World Championship Blacksmiths' Competition 2012

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Last Updated April 11, 2012

2012 Entry forms are now available

Every year, the world’s top craftsmen in this time-honoured profession give their all in front of thousands of spectators in what has become known as the “Olympics of Blacksmithing”, both educating and entertaining the public with their skills and abilities.

In what is considered one of the most prestigious events of its kind, the Calgary Stampede will host a series of forging, horseshoeing and team events, which will see competitors earn points in an attempt to earn a spot as one of the Top Ten finalists.
There’ll be six tonnes of coke (fuel made from coal), 1,300 linear feet of steel bar stock and $50,000 to be awarded in cash and prizes, but only one 2012 World Champion Blacksmith as those 10 finalists square off on Sunday, July 8, 2012 under the Big Top.

* Please note the correction to the barstock in Class 40/50 for the German Army Shoe.  370mm of 13mm x 33mm flat.  Use ALL of stock provided. 

Event Dates and Location

Event Dates: July 4–8, 2012
Entry Closing Date: May 11, 2012 5:00 PM

Please note that the 2012 World Championship Blacksmiths' Competition begins two days prior to the official opening day of the Stampede.

The World Championship Blacksmiths' Competition will be limited to 60 contestants.  Entry priority will be given to National, Regional and Corporate Teams.

Be sure and get your entries in early.


* Check out, one of this years competition sponsors to get a head start on building the 2012 Shoe list, 3 time World Champion, Darren Bazin demonstrates how to build the 4 shoes featured this year as part of "Education through competition series"


Wednesday, July 4

Contestant Preparation
Registration, practice time, judge’s clinics & contestant meeting will be followed by a Hospitality Night.  A great way to kick things off!


Thursday, July 5

A full day of Forging
Class 20/30, a 60 minute forging/shoeing class gets events rolling.  Each contestant shoes a foot and makes a specimen shoe.  Class 40/50 provides another opportunity to test your skills in a 50 minute forging class later the same day.


Class 20/30: 60 minutes
Competitors to shoe one foot with appropriate concave barstock.  Shoe to have a hammer drawn toe clip.  Specimen shoe must also be forged during time limit to be identified at competitors meeting.  Both the shod foot and specimen must be complete to be judged.

Arab Toe Weight shoe to be forged from 305mm of 10mm x 20mm flat barstock provided.  Shoe to be beveled on ground surface from heel nail to heel nail; plain stamped for Mustad concave 5 nail.

Class 40/50: 50 minutes
Both the German Army Shoe and the Front Work Horse Shoe must be complete to qualify for judging.  Each shoe will be judged individually and must be completed to specifications.

German Army Shoe
Shoe to be forged from 13mm x 33mm flat barstock provided.  Clip to be forged from masselotte.  Shoe to be fullered and punched for 16 nail holes.  Mustad E7 provided.  Shoe designed to be symmetrical. 

Barstock: *Please note the correction in bold!
370mm of 13mm x 33mm flat. Use ALL of stock provided.

Front Work Horse Shoe
Shoe to be plain stamped for Mustad E7.  Toe bar to be forge welded, toe clip hammer drawn, heel caulks turned and forged.

13mm x 25mm flat 450mm of 15mm square for toe bar.


Friday, July 8

Forging and Team Events
Class 60 continues to see time on the clock reduced and this time competitors have only 60 minutes to build a pair of tongs and a shoe.  Our Eagle Eye class, Class 70 requires competitors to forge a heartbar shoe to a foot model provided in 25 minutes.  Contestants return in the afternoon to compete in the Four Man Team Draft Horseshoeing…always a crowd favorite.


Class 60 – Jay Sharp Memorial: 60 minutes
Contestants to forge a pair of tongs and build shoe with them.  Both items must be complete to be judged.  Tongs to be built using blanks provided.  Competitors to provide their own rivet.

Salmon Sideweight Shoe
To be forged from 230mm of 6mm x 33mm flat barstock provided.  Outside branch to be fullered, inside branch plain stamped for Mustad city head nail, 120mm wide.

Blanks to be forged from ¾” round with 4” of length before the transition to the reins.  Blanks may be cut shorter prior to class start.  Competitor to provide their own rivet.  Salmon sideweight to be forged from 230mm x 6mm x 33mm flat.

Class 70 – Eagle Eye: 25 minutes
Contestants to forge a ¾ fullered heartbar to fit foot model provided.  Appropriate barstock selection provided suitable number of holes to be punched for MX60.

Class 110 – Four Man Team Draft Horseshoeing: 120 minutes
This class is sponsored by Anderson Ranch and combines big fires, big horses and national pride in an exciting format that showcases all of our tradition in a fast and furious display of blacksmithing.  The teamwork needed to win this class is representative of the reality of the trade.  Time immemorial fathers and sons, masters and apprentices, have passed these time-honored techniques into real life practice, advancing the profession one hammer blow at a time.  When you add time limits, big prizing and personal pride into the equation, the pressure and performance result in the culmination of excellence that has been the global standard set by the Calgary Stampede World Championship Blacksmiths’ Competition.

¾ Fullered flat shoes toe clips front and hind to be hammer drawn.  Shoes to have definite inside and outside branches.

13mm x 32mm flat

Size of choice.

Saturday, July 7

Fast and Fantastic
The Two Man is a shoeing class  with teams shoeing a front and a hind foot of a light draft horse within the 60 minute time limit. This is the last chance at points to qualify for the Top Ten.  The “potluck” Artistic Forging follows directly after and is bound to generate some interest on the part of both spectator and fellow competitors!  Saturday night is a great night to socialize and soak up the talent of the metal artists.


Class 80 – The Cyril Standen Signature Class (Two Man Team Shoeing): 60 minutes
Two person teams will shoe a front and a hind foot of a light draft horse using appropriate flat barstock provided.  Shoes to be ¾ fullered with toe clip drawn from masselotes.  Both feet must be finished in order to qualify for final judging.

Our two man class is named after the founder of one of our long time sponsor.  Standen's was established in the early 1920's by a young entrepreneur, Cyril Standen, who began the firm by forging hot steel into his very first product, a cowboy boot insert.  Standen’s has since grown into a North American leader in its field.  A strong commitment to its workers has allowed them to remain competitive even in tough times.  Their belief in team work and support of our industry makes them a natural fit to promote our two man class and allows us to add many thousands of dollars in prize monies.

Sunday, July 8

The Grande Finale
The pressure is on as the Top Ten Finalists battle it out to make the Top Five and a chance at the World Championship.  The World Champion, along with the top competitors, will walk the stage in front of 17,000 people in the Grandstand.  A Banquet and Awards Ceremony will follow in the evening.



* The WCBC will limit entries to 60 competitors.  Entry selection will give priority to national teams, regional teams, and corporate entries.  Any questions call:  Janette Bamford 403.261.9174






Entry Fees

$500.00 flat rate fee enters you automatically in all classes (including the artistic classes) and includes one (1) exhibitor pass and one (1) banquet ticket. Additional banquet tickets may be purchased at $30 each and additional exhibitor passes may be purchased at $30 each. Please indicate your requirements on your entry form. 

The Calgary Stampede reserves the right to limit the amount of additional exhibitor badges and banquet tickets sold.

Class 110, the Four-Man Team Draft Horseshoeing, is now a point class which counts toward the World Championship standings and is no longer available to enter individually.


Over $50,000 in prize money and awards will be offered. 

A total of $15,000 will be awarded to the top competitors.
The 2011 World Champion Blacksmith will receive a cheque for $10,000.
Four Man Team Champions will share $8,000.
The Forging Champion will receive a cheque for $1000.
The Shoeing Champion will receive a cheque for $1000.
The highest scoring First Time Competitor will receive a cheque for $1000.

Each of the forging classes, 20 through 90, has a guaranteed purse of $650.

All prize money will be in Canadian Dollars and non-residents of Canada will be subject to a 15% withholding tax.



For complete WCBC contest rules and regulations, click here.  It is important to familiarize yourself with all the rules, as any deviation from the rules could result in disqualification.




Health Regulations


The WCBC is excited to welcome two accomplished and renowned blacksmiths to judge this year's competition.

David Wilson Sr., Scotland
Shayne Carter, USA


The World Championship Blacksmiths' Competition is proud to announce the CARRIAGE HOUSE INN, 9030 Macleod Trail South, Calgary, Alberta as their Host Hotel.

Don't forget to book accommodations for your stay in Calgary as soon as you submit your entry. Booking with the WCBC rate deadline May 3, 2012. When booking , you will need to identify yourself as a competitor in the World Championship Blacksmiths' Competition. The toll free number is 1-800-661-9566 or via e-mail

One (1) exhibitor badge is included in the cost of the entry fee. Additional badges can be ordered at a cost of $30 each by indicating on the entry form how many are required. The exhibitor badge must be presented at the gates in order to gain access to Stampede Park and also to gain access to areas limited to exhibitor's, such as the competition arena.


World Championship Point Standings
The format of the competition will see competitors working through a series of forging classes to qualify for the Top Ten. The Top Ten competitors will shoe the front feet of a horse and a score will be given. The competitors with the Top Five accumulated scores after the Semi-Final event will advance to the Final event. The horses will be re-drawn and the top five competitors will shoe the hind feet. The total of the points accumulated in the forging classes (including the Four Man Draft Horseshoeing) and in the Semi-Final and Final events will determine the World Champion Blacksmith.

A point system will be used in all classes and events. Each of the two judges will mark the shoes individually and the two scores will be added together to determine the top six placing in each class. Three judges will be used for the Artistic Forging Class. Championship points will be awarded on the basis of the class placing. All shoes that meet prize list specifications will be judged.

Championship Points
Points will be awarded toward the World Championship for Classes 20/30 through 90 AND Class 110 as follows:

    1st placing in any event.......11 pts.
    2nd placing in any event......9 pts.
    3rd placing in any event.......8 pts.
    4th placing in any event.......7 pts.
    5th placing in any event.......6 pts.
    6th placing in any event.......5 pts.
    7th placing in any event.......4 pts.
    8th placing in any event.......3 pts.
    9th placing in any event.......2 pts.
    10th placing in any event......1 pt.

Points will be awarded toward the World Championship for the Semi-Final and Final events as follows:

    1st placing in either event........50 pts
    2nd placing in either event.......41 pts.
    3rd placing in either event.......36 pts.
    5th placing in either event.......26 pts.
    6th placing in either event.......21 pts.
    7th placing in either event.......17 pts.
    8th placing in either event.......13 pts.
    9th placing in either event.........9 pts.
    10th placing in either event.......5 pts.


For more information, please contact:
Janette Macmillan, Agriculture Program Coordinator


Erik Swanby (Chair), Rob Hitchner (Vice Chair), Doug Neal (Vice Chair), Blaine Virostek (Past Chair), Mike O'Connor (Director), Allison Wright (Agriculture Manager), Janette Macmillan (Agriculture Program Coordinator), Peter Bagg, Brooke Ballie, Colain Duret, Terry Evenson, Heather Hartmann, Michele Hollins, David Holub, Marshall Iles, Victoria Knapp, Matt Kuechler, Dave Maller, Julie Mirdoch, Kristi Nutter, Dave Pokrandt, Tracy Quinton, Shelby Simundson, Rob Thomas, Laurel Tickles, Orlo Tveter, Bruce Williams, Mark Williams