Virginia Therapeutic Farriery
Dave Richards & Equicast
Stephen E. O’Grady, DVM
Dave Richards and I have had a long relationship! Dave is not only a professional colleague but a trusted personal friend. I’m sure I owe Dave an apology for the delay in acknowledging the tremendous asset he has been to the equine industry and to my own practice. Casting tape has been used for years in veterinary medicine to treat hoof problems such as injuries, hoof wall defects, P3 fractures, etc., however, Dave changed the ‘landscape’ of casting feet especially in farriery. Dave, a capable horseman in his own right, felt that casting tape could be used to help horses with many of the foot problems encountered by veterinarians and farriers, that casting could be combined with traditional farriery and that it could benefit barefoot trimmers. Furthermore, he felt that the use of casting tape presented another useful inexpensive farriery option for farriers treating problem feet. He experimented with various techniques to cast feet, researched the best casting tape to use, set up a facility to produce it and then opened a business called Equicast® to market the product. At the same time, he continued to refine his techniques, attended farrier clinics to demonstrate its use and created a website with many quality videos showing the proper application of casting tape.
A few years later, Dave became interested in the wooden shoe. He saw the many uses and benefits of the wooden shoe, the ease of application and that it could be combined with casting tape. He felt that if he could produce and market the wooden shoes inexpensively, more veterinarians and farriers would use them and thus benefit the horse. Shortly after he started making the wooden shoe, he added a modified version of the shoe that had an EVA base attached which was more farrier friendly and easier to use. For years, I made all the wooden shoes I used in my practice but eventually I noted that Dave’s shoe was high quality and so close to mine that I could modify it slightly with a belt sander that took approximately 90 seconds such that it was ready to take to the horse (see picture). Dave supplied many of the shoes I used in my practice over the years; he supplied the shoes and cast material that I used in seminars and clinics and when I ran the AAEP vet farrier student short courses, he supplied the material for many of the courses that we used to demonstrate the various techniques. When Dr. Andy Parks and I started presenting the VetPD courses in Europe on evidence-based farriery; Dave again stepped up to the plate and sent material to each country we visited. He did everything at his own expense and never asked for anything in return…we acknowledged his company in our lectures and clinics but it was not required. I once asked Dave, ‘why do you do this?’; he said because you are teaching people the benefits of the wooden shoe, how to apply it properly, its helping horses and I’m going to support you!
Dave’s motto in business was ‘I want to market a quality product inexpensively that will help horses’ and he sure lived up to it! We all appreciate what you have contributed to the equine industry.
Dave had the opportunity to sell his business in the fall of 2019 which will allow him to devote more time to and pursue some of his other interests. We all wish him the utmost success in the future. Dave’s Equicast® products can be purchased from HERE.