Horse & Hound Awards 2016: NAF Five Star PROFEET Farrier of the Year

  • NAF Five Star PROFEET Farrier of the year
    2016 winner: Paul Woodall

    This award acknowledges the difference the knowledge and effort of a unique farrier has made to an equine or equines’ performance or wellbeing. Watch Paul collecting his award on the night.


    NAF Five Star PROFEET Farrier of the year nominees

    Lewis Knaggs, 25

    Farriery career: four and a half years.

    Why did you decide to become a farrier? I loved metalwork and had always been around horses — and loved them too.

    2016 highlight? Winning the hunter and shire shoeing classes at the Kent County Show and being named Kent’s best farrier and show champion. I was so pleased. You work hard and hope it pays off in the long run.

    A moment that made you smile… Shoeing two miniature driving stallions on one of the hottest days of the year — such hard work!

    Top tip for a budding farrier? Work hard and put the time in; the more you put in, the more you get out. You reap the rewards.

    What the client says… “Lewis has shod my horses for four years, hand-making my heavyweight hunter shoes, and has turned brittle misshapen feet into well-balanced ones, so much so that he was complimented on his shoeing at the Royal International 2016.” Danielle French

    Luke Cain, 27

    Farriery career: five years.

    Why did you decide to become a farrier? I’d always been into horses but never had my own when I was a kid — this was a good way of being involved.

    2016 highlight? There was a Spanish horse that was on the brink of being put down with laminitis but he made a full recovery. That was really pleasing.

    A moment that made you smile… Being dragged around the field by a donkey I was trying to catch. I got the headcollar on but he decided to go and I went with him. I did get his feet done, after he’d been calmed down with a packet of ginger biscuits.

    Top tip for a budding farrier? You have to have a sense of humour. If you do, with most things, you’ll get to the other side.

    What the client says…  “Luke has been amazing with my horses. He has been a fount of knowledge and help with my pony that has equine metabolic syndrome and has worked wonders with my rescue pony.” Lydia Lyttle

    Sammy O’Gara, 26

    Farriery career: three and a half years.

    Why did you decide to become a farrier? I’ve always had horses and my mum’s been breeding them all her life. When I first saw a horse being shod, at the age of five, I said: “That’s what I want to be.”

    2016 highlight? I’ve had a few with sidebone, which I’ve managed to get back into work. People can’t praise you enough when you get their horses sound.

    A moment that made you smile… A friend of mine was mounted by a Shetland stallion whose feet he was doing. He got some stick for it, but he got the feet done!

    Top tip for a budding farrier? It’s not really work for me, it’s like a hobby. They used to take the mickey at school but now the boot’s on the other foot. If you don’t love it, you won’t stick at it.

    What the client says… “He is an absolutely fantastic farrier: professional, thorough — and never late. He is extremely calm; firm but gentle, giving our horses the best experience possible.” Jaimie Brown

    Paul Woodall, 54

    Farriery career: 30 years.

    Why did you decide to become a farrier? I’m interested. It’s all about levers and pulleys in horses’ feet, the angles and conformation and getting them right — it’s a challenge.

    2016 highlight? There was a horse that was going to be put down with suspensory problems and I got it right. That was a real buzz.

    A moment that made you smile… I was asked to trim a cow’s feet when I was an apprentice. The owner said it was quiet, but it pulled back and I got my ear full of the unmentionable.

    Top tip for a budding farrier? Have the courage of your convictions. You’ve done the training and know what things should look like; don’t be persuaded by people who think they know better.

    What the client says… “Paul is highly skilled and knowledgeable, especially as a corrective farrier. He is a kind, patient and lovely man. His best interest is in the horse and it is a genuine interest, not about profits.” Francesca Emmott

    About our sponsor: NAF Five Star PROFEET

    HH AWARDS NAF PRO FEETNAF Five Star PROFEET is dedicated to supporting healthy hooves for horses at all levels and supports of some of the best farriers in the country. As part of the brand’s commitment to stamping out bad feet we have chosen to show our recognition for the hard work that goes into maintaining our horses and ponies feet by sponsoring this award as exceptional nutritional care combined with excellent farriery is by far the winning formula

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