Help solve this John Deere horseshoe mystery

A longtime Deere and Company employee is out to solve the mystery of the horseshoes.

Pat Simon received the items from a friend about a year ago. Now, the Waterloo man wants some information about them.

Maybe you can help him out.

Pat will retire soon as a second generation Deere machinist. That’s why he came to Davenport for the Gathering of the Green.

“I’m trying to figure out where they came from,” he said.

Pat wants to solve the mystery of his John Deere horseshoes. They show the logo used from 1968-2000. He thinks they were made near Moline, and he hopes this will help his search for clues.

“The searching that I’ve done up to this point, it’s been pretty hard to get answers,” he said.

“Where did you find this?” asked show director Tony Knobbe.

He’s fascinated with the find.

“I wonder if this is as they were originally painted?” Knobbe asked.

“That I do not know,” Pat responded.

With more than 2,000 participants, there’s plenty of ground to cover at Davenport’s RiverCenter.

“Just not knowing kind of drives me nuts,” said Pat.

There’s no way to really know how much they’re worth without an auction. And Pat isn’t planning to sell them.

Next stop, dealer David Haeck.

“A horseshoe?” Haeck asked.

“Yeah, I’m a horseshoe pitcher,” Pat said.

After more than 40 years of collecting, it’s a first for the Michigan vendor.

“I was curious because I’ve never seen one before,” Haeck said.

Wherever Pat walks, the horseshoes become a topic of conversation.

“That’s really a great find for here at this John Deere show,” said collector Larry Soule.

But as Pat explores the displays, answers are hard to come by. That is, until he finds Davenport dealer Kevin Collins.

“This is the first yellow one I’ve ever seen,” Collins said.

Kevin once sold two green horseshoes like these. He thinks they came from the East Moline foundry. Another item on his table matches the logo and timeframe.

“See, that’s the same,” Pat said. “Exactly the same logo.”

This is the most solid lead yet. Seems back then, it was common for employees to make so-called rogue items.

Pat Simon left the show with some answers and more questions. He hopes WQAD viewers with Deere connections can help him out.

“There’s always the hope that somebody will see this and maybe have some personal knowledge of it,” he concluded.

To help Pat, just write a comment on this story, or e-mail us at news@wqad.com

We’ll keep him posted with the results.

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