A true horseman: Farrier still going strong in his 90th year

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Don Hobson is still working at the coalface at the age of 89. He's pictured shoeing a horse last month.
Don Hobson is still working at the coalface at the age of 89. He’s pictured shoeing a horse last month.

Popular US farrier Don Hobson is preparing to celebrate his 90th birthday, with the milestone year also marking the 45th anniversary of the hoof care business he started from scratch.

Horses have been a huge part of the Hobson family for generations. Don’s father Roy, and brother Larry, successfully trained Thoroughbred horses. Chrystal, Don’s mother, and his brother, Jarry, founded and operated Hobson’s Turf Supply at Ohio racetracks. His sister, Marita, was also involved in the horse business through Harold White’s leg paint and the sale of horse coolers.

So it was only natural that Don Hobson would also be deeply involved and share the love of horses that his family had. Working as a farrier, he traveled the continental United States as well as Puerto Rico, solving hoof and leg issues with remedies that he had developed using common sense principles.

Friends, family — and anyone who used his products — urged him to patent his products and start a company. That had always been Don’s goal, so in 1977 he founded Hawthorne Products, with the aim of providing top horse care products for the professional horse person and as well the amateur owner.

Don brought a lot of old favorites into the business as well as the products he had developed in his shop in Dunkirk, Indiana, such as Wind Aid, Sole Pack, and Cool Cast. Many of the award-winning Hawthorne products are considered “must haves” for horse people all over the world.

His goal is to offer every available resource to all horse lovers so they can maintain good health for their horses with effective products, fair prices, and great customer service. When Don is at the office, he’s happy to take calls and answer questions about hoof and leg care as well as general horse care questions. When not in the office he can usually be found at trade shows, racetracks, and anywhere you find horses.

In 2018, Don was elected and became a member of the Farriers Hall of Fame at the International Hoof Care Summit. He unselfishly donates products and his knowledge to farrier schools and to individuals across the country. Don has always been a leader — supporting, promoting and encouraging others in the hobby and sport that he loves.

Don will celebrate his 90th birthday on June 26, and is still doing what he loves and does best — helping people care for their horses. Don Hobson is not just a business owner and trainer, he is a true horseman.

“I’ve been blessed to live a life doing what I enjoy and being a part of the industry I love. The people and customers I’ve been honored to know have enriched my life,” he says.

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