Second Sarah forges another bit of farriery history
10 August 2012
Highland farrier Sarah Logie has forged her own piece of history by becoming only the third woman in more than 650 years to join the elite of the ancient, male-dominated craft.
The 29 year old, who is based at Kirkhill in Inverness-shire, has hammered out a double for Oatridge College where she trained, by passing strenuous exams to become an Associate of the Worshipful Company of Farriers. She joins Glasgow-born Sarah Mary Brown (29) who achieved the qualification last year. They are the only women in the UK currently entitled to put the initials AWCF after their names. The only other female Associate retired several years ago. There are more than 200 men on the list.
Both women attended Oatridge to study in the early “Noughties” while serving four year apprenticeships with Approved Training Farriers: Sarah Logie with Robin Pape at Beauly near Inverness and Sarah Mary Brown with Derek Gardner at Penrith in Cumbria.
They excelled in both academic and practical work with Sarah Logie completing her Diploma with Honours, a rare feat, and Sarah Mary becoming the first trainee ever to score 100% in her third year exams. She then went on to be named Landbased Learner of the Year for 2005 by Lantra, the sector skills council.
Sarah Logie says she might have achieved her ambition to join the elite “Associates” last year, but health problems got in the way. Despite the delay she is delighted with the outcome: “I was really pleased with my results as I gained a Distinction. The theory part went really well again.”
Associate status means that the two women have demonstrated the knowledge and abilities to work closely with vets in assessing and treating horses with conditions and diseases which affect they way they move. Their traditional forging skills are also essential to enable them to tailor-make remedial horseshoes for individual animals.
Sarah Mary Brown, who is from Giffnock, now runs her own business at Northallerton in North Yorkshire.
Having come this far, both women share a common career ambition: To become the first-ever women to graduate to a Fellowship of the Worshipful Company of Farriers, the final step to being recognised as master craftsmen.
Oatridge College currently offers an entry-level City and Guilds Level 2 forgework qualification, developed by the Farriery Training Agency as a compulsory pre-requisite for beginning an apprenticeship with an Approved Training Farrier. For details visit: www.oatridge.ac.uk