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Newmarket farrier awarded PhD in horseshoe making

Newmarket farrier awarded PhD in shoeing horses Photo: ITV Anglia

A Newmarket farrier who received a PhD for his research into horseshoe making has written a book on the craft.

Simon Curtis is an experienced farrier having spent more than four decades mastering the art of shoeing horses.

  • Click to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Claire McGlasson

He was completed a six year Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programme at the University of Central Lancashire studying the development of the foal's hoof.

And now he has written a new book ''The Hoof of the Horse'', based on his years of research.

"The horse's hoof can squash as it grows. Nobody had ever suggested it before but I found a way to measure that. To measure the fact it squashes more on one side than the other.

"Subtle differences that can have a profound effect on performance, stamina and comfort.

– Simon Curtis
Simon is using the new knowledge from his studies to improve farriery work on foals and older horses. Credit: ITV Anglia

The 2,000-year-old craft has not changed much since it first began two thousand years ago.

Horseshoe maker's equipment still consist of a furnace or forge, an anvil, tongs and hammers.

Farrier's equipment today are still like those used thousand of years ago. Credit: ITV Anglia

Simon says that regardless of who the horse owner may be, he will give the horse the best treatment possible:

"The bottom of a horse's foot it doesn't have a label on it. It doesn't tell you that it's worth a million pound or 500 pounds.

I like to think I give as much attention to a millionaire's horse as the - well I don't want to say the pauper's horse, not many paupers have horses - but the person who it's just their pet."

– Simon Curtis
Simon Curtis has been making horseshoes since he was sixteen. Credit: ITV Anglia