An Unbridled Passion for his Work
Clare O'Connor meets a Master Farrier at Enniskillen College
Set in the beautiful lakeland of Fermanagh, the Enniskillen College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise is a hub of activity and learning.
Since 1967, the college has provided training and education in a diverse range of subjects including animal production, farm & countryside management, food technology and information technology.
The centre is best known however for its equestrian studies - most recently for its innovative new farrier training programme.
Fourth generation blacksmith, Paul Duddy conducts his classes at Enniskillen one weekend a month. He is one of only two ‘Master Farriers’ in Northern Ireland and is renowned for his knowledge of horses and his forging expertise.
As well as demonstrating their ability to shoe, his students must undertake written and oral tests in veterinary science. Their ultimate aim is membership of the Worshipful Company of Farriers, the industry’s main professional body.
Judging by the level of interest and participation at the Enniskillen campus, the ancient craft of the blacksmith is alive and well.