1929: Turf marks credited to new shoe

“A new type of horseshoe, much lighter than the steel shoe in use for many years past and conducive to faster running, will be worn by scores of horses at the Bowie meeting which opens next Tuesday.

According to Ernest E. Hart, well known jockey, whose brother Harry S. Hart invented the shoe, the reason for the numerous record-breaking races run at recent winter meetings lies mainly with this innovation. He also points out that winning horses in several of the biggest races of the winter wore the new shoes.

Golden Prince, winner of the Coffroth Handicap, richest stake race in turfdom, wore the Fleetwood shoe, which is the name the new model has been given. Other prominent winners who wore the shoe were Calf Roper, first in the Louisiana Derby, and Scimitar, winner of the Tia Juana Gold Cup. In the New Orleans Handicap, the first three horses, Vermajo, Solace and Wellet, wore the Fleetwood.

Set of Four Shoes Weighs Only 5 ½ Ounces
Hart claims that the new shoe will not spread and that its grip on the track surface is much better than that of the old style. The Fleetwood, he says, is made of an alloy of the strongest, lightest and most durable metals, a set of four weighing but 5 ½ ounces as against from 12 to 16 ounces, which is the weight of a set of steel shoes.

While lighter than steel shoes, says Hart, the new type are thicker and therefore offer a better safeguard against stinging of the horse’s feet. In his opinion, more speed can be looked for from wearers of the Fleetwood because of the reduction in weight and the lessening of foot and leg trouble.

One feature of the new shoe is that its construction enables the horse’s foot to rest level, thereby allowing the leg muscles and tendons to keep their natural positions. The steel shoe is tilted, the front being higher than the back.” (The Washington Post, 03/31/1929)

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