We recently caught up with Abby Bunyard A. W. C. F., our Farrier Ambassador to see how life was treating her. We’d last seen Abby at Farrier Focus in October 2021 so there were lots to catch up on.
Abby has been treasurer of the BFBA, British Farrier and Blacksmith Association, for the last 5 years and was their first female treasurer, however we were delighted to hear that Abby has now taken on the role of Vice Chairman for the BFBA, another first for the ladies. She is also the UK representative for the European Farriers federation Association! Not just that, but Abby is currently studying for her Fellowship of the Worshipful Company of Farriers. This is a huge commitment and long journey ,having worked on her dissertation over the last couple of years.
You may not have heard of The Fellowship of the Worshipful Company of Farriers (FWCF), but it is the highest level of qualification awarded to Farriers in the UK. This indicates that the farrier has attained an extremely high level of achievement and the relatively small number of Fellows is testament to this.
By gaining the Associateship (AWCF) the farriers have proved that they are master craftsmen; taking this next step, Fellowship candidates are required to demonstrate the widest possible knowledge of farriery matters, including the ability to lecture and instruct on that knowledge.
Anyone working towards their Fellowship will be expected to demonstrate a very high level of forging ability, especially in corrective and remedial shoes. The candidate will also be expected to have an advanced knowledge of equine physiology and function of equine limbs.
Entrants prepare an original written thesis, and then present a lecture on a topic of the examiners choosing with only 60 minutes preparation time. For The practical side you are given an equine with an injury or ailments and required to forge the corrective shoes in response, to maintain the soundness or comfort of that equine .Candidates are permitted to use the post nominal ‘FWCF’ once they have successfully completed the whole examination.
This qualification will be a significant achievement and is a huge commitment on top of Abby’s everyday life. We wish her all the best in this journey.
Whilst still training her team of two apprentices, Tom and Maude, Abby fits more into her day than many of us. Not only is she working towards her Fellowship, fulfilling the role of Vice Chair for the BFBA, and the UK representative for EFFA, she is running the Shoeing Competition being held as part of the Wessex Heavy Horse & Country Fair which will be held on Sunday 25th September near Shaftesbury, and she also manages to ride and train her dressage horse, coming 2nd in their latest medium test!
We have some videos coming out shortly with Abby, so watch out for them. In the first one Abby talks about how biosecurity is still important to her and her team to keep everyone as safe as possible.