27 March 1998

Farriers draw an eager crowd

"AS SOON as the anvil starts to ring you have got spectators from all walks of life," said Bert Flatters the head steward for the farriery classes. "And they love it if you go to the rail and talk to them."

There was barely a gap on the rail on both days for what was claimed to be the largest heavy horse farriery competition in the world.

The classes for apprentices took place on the Saturday with second-year apprentices making two front shoes, and third and fourth years making two hind shoes and the standard of the work was high. Part of the four years and two months apprenticeship is served in college these days which is improving standards, said Mr Flatters.

The large open class competition ran over two days with registered farriers having one hour to make two shoes, copying the specimens provided by the judge, and fit one. The specimen shoes judge Phil Dunmall supplied were a standard working shoe with straight edges, which was the one to be fitted, and a show-style shoe with bevelled edges that enhance foot size.

Marks out of 10 were awarded for each stage of the job: Dressing the foot; making the shoe to fit; fitting it and making the specimen shoe. The winner was Glenn Brooke of Tadcaster, North Yorks.

But there were mutterings in the ranks at the end of the day after Mr Flatter announced that a health and safety inspector had paid a visit and decreed that safety goggles were to be worn by farriery competitors at next years show. Many considered them a requirement that would put them off competing.

Glenn Brooke

receives his trophy from Diana Pagan, Master of the Worshipful Company of Farriers.

Activity in the farriery classes held spectators interest.