Yes Mike took his final exams at the start of December and we found out from the worshipful company that he had not only passed his exam but had been given an A in his theory! This is an amazing achievement as it is degree level anatomy, and where as in degree it is 40% to pass, with Farriery and the pass rate to achieve a C is 65%. So the grade to achieve an A is 85% plus!!
The Diploma is an exam set by the Worshipful Company of Farriers and has 3 parts to it. Theory exam which has 5 essays to be written in 2 1/2 hrs. and then followed up by a 45 minute oral question and answer session with 3 examiners (2 farriers and 1 Vet) there they will inspect your specimen shoes that each candidate has to have made from scratch and brought with them to present to the examiners, minimum of 6 shoes showing all different types of shoes and forging variations (Bar shoes, cob shoes, lateral extensions etc.).
The examiners then grill the candidates on what each shoe can do and how they help. They are then given x-rays and a live horse to do their surface and functional anatomy on in front of the vet. The final part of the exam is the practical exam. The horses are drawn from a hat and no one has ever seen them before. The examiners will select 2 shoes (front and hind) which are in a style that they want to see (hunter/riding style or flat draught etc.) and then they have to make the shoes from straight metal and shoe a front and hind shoe in 2 hrs. they are marked at all stages and the horses are trotted up before and afterwards so as to ensure that they are sound and well. Pretty intense stuff!!
I am SO proud of mike and his amazing achievement! He has really worked hard for this exam and thoroughly deserved his qualification! A selection of his specimen shoes were also selected by Warwickshire College as the best made shoes in his diploma group (out of 25 candidates), and were sent to be judged against the other 2 colleges in the UK (results still to follow!).
It doesn’t seem like it was 5 1/2 years ago that mike first started with us but it has absolutely whipped by. He will be finishing with us now on the 28th February, and moving on to set up his own business on the west Sussex/Hampshire border. We certainly will miss him as he well and truly become part of the team!
Harry now is about to start his 3rd year and becomes the “head lad” when mike goes! This means then he will be able to see how it is to have someone underneath you that constantly forgets and breaks things! Then he can see what we are have been talking about for the last 2 years! He has also come on leaps and bounds and has been out putting shoes on and shoeing on his own already! He is showing a lot of promise and I am very pleased with his mature conscientious and level headed approach to work, horses and clients.