Farriers in Africa are making inroads to bolstering the equine hoof-care industry.

In a first on the continent, 11 students graduated with a government-accredited certification in farriery Feb. 4 at the Vocational Training Centre of Thies, Senegal, marking a significant milestone for the previously unrecognized trade and a huge boost to the hoof care of millions of equines.

The certification’s creation was announced in late 2019 after more than 2 years of collaborative work between Brooke West Africa (BWA) and the Ministry of Employment, Vocational Training, Apprenticeship and Integration, and more specifically the Directorate of Apprenticeship.

BWA has long championed the importance of farriery within communities and the potential to create new, skilled jobs.

“This is a truly historic moment for Senegal and for the trade of farriery in Africa,” says Emmanuel Sarr, regional representative of BWA. “I am very proud of this first cohort of graduating students and know that the hoof care of Senegal’s animals is in great hands. Thanks to Brooke West Africa, farriery is now a viable and respected career choice and equines can now have ‘shiny shoes.’ Congratulations to Senegal’s 11 newest certified farriers.”

BWA’s success in elevating farriery in Senegal has been at the forefront of Brooke’s Global Farriery Project, which aims to raise the profile of the craft in low and middle-income countries. Unfortunately, farriery is often undervalued, causing horses to suffer problems such as lameness, arthritis and increased vulnerability to infections and disease.

The project has received support from the United Kingdom’s Worshipful Company of Farriers.

“The Worshipful Company of Farriers is very pleased to support Brooke’s Global Farriery Initiative and in particular the West Africa team’s cooperation with the government in Senegal resulting in the inclusion of farriery within the vocational curriculum,” says David Buckton, past master of the Worshipful Company of Farriers. “The WCF congratulates the first 11 successful students on being awarded the Certificate of Specialty in Farriery and wishes them well in their future careers as farriers. The Company is sure these 11 men and women will be the first of many to provide good foot care to the working horses, mules and donkeys in their communities.”

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