Professional Farriers to Gather in Rochester, NY, for Educational Event

Do not let your horse throw a shoe between February 25-28, 2004, as professional farriers from across North America and beyond will be temporarily unavailable.  Gathering at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center in Rochester, NY, leading farriers and veterinarians specializing in hoof care will take part in the 33rd Annual Convention of the American Farrier’s Association (AFA). 
Drawing more than 1,000 farriers from the AFA’s 55 chapters and 23 countries, this annual event focuses on continuing education and features lectures, demonstrations, hands-on clinics, discussions, awards, contests, and more.  Farriers and veterinarians will have ample opportunities to further their knowledge of anatomy, to re-examine basics, to learn new techniques, and to examine both theory and practice.
With more than three days of non-stop educational activities, more than 50 lecturers and clinicians will be at work.  Among the presenters, attendees will have the opportunity to work with Craig Trnka, CJF, AFA President, the only ten-time member of the American Farrier’s Team; Doug Butler, CJF, FWCF, DVM, author of Principles of Horseshoeing II; and Edward Martin, FWCF, the only living recipient of the Supreme Master’s award for farriery—an award only given four times in the past 700 years.
Ink & Anvil, the new publisher of the Professional Farrier, will have representatives on hand to talk about the exciting future of the official magazine of the AFA.  Having Ink & Anvil present and highly visible will give an opportunity for all attendees to provide input and ideas on what they want to see in future issues of the Professional Farrier; this is the voice and educational venue for the AFA farrier.  Ink & Anvil is also producing a new and informative 2004 AFA Annual Convention program. 
Farrier certification, one of the cornerstones of the AFA, will be at the forefront of the convention.  Many attending farriers will work in the anatomy labs and at the hands-on clinics to fine-tune their knowledge and skills in preparation for certification; others will take the written portion of the certification exam. 
Contestants in the farrier competitions will vie for a coveted position on the American Farrier’s Team, attempting to secure a spot as one of four farriers who will spend the next year serving as ambassadors from the AFA to the international community.  Team members represent the AFA at competitions in England, Scotland, Canada, and other countries; additionally, they conduct educational clinics for AFA Chapters and for the horse-owning public.
Many members will also have completed application for the AFA’s Cultural Exchange Program and will interview for one of two positions available through this program.  The two members selected for this opportunity will travel to England for six weeks, where they will be hosted by the Worshipful Company of Farriers, who—in turn—will send two representatives to be hosted by the AFA in the United States.
Trnka, AFA President, refers to this event as “the premiere event in the AFA’s year,” saying that “it’s where the big picture comes together for the working farrier, where he or she can tune up and tune in to continuing education for farriers.”

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