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Hereford School of Farriery Celebrates Triple Success

Herefordshire College of Technology Farriery students Alister Ibbotson and Mitchell Norton, have both been awarded the national prize of Best Portfolio by British Horseracing Education and Standards Trust (BHEST) at this year’s Diploma Awards Ceremony.

Originally from Epsom in Surrey, Alister was due to complete his diploma early in 2011 but due to injury was unable to sit his final practical exam. Having returned to take his practical at the end of last year, he is thrilled to have completed the four year diploma and won Best Portfolio for 2011. He commented, “I’m very happy to have won as I have been working towards getting the Best Portfolio since I started the course. I produced an extra folder of work to accompany my portfolio which included a lot of extra study on common ailments. I had to work really hard to complete it, especially with all the other work we were doing at the same time. I’ll be happy to have a bit of a break now!”

This year’s winner, Mitchell Norton originally from Weston-Super-Mare in Somerset, was inspired to enter the industry by his uncle. “I have wanted to go in to farriery eversince I can remember; there is nothing else I would do instead. It was a surprise to be awarded the Best Portfolio, but I’m really please because I worked hard for it. I feel like the course has put me in good stead for my future career and that my achievements will give me a bit of an edge when I set up my business.” 

Earlier in 2011, HCT’s Alexandra Hunter was awarded the runner-up portfolio prize, The David Llewellyn Prize for the Best Written Paper as well as the National Farriery Training Agency (NFTA) award for Best Forging Skills – a tremendous achievement. The winners were selected from over 60 trainee farriers who train at three colleges nationally. Alex is now running a successful business in South Wales near Caerphilly and is keen to commend the College’s role in her achievements. “I think it is a brilliant place to train, I really do. It can be really challenging setting out in this industry but the training from the School of Farriery at HCT has been outstanding and really supportive.” Alex hopes to continue to develop her business and in the future hopes to take her passion for the industry and studying a step further by taking her AWCF (Associate of the Worshipful Company of Farriers).