Her Majesty The Queen Presents New WCF Trophy
Saturday 11th May 2013
The Farriers Company has donated a new Best Shod Team trophy in the Services Team Jumping Competition at the Royal Windsor Horse Show.
The magnificent trophy features a shoe, contributed by Mr Nigel Phillips, worn by the charger ridden for many years by the late Earl Mountbatten of Burma. The official name of the horse was “Octave” but she was better known by her nickname of “Dolly”.
The Master being away fulfilling a long standing commitment in Italy, the honour of accompanying HM The Queen at the presentation fell to Immediate Past Master Stephen Scott. The winning team, as judged by Past Master Carl Bettison, was from the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment and was represented by Lance Corporal of Horse Michael Partridge. Her Majesty took great interest in the trophy, recalling immediately that Lord Mountbatten’s horse was called “Dolly”.
After the presentation, The Queen thanked the Immediate Past Master, saying that the gift of the trophy by the Company was “very generous”.
This is a perpetual trophy and an opportunity will be found for it to be made available for viewing by members of the Livery. A fuller report will appear in the next issue of “The Clench”.
The London Harness Horse Parade
1st April 2013
The London Harness Horse Parade as it is known today takes place annually on Easter Monday at The South of England Centre, Sussex.
Steeped in tradition, the parade offers onlookers a glimpse into a world gone by and, for those participating, a chance to show off their best turnouts as well as meet up with friends and fellow enthusiasts.
The Parade in its present form is actually an amalgam of two traditional parades - the London Cart Horse Parade, which was founded in 1885, and the London Van Horse Parade, which was founded in 1904.
The Master was invited to attend this spectacular event, and had an excellent day.
National Shire Horse Spring Show
15th to 17th March 2013
The National Shire Horse Spring Show took place at the East of England Showground on a wet and windy March weekend.
In addition to the Shire Show, at which the Best Shod Horse award was judged and awarded by Immediate Past Master Stephen Scott on the Sunday, there was a highly successful Farriery Competitions organised by Liveryman Stephen Hill.
Worshipful Company of Farriers medals were presented to the winners by Ginny Ifould, the Awards Secretary. Thankfully, the Shire Show took place inside so all participants stayed dry and were able to view the magnificent Shires in comfort.
The Show will be held at Grantham next March, and everyone is urged to attend if they possibly can – it is a wonderful event.
Clay Shooting Day
21st March 2013
The event suggested and set up by Mac Head at The Oxfordshire Shooting School was billed as being appropriate for all abilities. Novice and ‘rusty guns’ (I think this referred to the participants rather than the weaponry!) were all welcome.
Following a good mug of coffee and bacon rolls, we were all give a safety briefing, and those without their own guns were suitably equipped prior to following our designated instructor to the first stand from where we started blasting away at the clays (not all at the same time of course!) that seemed to travel at about 100 mph!
As time went on the standard of the novices and out of practice guns improved significantly thanks to the excellent tuition but those lucky enough to be in the same group as Mac were treated to an exhibition of just how it should be done.
Talk about the man with the golden gun……. actually a lovely 12 bore double barrelled hammer gun. Word has it that he deliberately missed one clay so he would not show up the rest of us too much!
The shooting was followed by a light lunch and prize giving in the well equipped cabin with a log stove burning brightly.
Mac was the winner and Martin & Sue Deacon joint runners up.
Thanks were expressed to John Nunneley for organising the event and the 11 participants voiced the hope that a similar event could take place next year.
Cavalry Black Pairs Shoeing Competition
2nd March 2013
The Master attended the Cavalry Black Pairs Shoeing Competition at Knightsbridge barracks, and awarded the Company medals.
It was an extremely well organised event, and it was wonderful to see Christopher Gates, who was awarded his diploma at the Presentation Ceremony two days before, competing with his ATF, Ed O’Shaughnessy, and winning the best dressed foot award.
Diploma Presentation Ceremony
28th February 2013
The Master of the Worshipful Company of Farriers, Major General Sir Evelyn Webb-Carter, and Commodore Richard Bridges, Royal Navy, the Chairman of the Farriers Registration Council, presided at a Presentation Ceremony at The Honourable Artillery Company, London on Thursday 28th February 2013.
The Master addressed the assembly and presented the Company’s Associateship to twelve recipients, including two Army Farriers who had become Military Training Farriers, and two from the United States of America.
The Varnam Tropy for the best practical in the previous year was awarded to Mr Alwyn McKeown AWCF.
The Master then presented the Diploma to forty-six candidates, seven of whom achieved Distinctions and received cheques for £50 each.
The David Llewellyn Prize for the best written paper went to Mr Michael Hylands DipWCF, and the Mike Seckington Prize for the best practical shoeing went to Mr Arnie Pamment DipWCF.
Mr Chris Nixon, the acting chairman of the National Farriery Training Agency Management Board, awarded the prize for the best portfolios, together with a shield to Warwick College for the best overall portfolio.
The examinations for the Company’s Diploma took place in November at Herefordshire College of Technology, Warwickshire College, and Myerscough College.
The Chairman of the Farriers Registration Council also addressed the assembly.
For the first time at the Diploma Presenation Ceremonies, the newly qualified farriers made a declaration to work professionally to improve the welfare of the horse.
Representatives from the Court of the Worshipful Company of Farriers, the Farriers Registration Council, the National Farriers Training Agency, the National Association of Farriers, Blacksmiths and Agricultural Engineers, the colleges, and the Company’s Examinations Board were also present.
A Church Service, led by the Reverend Canon Dr Flora Winfield, The Company Chaplain, was held at Wesley’s Chapel immediately prior to the Presentation Ceremony. The recipients were supported by their Approved Training Farriers, together with their families and friends.
Altogether, some 250 persons attended the event.
Apart from the photograph of the Declaration, which is courtesy of Gill Harris Editor of the Forge Magazine, all the photographs are all courtesy of Gerald Sharp Photography. The full set can be viewed at http://www.sharpphoto.co.uk/. Click on 'Galleries' then 'Livery Company', and then 'Farriers Company Presentations' for the correct date. For those looking for ideas for Chrismas or Birthday presents or cards for special occasions, there are excellent photographs of all WCF events on the Sharpphoto web site.
1963 vintage home movie: farrier on a motorbike
15th January 2013
Sent to us by Anthea Rocker from Dorset: "This short clip shows how the farrier used to arrive on his motorbike with side car containing the fire for use when shoeing the ponies. The pony being shod was my pony, Laddie, and I was twelve at the time. It was at the time when we had snow from 26 December 1962 which didn't melt till March 1963 - very unusual for in the UK".
Lord Mayor's Show
10th November 2012
To arrive at 8.30am for breakfast at the Barber Surgeons' Hall on a wet morning was a tall order for the 40 Liverymen walking with the Farriers' Float! But the lure of a bacon butty was all it needed! We were very fortunate to start off the day at such a great venue, and the Barber Surgeons' staff made us so welcome and looked after us so well. By the time we had got clothed in our tabards the rain had eased off and we set off to find the float and the Suffolk Punch horses.
The team from the Suffolk Punch Trust had made an extremely early start to the day, coming from Hollesley Bay near Woodbridge, they had arrived safely in the City. Bruce, Tracey and their team were busy preparing the horses for their walk through the streets of London. And they did us proud! You could not have seen more beautifully turned-out horses. They had been groomed immaculately with their full manes and tales braided with raffia, their tails were braided to the end and then folded up, their harnesses were polished brightly and they looked magnificent.
They stood quietly while the Float was attached and in a unicorn shape (one in front and two behind) they waited patiently until the signal was given to get into position for the start. The Float itself was looking really smart, and we thank the staff at the Suffolk Punch Trust who had worked so hard to get it looking so good.
The Clerk, Charlotte Clifford, Past Master Stephen Scott, Upper Warden Simon Fleet, Middle Warden Wayne Upton and Renter Warden Guy Hurst climbed onto the float and took their places on the seats. The Master, Major General Sir Evelyn Webb-Carter looking most elegantly dressed, arrived riding a lovely grey Household Cavalry horse called 'Vixen' who led our Float. The walkers, including 2 FANYS and one representative from RAF 18B Squadron, set off either side of the float waving their flags.
The Lord Mayor travelled from Guildhall to Mansion House in the stunning gold coach, which was built in 1757, where he waved off the procession from the balcony. Forming the Guard of Honour and leading the procession was The Honourable Artillery Company, formed 475 years ago in 1537.
We were proud to see that several of our own Liverymen, who are members of the HAC, were taking part. The 3 mile long procession involved more than 6,500 people, 200 horses and 156 floats. Livery companies, bands, universities, military units, charities, professional organisations, schools, and many other representatives from other countries were amongst the parade. Crowds of people lined the street, cheering as we went by. As we passed the stands at St. Paul's Cathedral, we were waved and cheered on by our own Liverymen.
The route took us down Ludgate Hill, Fleet Street, and the procession ended at the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand where the Lord Mayor leaves the coach and swears an oath of allegiance before the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales and Master of the Rolls. We were directed down to the Embankment where we could have a well deserved rest!
The slope going down Middle Temple Lane was a challenge for our strong Suffolk Punch horses who seemed to know exactly how to slow down a very heavy weight behind them! As we munched our way through the packed lunches, the Liverymen were pleased to see the boxes of wine on the float, which Liveryman Dorothy Elliott had provided and even warmed up the red wine with a small hot water bottle!! At about 1.15 pm we set off from Victoria Embankment, up Queen Victoria Street, past the Mansion House arriving back at Gresham Street, where having deposited the tabards, most of the walkers and their families and friends headed for the 'Red Herring' pub in Gresham Street, where we were given a well-deserved and delicious late lunch! Some of the Liverymen who sat in the stands, had already eaten at the 'City Pipe' and enjoyed a most convivial lunch.
This was a day of friendship and fun and enjoyed by all who took part.
Liveryman Virginia Haryott
Your Horse Live
10th/11th November 2012
The Farriery Registration Council invited the Worshipful Company to join them at their stand at Your Horse Live, which is a major Equine event held at Stoneleigh every year. Robin May and Wayne Upton answered questions from horse owners who wanted to discuss their horses' shoeing issues.
Cheapside Street Fayre
23rd June 2012
On 23rd June 2012 Cheapside returned to its origins as Britain’s oldest High Street by hosting a medieval Street Fayre as part of the Celebrate the City event held by the City of London Corporation and the Diocese of London. Livery companies were invited to demonstrate their skills and professions, helping to explain the role they played in developing the City as a centre of commerce.
The Farriers welcomed this opportunity to demonstrate their ancient trade. Robin May kindly provided 2 horses, one to be shod and one as companion. They both behaved beautifully, calmly tugging on their haynets as if they were in their stables at home. Wayne Upton, Robin and Stephen Hill also brought vans, shoeing equipment and displays of horseshoes.
Wayne also demonstrated his exceptional cake making skills, and provided a delicious selection for us all to enjoy. Les Armstrong provided specially prepared lead bars and helped the children who attended the event to make their own horse shoes.
The public responded with great interest and enthusiasm, and had lots of questions for the Farriers and apprentices. The crowds that assembled around our display were left in no doubt that Farriery continues to be a flourishing trade in the 21st Century.
Note of a Meeting with DEFRA on 25/09/2012 at the Coventry Hill Hotel, Coventry
25th September 2012
Meeting called by DEFRA with the Equine Passport Issuing Offices ('PIOs') to confirm the position relating to the National Equine Database ('NED') following the recent tender process.
Attended by three representatives from DEFRA and approximately 30/35 representatives of PIOs.
Following the recent tendering process and the associated cost benefit analysis, DEFRA had decided that they could not financially support NED and that with effect from 1 October 2012, NED would cease to exist. Due to public spending cuts, (DEFRA have had to reduce their expenditure by 33%), the cost of maintaining NED was not sustainable.
It was the understanding of some PIO representatives present that under EU legislation it was compulsory for each Member State to maintain an equine database, but DEFRA have taken legal opinion and are happy that this is not the case. It had been previously stated that one of the main purposes of NED was to have the central database to identify the whereabouts of horses if there was a major disease outbreak, but at the meeting DEFRA stated that this would only have been part a relatively small part of the method of tackling such a disease and could not be reliable as NED only recorded owners of horses and not the keepers. There is no legislation anticipated which would change this.
Although it is the legal requirement for every equine in this country to have a passport, there are still a vast number of animals which do not. Although DEFRA is keen that horse owners comply with the law, they do not have the responsibility of enforcing such regulations, which falls to the local authority trading standards officers. The approach of these in each local authority is very varied - again due to public funding cuts, several authorities would rather spend the money for example on education than on checking that horses have passports! Some offices take this seriously, but most do not.
Going forward, PIOs should still maintain their existing database as they have done in the past. Access to this database will be required by various regulating bodies (the police, enforcement officers etc) but there must of necessity be various safeguards in place due to data protection. DEFRA has therefore come up with a data release protocol along the following lines:
E.g. Police request personal data "Who owns horse X?" -> DEFRA -> PIO who will search database -> DEFRA -> Police
It is envisaged that a reply will be given within 10 working days and the request from DEFRA to the PIO will be in a form which complies with the Data Protection Act.
The regulating bodies can go direct to the PIOs to request information, but PIOs should refer all such applications direct to DEFRA. (It has been agreed that PIOs based in Scotland will comply with the above - i.e. apply to DEFRA rather than to the Scottish Government).
It was noted that in the period December 2010 to November 2011, DEFRA only received 50 such requests.
In order to improve the overall quality of passports being issued, DEFRA is setting up a working party to have minimum quality standards for passports to cover such things as bindings, watermarks, holograms etc. The aim to be that the working party will report by 1 January 2013. (GNH)
Master Presents Certificates and Medals to 'Olympic' Farriers
29th July 2012
The Worshipful Company of Farriers held a reception on Sunday 29th July to mark the contribution of the Olympic Team Farriers to the London 2012 Games. The reception took place at The King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, Woolwich Station, London SE18 4BB, at 7.00 pm.
The evening began with a champagne reception, followed by a two course buffet dinner. The Master of the Worshipful Company of Farriers, Mr Stephen Scott, made presentations of commemorative certificates and Company silver medals to the team farriers.
Photograph courtesy of Gill Harris, Editor Forge Magazine
Higher Exams (AWCF) at DAC Melton Mowbray
16th - 17th April and 8th - 10th October 2012
It is encouraging that an increasing number of farriers are showing an interest in the higher qualifications. In addition to the 2 sessions at the DAC this year, there was a third set of exams which were held at the Heartlands Horseshoeing School at Lamar Missouri, where Chris Gregory FWCF runs a farriery school. Here are some photographs from the April 2012 examination session.
A candidate at work during the Modern Farriery test
in the classroom
in the Forge
7th May 2010
The WCF has now registered the Mark 'Master Farrier' and that title may therefore only be used by qualified persons as detailed in the regulations for that Registered Mark. For full details and an application form, please see the Master Farrier item under 'Quick Links'.
Second Building a Successful Business event held for recently qualified farriers
18th April 2008
A one-day forum – Building a Successful Business – aimed at newly qualified farriers was held at Total Foot Protection Ltd near Horsam, West Sussex on April 18th. This was the second of these events and proved a great success, with many wideranging topics covered by some excellent speakers. It is not often that apprentices would have the opportunity to hear from a variety of farriers and representatives from essential partner organisations and get the chance to chat over their own individual needs.
The farriers that spoke – Wayne Upton, AFCL, Simon Curtis FWCF HonAssocRCVS and Carl Bettison AWCF(Hons) – have wide-ranging business experience. They all still shoe but have expanded their interests in different ways and hearing of their experiences would be, quite literally, profitable. They spoke on how to go about building a client base (without upsetting local farriers); shoeing for profit; keeping clients happy; staying ahead of the competition; and taking on an apprentice.
Reg Howe, chairman of the WCF Craft Committee, is a horse owner. He gave the farriers his view of what makes a good farrier from the owner’s perspective. Others explained what made a good owner! The key, it seems, is communication – active communication.
The photographs show Alf Hall (left) demonstrating his shoeing rig which was imported from USA, and Wilf Ford DipWCF (below)outlining the benefits of being a member of NAFBAE.
The importance of record keeping in today’s farrier practice was covered by John Fligg. He described a computer software package aimed at farriers and the ways in which it could help record information in a versatile manner, allowing farriers to record everything from shoeing intervals, contact details, and notes to photographs and treatment protocols.
Veterinary surgeon, Philip Ryder-Davies, explained how his practice works closely with Roger Clark, FCWF (Hons), to mutual benefit. He also reiterated the importance of communication and respect for each other’s professions.
Marie Beale, of the specialist insurance company Eastlake and Beachell, discussed managing business risks. She described the essential cover that farriers must have, such as public liability cover, as well as optional cover for such items as legal costs. They also talked about the insurance benefit included in NAFBAE members’ subscription – personal accident cover - and reminded the deleagates that they offered a 12.5 per cent discount. Marie Beale suggested that although recently qualified, all farriers should look to the future as regards setting pension provision in place.
At the end of the session the Panel of experts was joined by Past Master Ray Greatorex, who gave useful advice on accountancy in the farriery business.
Similar events will be held in the future at regional locations, twice per year shortly after the Diploma Presentation Ceremonies. Diploma candidates will automatically be sent details, but if you are recently qualified - or have been in business for a while and would like to check on the latest thinking - and wish to attend, you are more than welcome.
Details of future events will be published under the CPD section of this website.