Record fine for illegal shoeing

  • The Farriers Registration Council (FRC) has won a court case brought against a man who illegally shod two horses.

    Dominic McMahan, also known as Dominic Coulton, was given nearly £2,500 in fines and court costs after being found guilty of unlawfully shoeing horses, despite the maximum penalty being £1,000.

    McMahan, of Totnes in Devon, was found guilty in his absence of carrying out farrier work on two occasions last year while not being registered.

    The court heard that magistrates had previously found 37-year-old McMahan guilty of carrying out farriery work.

    Court costs reaching £2,160, in addition to £250 in fines, brought the figure to the hefty total.

    Prosecuting for the FRC, solicitor Alasdair James said a horse owner in a nearby town contacted McMahan to fit shoes on her two horses, Zahra and Wizzy.

    Mr James told the court: “She had been given the number by her previous farrier, who was no longer working. She had no idea Mr McMahan was not registered.”

    The court heard that four shoes were fitted on each of the two horses on 28 June. McMahan charged £55 for each horse and was paid by cheque.

    The court was told he then returned to fit another set of shoes on each of the horses on 2 August at the owner’s request and was paid the same fee.

    Mr James said: “The Farriers Act was introduced to ensure that no Tom, Dick or Harry carries out what is highly skilled work.”

    Applying for the costs, Mr James said: “The defendant is not new to this court. Identical matters were brought in 2005.”

    McMahan was ordered to pay the total within 21 days.

    This news report was first published in Horse & Hound (19 July, ’07)

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