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Sunday, September 28, 2008

United Kingdom Dominates Farrier Apprentice Competition; Ireland Second

Apprentice Farrier, originally uploaded by Diamanx.

Thanks to Tony Diamanx for making this photo available. I do not know the identity of this farrier.

The British apprentice team of Ben Casserly (age 21) from Uckfield, East Sussex and Ricky Hilton (age 22) from Welshpool, Powys, in Wales, scored a gold medal for their nation at the truly unique Euroskills competition last weekend in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Young farriers from all over the European Union were tested on shoemaking skills using gas forges.

In addition, Ricky Hilton (who is apprentice to former world champion James Blurton of Wales) won the individual gold medal and Ben Casserly (who is apprentice to his father), won the silver.

Ireland's team of Paul O'Reilly and Ruairi Brennan won the silver medal, with Paul winning the individual bronze medal.

Switzerland was third.

The competition tested apprentices who are learning all sorts of trades, from hairdressing and car repair to culinary arts and even cleaning, against one another in national teams.

The world finals will be held in Calgary, Alberta, Canada in 2009.

The winning British farrier apprentices, Ben Casserly and Ricky Hilton, were exuberant on the dais, compared to their counterparts from Ireland and Switzerland. (UKSkills photo)

Ricky Hilton, left, and Ben Casserly, right, European champion farrier apprentices. (UKSkills photo)

These photos are mirrored from the UkSkills web site, which followed the exploits of all the British teams from all trades.

James Blurton has written an article with more photos of Ricky Hilton in action on his web site. Click here to read "Probably the Best Apprentice in the World". While you're there, have a look round Jim's site; it is quite well done.

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