cultures and community spirit. All revenue is reinvested into Calgary Stampede programs and facilities.
See more at calgarystampede.com