Photograph, taken in Mexico in March 1932, depicts Phar Lap's trainer Tommy Woodcock and his farrier James Smith. Woodcock is holding a horse shoe, which was removed from Phar Lap after he suffered a quarter crack in his front hoof.

This copy, printed in San Francisco, was the property of James Smith, Phar Lap's Canadian farrier, and was donated to the Museum in 2009 along with the actual shoe it depicts.

Description of Content

Rectangular professional black and white photograph of two men in front of a wall, one of who is holding a horse shoe.

Physical Description

Rectangular professional black and white glossy photograph. There is a black printer's stamp and handwriting in blue ink on the back.


This photograph is a significant as part of a small collection documenting Phar Lap's participation in the Agua Caliente Handicap, in Mexico in 1932. In particular, it relates to damaging of his front left hoof two week's before the race, an injury that could have cost him the race. Canadian farrier James Ferguson Smith, who originally owned this collection, was the man given the task of removing the old shoe and replacing it with a supportive bar shoe, crafted by his own hands.

Smith ingenious handiwork, along with trainer Tommy Woodcock's careful and calculated training schedule enabled Phar Lap not only to participate in the race, after fears of him being scratched, but to win it comfortably.

This photograph is especially interesting, as it is a previously unknown image documenting farrier James Ferguson Smith's little heralded involvement in Phar Lap's American success.

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