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It is not uncommon to hear farriers speak about giving back to the industry by educating the next generation of hoof-care professionals. Chris Gregory is an avid supporter of that notion. As owner of the Heartland Horseshoeing School and clinician, he has done his fair share of work to advance farrier education. The veteran farrier from Lamar, Mo., recently dedicated himself more so by becoming an examiner in the Worshipful Company of Farriers (WCF). He became the first non-United Kingdom resident to earn this distinction after receiving the WCF council’s approval in March 2010.
Organized in 1356 as the governing body of farriery in London, the WCF now represents for many the highest standards in horseshoeing.
Gregory wanted to serve as an examiner, but didn’t feel it was proper to do so with the American Farrier’s Association based on advice from one of his mentors. In 1991, he asked fellow shoeing school operator Danny Ward why he wasn’t an AFA examiner. The Martinsville, Vir., shoer told him that it would not be ethical as an educator in the United States to also be an AFA examiner because of the likelihood of having to judge a former student’s exam. Gregory estimates around 1,700 students have taken standard and advanced courses at his shoeing school, and another 2,000 attended his clinics.
“When you examine graduates of your school, it is a lose-lose situation,” explains Gregory. “If they pass, the fact that they passed under you casts dispersions on their achievement. If they…