I was reading a book last night where it mentioned a horse throwing a shoe in a race, and that got me thinking. Do they have a magnetic track sweeper or something they run over the track between races and every so often during morning training? I can just imagine a horse in the next race stepping on the lost shoe just right, or flipping it up to smack yet another horse. Long shot, but it has to have happened if they're floating around out there. Does losing a shoe happen often enough that there is some shoe retrieval protocol, or is it just tough luck if your horse finds the previous race's lost shoe?
At harness tracks, it's usually easy to see them and the guys who are dragging or watering the track will stop, pick them up, and bring them to the paddock. If a shoe is thrown in the morning a driver might pick it up on the "fly" (bring the horse to a walk), track maintenance might pick it up as they're dragging, or a groom might have to take a walk to find it.
When I was at Suffolk, I was standing in my favorite spot (right down at the corner of the rail and the walkout from the paddock, as close to even with the wire as I could get) and I found a shoe up against the chain-link fence keeping people back from the actual rail. It's still got a couple nails and that slight torque from coming off by accident. So it either got thrown a long way, or kicked off to the side when they were harrowing the track.
Since they run in aluminum shoes (usually with very little steel in the nails or in a wear plate), I don't think a magnet would do much.
It's an interesting question that I hadn't thought of. Brings this to mind: https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphot...62211739_n.jpg
Hopefully a thin aluminum shoe would not do so much damage.
As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.
A horse that i brought to the races was vet scratched because he stepped on something on the track. He ended up with a puncture right above his coranary band. No one knows what did it . It was on his way to the starting gate
They harrow the track in the mornings about midway through training hours, and again before the races start. Then again between every race. There have been incidences where a thrown shoe has hit another horse/rider. But to answer your question, no, there is no special protocal or device to help retrieve them. Riders that spot them will let an outrider know where to look though.
I've picked up my share of shoes. boots, gloves and once a stopwatch on the track and all on the fly. Shoes, unless your own, got tossed into the chute into a box, wrecked stuff (usually bell and quarter boots) into another box and the good stuff went to the guard shack or race office to be claimed, and if it wasn't, it was yours at the end of the meet. Flying shoes are dangerous - I got off lucky and only took a few on the shins and feet, but a friend of mine has a scar on his top lip where a nail caught and ripped the lip open.
As to the stopwatch I picked up, it ended up being mine since no one claimed it. Damned if it didnt last more than 25 years before its spring was sprung.
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I'm reading Masters of the Turf by Edward Bowen, and in it, he says that it is believed that Hail to Reason's badly fractured leg in a workout resulted from his stepping on a lost shoe from a former worker.
I had one fracture a coffin bone. We believe he stepped on a shoe as there was one caught up in the harrows after that race. He won by 11 that day. .... He came back three years later and won his only start then. And fractured the other coffin bone... He is happily retired on the owners farm.