Ipswich’s Trinity Park: Farriers descend to show off shoeing skills

SOME of the UK’s most skilled farriers descended on Trinity Park in Ipswich at the weekend for the annual Eastern Counties Spring Championship.

The event, which is now in its second year and is organised by the Suffolk Agricultural Association, attracted 40 farriers who competed for medals from the Worshipful Company of Farriers. The prize purse totalled more than �1800.

The headline class of the championship was the open hunter shoeing class which was scooped by Jay Tovey from Bedfordshire, narrowly beating Steve Fisher from East Sussex into second place.

Third year apprentice Dan Rabin from Powys was a double winner, taking the Apprentice Shoemaking (3rd & 4th Years) and Apprentice Therapeutic classes with Dan Hawkins from Devon taking the third apprentice crown in the class for 1st & 2nd Years.

Jay Tovey, the winner of the Open Hunter Shoeing Class who took away a prize jackpot of �500, said: “It was a great day at the Eastern Counties Championship, a 50 minute hunter class with a tool and fullered specimen is always tough, but even more so at the start of the competition season as there’s no room for any error, you either have a good run or not. It was great to see all the top competitors from all over the country, I’m sure they shall continue to support all the good work being done for farriers at Trinity Park.”

A full day of competition on Saturday was preceeded by a special training day, where those signed up were treated to a masterclass in tool making and maintenance skills by Dorset-based and award winning Farrier Andrew Reader-Smith, one of the country’s leading experts. David Nunn from Suffolk Agricultural Association said: “We are very pleased the whole weekend was such an outstanding success, and it was a great opportunity to try out our new building. This event comes at the end of two years of planning and hard work. The number of competitors in farriery have grown dramatically over the last year and I think this is just the beginning of many more successful training and competition days for the future.’

“We couldn’t have done it without the kind support of or sponsors; AJN Steelstock Ltd, Handmade Shoes (UK) Ltd and Mustad, our judge Andrew Reader-Smith AWCF, the stewards who give up their time and Otley College for providing the horses for the Open Hunter Shoeing.”

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This was the first of several farriery competitions, training days and events planned for this year, including a Pre-Diploma Mock Exam Day on 14 April and the Suffolk Show Farriery Competitions on June 7 and 8.

Results: Open Hunter Shoeing: 1st – Jay Tovey DipWCF, 2nd – Steve Fisher DipWCF, 3rd – Ben Casserly DipWCF, 4th – Andrew Casserly AWCF;

Best Foot – Jay Tovey DipWCF; Best Dressed Foot – Ben Casserly DipWCF; Best Specimen Shoe – Steve Fisher DipWCF; Therapeutic: 1st – William O’Shaughnessy AWCF, 2nd – Harry Garner DipWCF, 3rd – Jay Tovey DipWCF, 4th – Ben Casserly DipWCF; Apprentice Shoemaking (1st & 2nd Years): 1st – Dan Hawkins, 2nd – Joe Welling, 3rd – Mike Butterworth, 4th – Ryan Ellis; Apprentice Shoemaking (3rd & 4th Years): 1st – Dan Rabin, 2nd – Charlie Cerullo, 3rd – Sammy O’Gara, 4th – Tom Newham; Apprentice Therapeutic: 1st – Dan Rabin, 2nd – Sammy O’Gara, 3rd – James Gant, 4th – Nathan Salter; Eagle Eye: 1st – Steve Fisher DipWCF