Retired Blacksmith Combs Dead

Retired blacksmith Herman Wesley Combs worked for some of nation's leading trainers.

Herman Wesley Combs, a blacksmith for a number of successful horsemen in the 1950s to the 1990s, died in Miami Feb. 10. He was 76. Combs was elected to the International Horseshoeing Hall of Fame in 1996.

During his 42-year career, Combs shod horses for such conditioners as Calumet Farm’s Ben and Jimmy Jones, Moody Jolley, Bill Molter, Woody Stephens, Charlie Whittingham, Frank Whiteley Jr., Herman K. Goodpaster, Arnold Winick, and Harold Rose. Combs passed on the tradition of corrective horseshoeing to many deserving apprentices.

Combs, a decorated Korean War veteran, is survived by his wife of 55 years, Hazel, and three daughters.  An online guest book is available at