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The term master farrier became a trademark this week and can now only be used by associates and fellows of the Worshipful Company of Farriers (WCF).

Master of the WCF Reg Howe said the company applied for the trademark after realising the term was being used by farriers without any restriction.

“There is always the temptation for craftmen to use the term ‘master’ when they do not have any justification to do so,” said Mr Howe.

“This announcement regularises the situation so the horse riding and owning public will know for sure that master farrier means something.”

Farriers wishing to term themselves as master farriers, and use the WCF coat of arms, must apply to the company.

Holders of the associateship (AWCF) and fellowship (FWCF) do not automatically become master farriers.

But the three military master farriers — from the Army School of Farriery, the Household Cavalry and the King’s Troop — will continue to be known as master farriers.

There are 26 registered WCF fellows and 179 associates in the UK. They have under gone further training than registered farriers who are diplomates of the WCF.

For more information, go to www.wcf.org.uk