Competing in blacksmithing events at any level is no easy task and it only gets bigger at the Calgary Stampede.
Keith Oram remembers coming to the Calgary Stampede in high school and watching some of his idols show off their skills in the World Championships.
“When I was a student we came and watched the World Championship with Steven Beane and Grant Moon and all of them that you’ve heard about and you buy their tools and to see them here and then compete here is pretty cool,” said Oram.
Oram, who is from Strathmore, Alberta, competes in the Blacksmith Classic.
He tells Rural Roots Canada there’s a lot of work leading up to the event.
“Leading up to this we start shoeing horses at 9 in the morning and we’re usually done at 4:30 or 5 (in the afternoon) and then we practice until 2 or 3 in the morning just figuring out the stretch that go on the feet and get their times down and get everything sorted so we are ready.”
He carries that work ethic into competition day where he’s all business.
Once the competition starts, he doesn’t worry about his competitors just the task at hand.
“When I’m competing, I’m in my own little world, there’s me and the clock. Chad Lawson holds my horse, we work together like twice a week and he will kinda tell me the time, where I’m at, when I need to hustle and when I can take my time a little bit more.”
The 2018 Calgary Stampede runs from July 6 – 15.