By American Farriers Journal
Queen Elizabeth’s farrier is in hot water after being accused of bullying his teenage apprentice.
Joseph Hopkins, now 22, testified to the Farrier’s Registration Council disciplinary panel that Stuart Craig called him a series of explicit names throughout his training as a 17-year-old, according to the Daily Mail in the United Kingdom.
Hopkins, who is dyslexic, says he was made to buy lunch for Craig and other apprentices if he failed to learn a new word a day, the disciplinary committee was told.
In a statement written by Hopkins, but read out load by the Farriers Council’s barrister David Bradly because of his learning difficulty, he says: “He called me names. This would happen every day. … Often when he used these names he would get very close to me and his face was a few centimeters away from my face. My apprenticeship started when I was 17 and he was taller than me. This effectively made me feel that life wasn’t worth living and that I didn’t want to be a farrier anymore.”
In his statement, Hopkins added that while Craig was observing him making a horseshoe, he said: “You’re hitting it like a princess. That’s your new name and from then on he called me princess.”
Hopkins claims clients then began calling him princess after being encouraged by Craig.
Matthew Knight, representing Craig, says: “Mr. Craig will say that nothing said to Mr. Hopkins during the course of his apprenticeship about Mr. Hopkins or about someone else was said in a hostile way.”
Knight added that any nicknames Craig called Hopkins were just “banter.”
The disciplinary hearing will continue.