Welcome to Rusty Brown Jewelry! We specialize in equestrian themed jewelry that is forged by a farrier and handcrafted for the true equestrian. All of the pieces are handmade in the USA by Veterans.
Over the past 40 plus years, Rusty has given his clients, friends and colleagues pendants that are unique to their horse, by designing the type of shoe their horse is wearing as a piece of jewelry. Being a true horseman his entire life, Rusty could always tell who was a tried and true equestrian by how well they knew their horse. These pieces quickly became treasures and very popular among equine enthusiast. They have so much more meaning that just a piece of tack or a generic shaped shoe. Rusty’s designs set the true equestrian apart from the others. We are happy to chat with you and design the shoe that is unique to your horse!
The Legend of Rusty Brown
Rusty Brown was born and raised on the ranches throughout Arizona. He made his mark as a farrier, US Marine, bull rider, cowboy and rodeo clown before pouring a lifetime of adventure into every bracelet, necklace, buckle and brooch that he forges from precious metals. Rusty’s dad was a third-generation farrier otherwise known as a horseshoer. Rusty learned the family craft on his granddaddy’s cattle ranch alongside his brothers. Over the years he honed his craft and in 2015 he was inducted into the International Farrier Hall of Fame.
As a young man, he rode bulls in rodeos all around the Western states while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. The nation was at peace, so Rusty saw more action in the rodeo arena on weekends than he did while in uniform. By 1956, Rusty was the Arizona State Bull Riding Champion, he won more than 100 other trophies, the majority as a bull rider. He returned to the rodeo in the late 1960’s to work as a rodeo clown.
One day Rusty’s good friend Gunnar Gatski created a display case to present to a mutual friend in Ohio Randy Luikart, it consisted of miniature horseshoes & tools made from brass. He unveiled the case at a clinic the friends were attending, never one to back down from a challenge Rusty had 6 weeks until they all met again at the annual farriers convention so he went to work to create an even smaller display with the silver shoes he had started to fabricate and making wooden handles for the tools just like shoers use every day. Not only was Gunnar duly impressed many others started asking Rusty to create unique pieces for them and this friendly contest developed into a business that now spans the globe.
Rusty has routinely sold his creations at select retailers around the world and at the International Hoofcare Summit and American Farriers Convention. The newly designed Rusty Brown Jewelry website sells his signature rings, buckles, bracelets, earrings, key chains, knives, money clips and fine gifts to a loyal fan base around the world. If you're looking for truly original equestrian jewelry then look no further than Rusty Brown.
Handing Over The Reins
In 2019 Rusty sold the business he loved and cultivated for over 40 years to Erin and Zack Baayen, who had been asking for years to buy the business. Erin had worked on the hoof care side of the Equestrian business for the past 15 years and got to know Rusty Brown the farrier. They became fast friends and she always admired the exquisite craftsmanship and unique designs of his jewelry.
Erin’s love of horses goes back to childhood. She grew up on a large ranch in Southern California and always had 40 to 50 horses. Her mother had an obsession with restoring stagecoaches and wagons. She also loved Shetland ponies, so of course they had to have miniaturized stagecoaches and wagons for them to pull. They were in many parades and hosted hoedowns and western events for hundreds of people for many years. She had a blast training and driving teams for much of her childhood.
Working in the hoof care industry brought Erin the opportunity to meet Wes Champagne who was the farrier for Triple Crown winners American Pharaoh and Justify, for whom she worked for several years. She also worked for Empire Farrier Supply who is owned by her sister and American Farriers Journal. This extensive equine background made Erin the perfect fit to handle the operations, customer service, and promotions for Rusty Brown Jewelry. She speaks to the true equestrian, as she is one.
The business may have changed hands but the jewelry itself is still in the hands of an artisan who has been apprenticing under Rusty himself. Jorge Ortiz served in the U.S. Marines for the past 20 years, deployed to two combat tours, and retired from the Wounded Warrior Battalion in 2020. He has been apprenticing under Rusty and picked up the trade very quickly. Jorge is a true artist and warrior with an undying spirit of perfectionism that suites him perfectly to be the chief jewelry maker for Rusty Brown.
The new ownership will ensure Rusty Brown Jewelry continues to grow with another true equestrian and is available to the mainstream for generations to come.
Rusty Brown Jewelry. Since 1977. Forged by a farrier and handcrafted for the true equestrian.