Lifetime Achievement Award for a Hoof Care Writer

Fran Jurga reacts after receiving the Lifetime Journalism Achievement Award at the International Equine Podiatry Conference. Image by Greg Thomas

One of the equestrian world’s most prolific journalists has been honored for her more than 40 years of writing about hoof and lameness research.

Fran Jurga received the Lifetime Journalism Achievement Award for “the invaluable journalistic pursuit of the science, art and history of equine podiatry and farriery” at the recent International Equine Podiatry Conference, hosted by the Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky.

Gloucester, Massachusetts-based Jurga has long been at the forefront of clog information, starting with the print magazine Hoof care and lamenessat the line clog blogand his latest initiative, the cutting-edge hoof research compilation Search for clogs.

More comfortable behind the scenes, Jurga found herself the center of attention when the surprise prize was announced.

Rood & Riddle Podiatry Partners implored Jurga to attend this year’s equine podiatry conference – so vigorously that she was told she had to be there, even if she had to crawl. On the Friday night of the conference, she learned why they were so insistent, and that she was the only one not in on the secret.

In his introduction to the awards ceremony, Rood & Riddle farrier Victor Camp said: “It is said that no one else has planned more personal encounters between farriers, veterinarians and researchers in equine studies, many of which resulted in lasting friendships, as Fran Jurga. ”

Jurga went from shock and tears of gratitude to an impromptu acceptance speech addressing the crowd of conference attendees.

It was at the first podiatry conference in 2019 that Jurga’s passion for horses and their hooves came to light when she documented the presenters and their respective materials. These efforts did not go unnoticed by the Rood & Riddle Podiatry team, whose efforts led to the creation of the award.

The overall size of the copper and steel prize sculpture is only about 15 inches wide – creating the intricate detailing from the two disparate metals was an ambitious project.
The overall size of the copper and steel prize sculpture is only about 15 inches wide – creating the intricate detailing from the two disparate metals was an ambitious project. Image by Greg Thomas

Victor Camp recruited Michigan farrier and blacksmith artist Jennifer Horn from Daisy Hill Forge to create the price. He imagined the award coin to be a combination of metal art and forged components in the shape of an open newspaper or magazine, and Horn took that idea one step further and created a replica of Log of hoof and lameness care. When the Covid-19 pandemic brought everything to a screeching halt, the pair continued to develop a plan for the inside pages, which eventually merged the professions of equine veterinary medicine and farriery into one cohesive unit, just as Jurga did. ease for all these years.

The overall size of the copper and steel sculpture is only about 15″ wide; creating the intricate detail of the two disparate metals was an ambitious project.

Horn attended a workshop and learned copper repoussé; and actually forged the Vet Caduceus on the left page at the event curated by Travis Fleming of Artistic Anvil Forge in Athens, Alabama.

Horn’s farrier clientele are mostly pleasure horses, so the wedge-heeled roadster shoe she chose is well outside of her day-to-day forge. This is a very tough setup with the tapered thickness of the shoe’s canvas, combined with the trailers to add traction, not to mention the asymmetrical crease and nail pattern needed to properly fit this clog back.

In 2022, six days before the event, she took flight and the parts came together, all 40. Much more than the sum of the parts, the result represents all facets of hoof care.

Fran Jurga with part of the Rood & Riddle podiatry team after the conference;  left to right, Farrier Victor Camp, Rood & Riddle Podiatry Department Partners Dr Raul Bras, Dr Craig Lesser, Dr Scott Morrison and Dr Scott Fleming.
Fran Jurga with part of the Rood & Riddle podiatry team after the conference; left to right, Farrier Victor Camp, Rood & Riddle Podiatry Department Partners Dr Raul Bras, Dr Craig Lesser, Dr Scott Morrison and Dr Scott Fleming. Image by Greg Thomas

the Hoof care and lameness the magazine was published from 1985 to 2005; 79 numbers in all. Jurga produced the whole thing, writing the articles, providing images/art, photography and graphics.

the clog blog completed in 2004, eventually replacing the paper version. Over the next 18 years, Jurga posted over 1800 entries.

Search for clogs is Jurga’s latest attempt. The paid online subscription service is a library of lameness and hoof news, information and research. It extends to stable management, arena/track surfaces, racing safety and injuries, as well as specific information on race/sport foot issues and lameness that affect riders. performance. It also delves deeper into laminitis and indexes the latest research citations and peer-reviewed descriptions on insulin dysregulation and PPID, as well as navicular disease, anatomy, biomechanics, and more.

Alongside all of this, Jurga is a freelance writer and graphic designer, contributing content to well-known equine publications such as Equus magazine, AIM Equine Network’s coverage of the Olympics, World Equestrian Games and more. She ran Dreamworks’ social media and information center for the film. Battle horse. Some notable PR projects include The horse boy and Equus by Tim Flach.

On a separate track, Jurga has also been involved in the development of many of the world’s leading aquariums, zoos, natural history museums and visitor centers. His work can be found from Europe to Japan and many places in between.

Report : Geena Keesling