There is an old saying “An ounce on the foot, is a pound on the back”… or is it? Race horseshoes are generally manufactured using Aluminium in order to minimize the weight of the shoe as most racing authorities have a weight limit on each shoe. Aluminium horseshoes are also known as Race Plates.
Innovations in Aluminium Horseshoes
The design and manufacturing of race plates has come a long way since the 1980’s with the introduction of toe inserts that are flush (level) with the rim of horseshoe to improve wear. This has resulted in thoroughbreds being able to leave aluminium race plates on their feet for a shoeing cycle between 3-4 weeks (depending on the terrain the horse is being worked on). Prior to this innovation, thoroughbred race horses had to be ‘plated’ for race day, that meant that the steel shoes they worked and trained in, were replaced for aluminium shoes (without steel inserts) for race day. Often this could sometimes lead to nail trauma in the hoof wall that was not good for the horse. The innovation of the steel wear insert removed the need to change in and out of steel shoes to aluminium horseshoes for race day.
Some other innovations include:
- wider webbed horseshoes that offer the thoroughbred far better protection of the feet
- breakover at the toe to assist the thoroughbred to follow its natural gait
So there are many considerations you should make when choosing a race plate because a small amount of extra weight in the race plate does offer your race horse far more protection, and a longer shoeing cycle, that all equate to better hoof health.
What are the different types of race plates available?
Mustad Australia distributes a large range of Race Plates which cater for many types of different racing conditions. Depending on your location, you will need to consult with your local racing authority to determine if your race plate is authorized for use in racing.
Mustad Australia distributes the following brands of race plates:
- St Croix Concorde Original Race Plates – sizes 2-9
- St Croix Concorde Xtra Race Plates – Sizes 4-8
- St Croix Concorde Equilibrium – Sizes 4-8
- Apple Ascot WSV Race Plates – sizes 4-8
The St Croix Concorde Original race plate range was the first range of race plates to be available in not only aluminium material, but also offers the same shoe with the same nail pattern produced in steel. This means thoroughbreds could pre train in the steel version and then change over to the aluminium version while in racing preparation.
The Concorde model in aluminium has the same features as the Concorde steel shoe but at a much lower weight.
It is the perfect choice where weight must be reduced to a minimum. Horses with sensitive hooves and/or horses that are in rehabilitation after a leg injury can also benefit from the aluminium version of the Concorde.
- Our most comprehensive range of shoes, available in Toe Clipped fronts and Hinds, Side Clipped hinds and 2degree Toe Clipped Front & Hind Wedges, as well as 3 degree hind wedges.
- Lightweight shoes with the Front Toe Clips ranging from approximately 76g per shoe (Size 2) up to 118g (size 9). While the Hind Toe Clips are approximately 75g per shoe (Size 2) up to 121g (size 9). The shoes are designed as a true section to size with the shoe growing with each increase in size to offer a systematic sizing system.
- Concave section aids in shedding of the earth and sand from the sole and frog.
- Upright heel section on the hind shoes that provide additional support
- Nail choice for the smaller sizes 2-4 is the Mustad Swift Size 0 or Mustad FJ Slim Size 0 or even a Mustad Size BH3.5 or BH.4, and in the larger sizes (Sizes 5-9) the Mustad Hammer Head Size 1.
Watch this video where UK Race Farrier, Billy Mulqueen talks about the St Croix Concorde Original shoes. Click here
The St Croix Concorde Xtra is based on the very successful St Croix Concorde range. We have added several specific features, including a shape change in the hind shoes to make this shoe something Xtra:
Features of the Concorde Xtra include:
Xtra Web Width : the wider section provides additional support and wear.
Xtra Heel Support : Wide heels to enhance the support and cover the heel section.
Xtra Traction : Provided by the inside concave section of the shoe web and the pronounced edges on the outside of the shoe.
Xtra Nail Holes : Extra nail holes have been added vs the usual nail hole pattern in order to give more nailing options to the farrier and to allow the use of the shoe as an open toe. The Symmetrical Front and Symmetrical hind shapes both have a tear drop nail hole, which allows for greater nail pitch while driving the nail.
Xtra Wear Resistance : The wear resistance is increased through repositioning of the steel insert which is placed further to the outside in the toe area. The aluminium version receives a special treatment to make it more wear resistant but maintaining its forgeability. Also the increase of web width and thickness of the aluminium shoes create additional wear resistance.
Front Shoes have a symmetrical shape (Symmetrical = meaning both the shoes have the same shape)
Hind Shoes have a left and right model, as well as a Symmetrical Hind shape. The hind shoes are a more European squarer toe shaped shoe compared to the more traditional shape of the Concorde Original shoes.
The ideal nail to use with the Concorde Xtra is the Mustad Hammer Head Size 1 horseshoe Nail.
Watch this video where Clint Rolfe from the Mustad Australia sales team talks about his Perfect Fit with the St Croix Concorde Xtra. Click here
Also available is the St Croix Concorde Xtra Bonded in a Vulcanized Rubber bonded front shoe, that is ideal for horses that need extra cushioning due to hard tracks. These shoes are particularly popular during long hot summer months.
St Croix Concorde Equi-Librium Aluminium offers a perfect rolled-toe shape during the entire lifecycle.
This shoe offers the perfect balance between peak performance and overload, by an increased fluency of break-over. It’s anatomic shape enables the horse to move more easily in any direction. Like people, horses have different shaped feet and the Concorde Equilibrium caters for the many different types of gaits as a result of each horses differences in confirmation. The St Croix Concorde Equi-Librium has proven to enhance performance and prevent injury.
Available in Sizes 4-8 in either a Toe Clip or Side Clipped front shoes, it can be paired with any of the Concorde Original, Concorde Xtra or Apple Ascot WSV hind shoes.
- Following the anatomical foot shape
- Special clip positioning for optimal support while maintaining a sound hoof mechanism
- V-fullering providing a secure nail fit
- Concave section to reduce the weight and for an easier access to the sole
Tested in different countries and on different surfaces, with results showing:
- The absence of a steel insert is proven to be of a positive influence on the wearing and the wearing pattern.
- Due to the St Croix Concorde Equilibrium’s unique design, it has proven to be a shoe that is ideal for synthetic tracks as it allows the hoof to slide a little more than traditional race plates on synthetic race tracks, which may assist in reducing the likelihood of injury.
Watch this video with UK farrier, Billy Mulqueen explains the features and benefits of the St Croix Concorde Equilibrium. Click here
Apple Ascots have been designed and engineered in Japan for optimal performance. The Ascot rate plates are feature packed with:
- Pitched Nail holes on first four nail holes of each front and hind shoe. The exit hole on the hoof surface side has a tear drop shape, while the fuller is subtly angled allowing the farrier to achieve pitch when driving nails. There is no need to back drill the nail holes on the hoof surface side.
- Punched for Mustad Hammer Head Size 1 Nails – the fuller is designed specifically for the Hammer Head 1 as the nail locks up perfectly.
- Strong Toe Clips
- Sole Relief already forged into the race plate so when fitting you can leave as is or forge in more relief if needed.
- Boxed heels already designed into each plate, so no need to grind the heels.
- Easy fit shape
- Steel wear insert at the toe which
- Apple Ascot Front shoes are Symmetrical shape
- Apple Ascot Hind shoes are available in both Symmetrical shape and also A-Symmetrcial Shape (meaning Left and Right Hind shoes are a subtly different shape to fit the Left and right Hoofs)
Weight of the front shoes ranges from an approximate 102g per shoe (Size 4) to 133g (Size 8), while the hind shoes range from a weight of approximately 94g per shoe (Size 4) to 134g (Size 8).
Mustad Aluminium race plates are available from Mustad dealers and mustad.com.au