HoofCast Clinic with Derek Poupard

Published: 1st October 2019

Held at Stromsholm South East Wales, 26th September 2019

HoofCast, the “aide for compromised feet” was designed by Derek Poupard. This clinic provided an introduction to the product, a number of case studies and the opportunity to practise its application on a cadaver limb.

Derek is responsible for the hoofcare of racehorses flying across the world to prestigious race meetings. The hoof is the product of its conformation and a huge variety of environmental influences which can have a damaging effect on the distal limb. Driven by thin hoof walls which cannot have a horseshoe attached by nailing alone Derek sought to discover a product that adds strength and depth to the hoof wall whilst dissipating force and providing protection to the solar surface. In addition to being motivated by a “fear of failure” the product needed to demonstrate a negligible failure rate whether on turf, sand or spa! HoofCast is similar to the products used on broken limbs; but is stronger and can withstand exposure to water.

Stating a preference to “cast from the front” the hoof is dressed lightly and glue is applied, paying particular attention to the anchor points at the heels. HoofCast is easily unrolled and wrapped around the hoof, doubling back at the quarters to create width to the heels without lengthening the toe. You will still need to do a full wrap every 2 to 3 turns to keep the cast in place. The cast is set with the use of water, sponged or sprayed on, and air. Plastic wrap holds the cast in position until the glue and cast have cured, taking approximately 20 minutes, less in warmer temperatures. Once set and the plastic wrap is removed the heel sections of the cast are removed to allow for the natural expansion and contraction of the heels. If the horse is confined the heels can stay in place but generally for no longer than 10 days and 3 layers thick. A shoe can be nailed to the cast hoof as normal with no need to undercut clenches as the nails are easily embedded in to the cast wall. The application of HoofCast can be adapted for use in a number of situations including with pads and to stabilise hoof wall cracks and fractures with the potential to include dentist impression material and sole pack as necessary.

Billy Mulqueen provided a further example of the application of HoofCast on a racehorse in Devon – a long way from his base in Newmarket! Needing a product that did not fail, he presented his application of HoofCast whilst showed an increase in hoof wall depth after one month and, by the second month, a vast improvement in both hoof wall and sole depth and he was able to nail a shoe on. This horse was not kept in an ‘ideal environment’ and the Cast was exposed to damp conditions.

Considered by both Derek and Billy to be a cost effective and efficient product to use, the clinic attendees were provided with the chance to use the product under their guidance. This late afternoon event was both sociable and enjoyable and provided a proficient solution to a problem every farrier will encounter.

Stromsholm South East Wales is located just outside Usk in Monmouthshire and managed by Martha Price. Martha gave “a personal thank you from Stromsholm South Wales to Derek and Billy for making the long trip and delivering on a fantastic and insightful evening”. Martha undertakes regular deliveries throughout the area and the depot is available for product collection. Contact Martha on 07772 815770. The full range of Stromsholm products can be viewed on their website, www.stromsholm.co.uk.