Hand made 'U' shaped metal horse shoe, with red rubber inserts.
This shoe, probably bought over from Australia, was worn by Phar Lap during his time in Mexico in 1932. It was removed by Canadian farrier James (Jimmy) Ferguson Smith after Phar Lap cracked his front left hoof on the pebbly track in early March, a few weeks before he was due to run in the Agua Caliente handicap. Smith made a special bar shoe to support the hoof, which Phar Lap wore during the race.
The shoe was retained by Smith, along with a group of photographs, as a souvenir of his participation in this memorable event.
Hand made `U' shaped metal horse shoe. There are seven rectangular nail holes around the centre, four on the left hand side, and three on the right hand side. There is a small triangular metal toe clip at the top, and two long metal grooves in the bottom of the shoe. There is a red rubber insert in the centre of the shoe.
This horse shoe 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 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 this shoe and replacing it with a supportive bar shoe, crafted by his own hands.
Smith's 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 shoe is important as a rare surviving artefact related to this notable event in Phar Lap's life.
Donation from Mr Bill Smith, 6/10/2009
Place & Date Used
Type of item
135 mm (Width), 10 mm (Depth), 140 mm (Height)
[Link 1] Accessed 10/02/2010 Geoff Armstrong and Peter Thompson, `Phar Lap', Allen & Urwin, 2000