2022 Golden Horseshoe smithing finalists announced

2022 Golden Horseshoe smithing finalists announced
Every year, eighth grade students of West Virginia History celebrate their knowledge in the Knights of the Golden Horseshoe competition.

First Lady Cathy Justice and the have announced the names of the five finalists for its Golden Horseshoe Sword-Smithing Design Contest.


This contest is the 10th installment of the First Lady’s Student Artist Series, a program designed to promote the importance of art in West Virginia schools.

High school students were invited to create a design that will be used to forge the official sword for the ceremonial knighting of top eighth grade West Virginia history students in each county as they become knights and ladies of the Golden Horseshoe.

The annual history celebration recalls the 1716 exploratory expedition of the lands beyond the Blue Ridge organized by Royal Governor Alexander Spotswood.


Justice said the Golden Horseshoe ceremony seemed a fitting way to reach out to young artists, and she was pleasantly surprised by the results.

“For this Artist Series, we wanted students to combine their knowledge of West Virginia with their creativity and ability to design the sword that will be used in the Golden Horseshoe ceremony for years to come,” Justice said.

“I am thrilled with the finalists and impressed with their vision and skill!”

The following five finalists will each partner with a career technical education center to bring their designs to life. One grand prize winner will be announced May 12, 2022. Additional prizes will be awarded.


Ava Bratton
County: Roane County
School: Roane County High School

Melody Calkins
County: Randolph County
School: Randolph Technical Center

Rebecca Chmiel
County: Monongalia County
School: University High School

Cullen Crosston
County: Randolph County
School: Elkins High School


Jillian Eicher & Avery Nine
County: Berkeley County
School: Musselman High School

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