Friday, December 13, 2019

Worshipful Company of Farriers awards Honorary Fellowship to Professor Renate Weller

Professor Renate Weller received an Honorary Fellowship from Steven Wilson, Master of the Worshipful Company of Farriers, in London last week. A native of Germany, the veterinarian wore her traditional Bavarian coat for this special occasion. Photo Credit: Sam Lane Photography. 

Professor Renate Weller, Drvetmed, PhD, MScVetEd, ACVSMR, FHEA, NTF, ECVSMR, MRCVS,  has received Great Britain's Worshipful Company of Farriers' (WCF) Honorary Fellowship in recognition of her “outstanding contribution to the craft of farriery and the welfare of the horse”.

The presentation was made by Steven Wilson, FRSA, FIoD, FIED, current Master of the Company, at a Court meeting in London on December 6, 2019. Professor Weller is only the 33rd recipient of this award, made by the Court “to a person who has rendered distinguished service to the Company and/or the craft of farriery”, since the award was introduced in 1923. The Company itself has been active since 1356.

The coat of arms of the Worshipful
Company of Farriers. Note the
three horseshoes (and only three) 
and nails.
The Company's Honorary Fellowship came as a “total surprise” to Weller, who said: “To be recognized within your own industry is one thing but to be recognized in such a special way by an allied profession is another. It is an amazing award and I am delighted to accept it.”

Professor Weller said that her interest in farriery developed through her recognition that farriers have an essential role to play in “preventing lameness before it occurs. A high percentage of horses that come to vets’ attention through lameness do not go back to the job they were doing before. Prevention is better than cure and we need to optimize what we do”.

“Professor Renate Weller’s work for the benefit of horses, in particular with reference to lameness, is well known and is very much in accordance with the Worshipful Company’s aims in the support of (equine) welfare,” Immediate Past Master David Buckton commented. 

“In particular, she was instrumental in setting up the Royal Veterinary College’s Graduate Diploma in Equine Locomotor Research," he continued. "The Diploma offers professional farriers an opportunity to develop the skill set to produce original research, increasing the evidence base behind farriery. This initiative is specifically designed to assist farriers to meet the scientific and presentation requirements of examination for the Fellowship of the Worshipful Company of Farriers.”

Currently Director of Veterinary Education at CVS Group, the largest integrated veterinary services provider in the UK,, Professor Weller also serves as senior vice-president of the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA), a Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Specialist in Diagnostic imaging, and a diplomate of the American and European College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Professor Weller recently completed a year's term as President of the British Equine Veterinary Association. She can now add "HonFWCF" to the long list of degrees and honors following her name. 

Previous recipients of Honorary Fellowships have included veterinarians Professor Chris Pollitt of Australia, Chris Colles of Britain, and Denis Oliver, OBE, of Great Britain, and a British farrier, the late Richard Gowing. Oliver also received the Company's ultimate award when he was named "Father of the Company", which has only been awarded twice in almost 700 years.

• • • • •

About the Company: The Worshipful Company of Farriers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. Organized in 1356, the Company received a Royal Charter of incorporation in 1674. 

Section 1 of Great Britain's Farriers (Registration) Act of 1975 enshrined the Farriers' Company with continuing duties outside the traditional City of London jurisdiction that normally applies to livery companies. 

It provided: "The Worshipful Company of Farriers (hereinafter referred to as “the Company”) shall have the general function of securing adequate standards of competence and conduct among persons engaged in the shoeing of horses (hereinafter referred to as “farriers”) and shall promote, encourage and advance the art and science of farriery and education in connection with the said art and science".

The membership of the Worshipful Company of Farriers consists of craft farriers, veterinary surgeons and an amalgam of persons committed to the welfare of the Horse, the continuing of the craft and contributing to the success of the City of London. 

• • • • •

This article represents an expansion of a press release.

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