Steve Kraus '70, a farrier who has shod many types and breeds of show and performance horses for more than 40 years, has been named the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine's head farrier, effective Nov. 1. He succeeds Michael Wildenstein, who has been with Cornell since 1991 and will be retiring.
Kraus specializes in troubleshooting underperforming horses around the Finger Lakes region of New York. His client list includes hunter/jumpers, dressage and event horses, polo, endurance, western performance, Morgans and driving horses. He is the recent past president of the Western New York Farriers Association and a member of the board of directors for Region #5 of the American Farriers Association.
As Cornell's head farrier, Kraus will assume responsibility for the work and teaching currently in process and recruit students for the course that begins in January. His position will support patient needs within the equine and farm animal hospitals and the Farrier Shop, performing duties that include basic horseshoeing, corrective hoof trimming/shoeing, therapeutic methods, splint fabrication and other relevant needs.
"My primary goals are to ensure the continuity of the farrier program for the students (both current and incoming), as well as to meet the needs of the patients of the Cornell University Hospital for Animals," said Kraus. "I also intend to bring more horses into the program, which will give the students an opportunity to practice what they've learned while serving horses whose hooves need attention. This combination will provide a great foundation of theory and practice."
An animal science graduate from Cornell's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Kraus is an American Farriers Association's certified journeyman farrier. In addition to being a self-employed farrier, he has worked for Mustad Hoofcare since 1976 as their farrier consultant, representing the organization across the country at farrier and horse owner clinics and events, as well as testing and developing horse nails, horseshoes, farrier tools and the hoof care products that Mustad produces and markets. Since 1968, Kraus has also been the farrier for all the equine programs in Cornell's Department of Athletics and Physical Education, which includes the Cornell polo team, equestrian team and physical education riding program.
An avid rider and polo player, Kraus owns and trains five polo horses at his farm in Trumansburg, N.Y. He plays outdoor polo during the summer and coaches and umpires for indoor polo at the Cornell Equestrian Center during the rest of the year.
"I've trained many apprentices over the years," Kraus said. "I'm looking forward to the opportunity to teach at Cornell's world-renowned farrier program and helping horses by preventing or fixing lameness."
Stephanie Specchio is director of communications at the College of Veterinary Medicine.