Lee Liles, founder of National Museum of Horseshoeing Tools and Hall of Honor
Lee Liles | 1950 - 2018
In loving memory of our larger than life husband, father, Museum founder and Hall of Fame Farrier
It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of the Museum's owner, creator, and curator, Lee Liles.
As Lee wished, his collection remains open and is has been relocated to Stockyards City, OKC.
Lee resided in Sulphur, OK where he enjoyed "retirement" while growing and curating the Museum. He passed in May of 2018. He leaves behind a wife, Alma, and a daughter, Samantha Liles Frank.
More about the famed horseshoer
Lee began his horse shoeing business in 1965, and went on to become the official farrier for four world championship horse shows for three different breeds - the American Quarter Horse Association, the Tennessee Walking Horse Association, and the American Paint Horse Association.
A long-time collector, Lee Liles made his collection of blacksmith tools and memorabilia available for exhibition locally during the bicentennial year and the tremendous response to their displays inspired him to increase his efforts to preserve the farriers' heritage. From those beginnings came the National Museum of Horse Shoeing Tools and Hall of Honor.
HALL OF FAME
Lee was inducted into the International Horseshoeing Hall of Fame in 2004 for his efforts in advancement and preservation of the field.
Chosen for their accomplishments, achievements and contributions in advancing the farrier industry, along with the benefit provided to horses through their work, their professionalism, involvement with the farrier community and years of service as farriers, the six newest members of the International Horshoeing Hall of Fame have been selected from 66 farriers nominated for the award. Winners of the award were chosen in a vote by current Hall of Fame members and the International Equine Veterinarians Hall of Fame.
The Hall of Fame is jointly sponsored by the American Farriers Journal and the Kentucky Derby Museum.
In an article in the December 2003 issue of the American Farriers Journal written by Ron Perszewski, Associate Editor, Lee was described as follows:
Lee Liles started young. He was already a calf roper at age 16, when he moved from Mississippi to Tennessee and began shoeing. He apprenticed with several expert farriers before his country called him to serve in Vietnam. Returning home after his tour, he brushed up on his shoeing talents with other outstanding farriers.
Before long, Liles was recognized as a top-flight specialist for Tennessee Walking Horses. But his overall farrier skills led him to work on many other breeds, too, and he eventually became the official farrier at a number of national breed shows.
Along the way, therapeutic shoeing also became a specialty, and he shod hundreds, possibly thousands, of lame horses over the years. Liles was pressed to share his knowledge and talents, speaking at clinics across the United States. Getting even more involved with the industry, he became an active member of the American Farrier's Association after attending his first convention in 1979. He recruited other farriers who have since served in leadership positions.
A shoer to the core, Liles further demonstrated his passion for farriery by establishing the National Museum of Horseshoeing Tools and Hall of Honor, which he operates on the family's Carousel Farms in Sulphur, Oklahoma.