Masterton-based Catwalk Trust is collaborating with New Zealand's largest metal recycling company, Sims Pacific Metals, whose headquarters are in Otahuhu, in a fundraising campaign labelled Hoofing It; the like of which has not been tried before anywhere else in the world.
They want equestrian sportspeople and racehorse owners and trainers throughout the country to donate their old horseshoes to the Catwalk charity rather than dump them on the scrapheap.
That can be done by taking them to selected locations, including five PGG Wrightson stores, independent feed shops and vet clinics and also to events such as the Horse of the Year Show, the 2012 version of which got under way in Hawke's Bay on Tuesday.
Sims Pacific Metals will provide the collection bins, empty them and transport the contents before processing the used shoes.
Catwalk founder Catriona Williams, a former national showjumping representative who suffered serious spinal injuries in a fall in 2002, is excited at the potential of the scheme.
She says that with 7000 sport horses in New Zealand, most of which wear steel shoes, and thousands more racehorses wearing aluminium shoes, there was tonnes of metal tied up in stable yards around the country.
"If we can harness those shoes and put the funding into research that only increases the chances of getting people out of wheelchairs and back on their feet," she says.
New Zealand's current showjumping star, Katie McVean, is an enthusiastic Hoofing It ambassador.
"A horse might be shod eight to 12 times a year but the shoes don't last that long, and what do you do with them when they've had it? Most people have rusting lumps of horseshoes tucked away .. well, this is a chance to get rid of them and support a fantastic cause," says McVean.
Meanwhile, the Catwalk Trust are part-owners of promising filly, On Yer Feet, a recent two-year-old winner at Hastings.
Australian thoroughbred owner Ian MacDonald, who is confined to a wheelchair, bought On Yer Feet at the Karaka sales and "gifted" half of the filly for life to Catwalk. The other half is shared by MacDonald and his friend, Peter Hart, who, between them, pay all the expenses. Trainer Lisa Latta has reduced her fees by half to show her support for the Catwalk cause.
Catwalk will also benefit financially from the future breeding career of On Yer Feet, who is out of a three-quarter sister to the dam of the group 1VRC Oaks and Australian Guineas winner, Mosheen.
On Yer Feet will tackle group 1 company at her next start; the Manawatu Sires Produce Stakes, at Awapuni on March 31.