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4 — Women In Business

Firm Footing In Oakdale Woman’s Career Path By RICHARD PALOMA rpaloma@oakdaleleader.com

Growing up around horses provided the foundation for a career that would take Kelly Vella into the professional realm as one of the most sought after farriers in the Oakdale area. Initially self-taught out of necessity, Vella has gone on to carry on her career for the last 29 years. A farrier is a specialist in horse hoof care, including the trimming and balancing of horses’ hooves and the placing of shoes correctly on their hooves. A farrier combines some blacksmithing skills such as forging and fabricating the metal shoes, but also veterinary expertise with

the anatomy and medical understanding of horses to care for their feet and prevent leg injuries. Because today’s farriers usually specialize in horseshoeing, focusing their time and effort on the care of the horse’s hoof, farriers and blacksmiths are considered to be in separate, but related, trades. Simply put for us city-folk, blacksmiths forge and manufacture horse shoes, farriers shape, fit, customize and then mount the shoes. “I’ve made a good business for myself,” the 49-year-old Vella said between hammer strikes of a red-hot horseshoe. “As long as you have a good back, the work is

good.” After a couple of years doing it herself in the ‘80s, Vella went on to mentor under Emil Carré of the Pioneer Equine Hospital. “I volunteered to come out and assist him,” Vella said. “The experience I gained was priceless.” After nearly three decades and in a field dominated predominantly by men, Vella now has a business with 100 clients, including one day a week at the Pioneer Equine Hospital and other assignments at local stables. Her average charge is about $150 per horse, which can be done in about an hour, but there

Though she uses factory made shoes, farrier Kelly Vella still has to modify the shoe for a custom fit for each horse.

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Photo By Richard Paloma

Introducing the professional women of…

Kaylan Aufdermaur Project Manager

Vicky Siegfried Controller

C.T. Brayton and Sons, Inc. is a General Engineering and Building Contractor, established in 1946, incorporated in 1969. We specialize in Educational, Medical, Industrial facilities and Parking Structures. C.T. Brayton & Sons, Inc., has a great team and their present staff is recognized and thanked by current President, Robert Brayton.

Bonnie O’Connor Sr. Accountant

Betty Nelson Staff Accountant

Heather Whitmer Junior Accountant

Jan Tourtlotte Receptionist

Pam Galbreath Project Coordinator

Stacy Granberg Safety Manager

Deanna Shirlock Project Manager

Sandy Azevedo Billing-Payroll Specialist

1804 Jackson Avenue, Escalon • (209) 838-7388 • www.ctbrayton.com License No. 257952

Women in business 2016  
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