Page 31 - Chiron Spring/Summer 2023
P. 31

 The Worshipful Company of Farriers
by Master Farrier Martin Russell, DL FCT
The City of London has many trade guilds – 110 in fact. Some of them are ancient, others very new.
Most of them are known as Livery Companies because our members wear a sort of uniform – a livery in fact.
Three of those companies have close associations with the horse world. The Saddlers, the Loriners (people who make bits and stirrups) and the Farriers (who are quite distinct from the Blacksmiths).
Any Registered Farrier can make fire irons or mend a gate hinge, they can also shoe horses and other quads, but by law, no Blacksmith can shoe a horse.
The Farriers Company was founded in 1356, the year of the battle of Poitiers, to ensure the King had a supply of well-shod horses for trade and for war. We think that 667 years puts us in the ‘ancient’ category, although some Companies are older still.
Alone among the 110 Liveries, we have legal responsibility for our craft. We take apprentices, educate them in conjunction with three colleges where farriery is taught, and we examine them, and present them
with our awards. Our exams fall
into three categories: the Diploma (DipWCF) may be achieved after
four years of study and on the job supervised training, following which the working farrier can study for the Associateship (AWCF), and ultimately Fellowship of the Worshipful Company of Farriers (FWCF). In addition, certain experts can gain authorisation to use the title ‘Master Farrier’. We provide CPD training, and examine candidates in America, Europe, Scandinavia, and South Africa. The Company also oversees the Army farriery examinations.
So, we have very close links with Veterinary Officers and the forges
at Melton Mowbray, as well as at Knightsbridge and at The King’s Troop where we award annual prizes.
Many of our members (‘Liverymen’ irrespective of sex) are serving or former RAVC personnel, and we always welcome new additions to our ranks – our membership has
two categories: The Freedom (low cost with access to some of our events), and the Livery (rather more costly, but with full access). Either level enables the candidate to gain the Freedom of the City of London, which we think is quite special.
Beyond a
good number of
working farriers,
our members
include many horse owners, trainers, breeders, insurers, vets and also those who do not ride, but simply care for the well-being of the horse; after all, ‘no foot, no horse’.
It may be of interest that the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons admits to owing its existence to the farriery profession - the horse doctor developed his experience from the foot upwards. We enjoy very close links with Brookman’s Park and with Camden Town to this day.
We are a rewarding body
to belong to: a wide range of committees oversee our professional responsibilities and our social activities, and we enjoy a special relationship working overseas to improve farriery skills in some of the poorest parts of the world through a partnership with Brooke.
If you would like to know more, our website is, or write to Mrs VA Gaisford-St. Lawrence, Clerk, at
Photo, painting, drawing – open to all ages! 1st, 2nd & 3rd winners get their cards printed
All entries to be submitted
by 31st AUGUST 2023 to or Regimental Secretary, Rm 213, Robertson House, Slim Road, Camberley Surrey, GU15 4PQ
Chiron Calling / 29

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