A professional horseshoer since 1987, Chris Gregory is one of the most trusted names in farriery and hoof-care education. Through his commitment to improve equine footcare, over 1000 students have graduated from his horseshoeing programs, many times that number have attended his clinics and lectures. Thousands of hoof-care practitioners and educators around the world have used and read his textbook, articles, blog and guides.
Chris holds several academic degrees, including a master’s degree in human resource development, two bachelor’s degrees (with a minor) and an associate’s degree.
An American Farrier’s Association Certified Journeyman Farrier, Chris has successfully passed this certification several times since first doing so in 1991. The AFA has recognized Chris with its Jim Linzy Outstanding Clinician Award twice, and Outstanding Farrier Educator Award 3 times.
As a farrier competitor, he has been a member of the American Farrier’s Team, which represents the US at the Internationals in Stoneleigh. He has competed at the World Championships Blacksmith Competition in Calgary 18 times and been in the Top Ten at that contest. He has also judged that prestigious competition. Through the World Champion Blacksmiths Association, Chris has finished in the Top Ten every year that he competed with them. Chris started competing in 1988, and has been in contests all over the world.
Chris earned the title of Fellow of the Worshipful Company of Farriers (FWCF) at the age of 30. The Worshipful Company of Farriers, (WCF) is a group founded in London in 1356 and regarded by many as stewards of horseshoeing’s highest standards. Around 40 farriers currently hold this distinction, five of those Americans. In 2010, the Company named Chris an examiner, becoming the first American to work as an examiner for a WCF exam. He served for 5 years until deciding to dedicate more time and attention to the FITS Exam and the higher level of the AFA exams.
A sought-after educator, clinician and lecturer, Chris has appeared at farrier and equine footcare events across the United States and around the globe. He has shod horses and done clinics on 6 continents, as well as presented numerous times at the American Farrier’s Association Annual Convention and the International Hoof-Care Summit. The FITS exam was originally written by Chris for the Association of Brazilian Farriers, but was later adopted in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and has been administered in the US as well.
Chris’s writings has appeared in American Farriers Journal, Anvil Magazine, Rural Heritage, Loose Shoe, and Western Horseman, to name a few. In 2011, he published Gregory’s Textbook of Farriery, a 696-page book with over 3400 pictures and drawings on the art of the farrier. It has become the textbook for most of the top schools teaching the craft, and is helping farriers and horses all over the world.
In 2008 at the age of 39, Chris was inducted into the International Horseshoeing Hall Of Fame, joining nearly 120 accomplished members.
A farrier school operator since 1991, Chris and his wife Kelly opened the Heartland Horseshoeing School in 1995. Their graduates have gone on to shoe every discipline of horses and develop noteworthy practices. Several of these students have been named “Rising Shoe Stars,” an annual award presented at the International Hoof-Care Summit to recognize the accomplishments of farriers who have graduated from a shoeing school 3 years prior.
Chris and Kelly Gregory are the proud parents of two children, Cody and Jacquelyn. In his free time, Chris enjoys spending time with his family, horseshoeing contests, writing, and running his farm outside Lamar, Missouri.
Kelly has been helping Chris with their shoeing business since before their marriage in 1988. She took a 4-year break from the rigors of farriery after college to stay home with their 2 kids, Cody and Jacquelyn. Once they moved to Missouri and opened Heartland Horseshoeing School, Kelly became an American Farriers Association Certified Farrier, and began working with Chris full time as an instructor. She has competed in several horseshoeing contests, including the World Championship Blacksmiths Contest in Calgary, and has some buckles on the wall that attest to her competence. In 2006, Kelly was named as a co-winner of the American Farriers Association Outstanding Farrier Educator of the Year award with Chris.
Kelly brings another element to the art of education, and is a huge asset to the school. In addition to being an extremely capable horsewoman, Kelly is especially adept at helping beginners understand the practicality of what they are being taught. Kelly attended college on track and cross-country scholarships, and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Home Economics as well as a Minor and an Associate of Arts Degree.
Kelly is an irreplaceable member of the team that is dedicated to making you one of the best farriers in the industry. Her ability to work on even the most uncooperative horses help to give students confidence and guidance. You will never be asked to do something a HHS that Chris or Kelly would be unwilling to do.
A fixture at the shop since he could walk, Cody now is an instructor at the Heartland Horseshoeing School. Cody trimmed his first pony and made his first shoe when he was 4, and shod his first horse all around on his own when he was 8. He was forge welding and making everything from hoof picks to knives before he was out of grade school.
As a small child, Cody began working toward his goal of being the youngest American Farrier’s Association Certified Farrier, which he reached at 14. Not complacent with that mark, Cody passed the American Farrier’s Association Certified Journeyman Farrier exam at 15, shattering the previous record for the youngest to reach that mark.
In 2009, at the age of 17, Cody received a Diploma of the Worshipful Company of Farriers. He also achieved the amazing accomplishment of earning the Associateship of the Worshipful Company of Farriers exam at the age of 19.
Winning his fist buckle in a farrier competition at the age of 6, Cody has since competed all over the US and several international competitions. He was the alternate on the American Farrier’s Team in 2012 where he won first place at the Internationals Alternate Class in Stoneleigh. In 2013, 2014, and 2015 he earned a spot on the World Champion Blacksmith Team. Cody was the WCB National Champion in 2014 as well, and was part of that team when they won the world title at Calgary in 2015. He was also the top placing American in Calgary at the World Championship Blacksmiths Competition in 2013, and has won the Capewell Cup at the American Farrier’s Association annual convention and contest.
He did his first clinic for the Iowa Farriers Association in 2008. Since then, he has been added as a Delta Mustad clinician. Cody worked as an examiner for the first certification for the Association of Brazilian Farriers, and was a judge for the South African Farrier’s Association national contest in 2008. He has served as a tester for the American Farrier’s Association, and has helped many people achieve their certification goals.
He has written for American Farrier’s Journal and has had his photography appear in the magazine. He even had one of his photos appear as the cover of the American Farrier’s Journal. When his dad wrote Gregory’s Textbook of Farriery, Cody did many of the anatomical drawings that appear in the book.
2013 marked his marriage to fellow farrier Kirsty Ryzak from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. In January of 2016, they welcomed their first child, Marcy Grace Gregory into the family. They live on their farm in Missouri where they raise some cows and teach at Heartland Horseshoeing School.
Cody provides keen insight that young shoers find easy to relate to and learn from. Former students have commented how Cody’s input has accelerated their understanding of farrier theory. His experiences from a young age put him in a rare situation of being able to see things in shoeing that escape many others.
In his free time, Cody enjoys spending time at horseshoeing competitions, working on his farm, and travelling to teach farriery.