Worshipful Company of Farriers
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The Worshipful Company of Farriers
Promoting the welfare of the horse since 1356

Welcome to The Worshipful Company of Farriers website

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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. Founded in 1605, the Worshipful Company of Farriers is number 55 on the register of the City of London Livery Companies.
  • Worshipful Company of Farriers
  • Worshipful Company of Farriers
  • Worshipful Company of Farriers
  • Worshipful Company of Farriers
  • Worshipful Company of Farriers
  • Worshipful Company of Farriers


Brigadier Neill O'Connor: Master 2017-2018

 

Neill O'ConnorI was greatly honoured to have been installed as the Master of this Worshipful Company at Common Hall on Wednesday 27th September.  To be appointed as Master of the Farriers’ Company is a privilege and honour which I accept with the greatest possible pleasure.   

Like so many of the Farriers in the Company, I like to feel that I also come from a family business. I was commissioned into the Royal Artillery in 1963, joining both my father and my brother as Gunner officers. My wife’s father and brother had also been Gunners and we were all proud to have served in such a fine regiment. I served in Kenya, Aden, Germany, the US and in UK before retiring from the Army in 1996 after 35 years’ service. A highlight of my military career was a tour with the King’s Troop, RHA. My three years serving with them, where our 120 horses were reshod every three weeks during the summer Show season, gave me a respect and affection for the craft of farriery which continues to this day. One of my first engagements as Master will be to be present at a Royal Review of the King’s Troop in Hyde Park on 19th October, when Her Majesty the Queen will be inspecting them on the occasion of the 70th Anniversary of their formation and then watching them rank past her in line abreast at the Walk, the Trot and the Gallop - always a most thrilling sight. Following my retirement from the Army, I was appointed as a senior member of the Lord Mayor’s staff at Mansion House for a further 10 years, serving first as City Marshal and then as Swordbearer. As City Marshal, I was required to ride a horse – indeed I must have been one of the only employees of the City of London Corporation whose job interview included a riding test! Each year I rode immediately ahead of the Lord Mayor’s Gold State Coach in the Lord Mayor’s Show and whenever one of the City’s privileged Regiments was granted the right of marching through the City, it was my job to challenge them on the City boundary and to lead them through – mounted.

I was honoured at my Installation to receive the traditional presentation made to the incoming Master of an item of farriery equipment - in this case a Guildhall shoe made by Past Master Wayne Upton. The design of this shoe dates back to when the Company was formed in the 1350s and acknowledges appropriately my close association with the Guildhall over the last 20 years. I shall keep it close to me during my year in office and will treasure it thereafter as a memento of what promises to be a very special and memorable year for me. My priority for the year is to carry on the work of my distinguished predecessors in a way that builds on the work that each has done during their respective years in office. Within the Company I will continue to support the Committee chairmen in the vital work that they do and for which we all owe them a debt of gratitude. I would also like members of the Company to seek out others with the same interests as themselves in horses and their well-being and to encourage them to apply for admission to the Company, either as Freemen or as Liverymen. Within the City of London, I hope that as Farriers we can continue to play our part as one of the 108 City Livery Companies in supporting the Lord Mayor and the Corporation in their vital role of maintaining the City of London as one of the leading international financial and business cities in the world - which it assuredly is and I am confident will remain so.

My first engagement as Master and just two days after my installation was to attend Common Hall at Guildhall where those Liverymen assembled elected Alderman Charles Bowman as Lord Mayor for the coming year. He is a Partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers and lives in Suffolk. His wife Samantha is a vet and they have three generations of the Rush family from the Company as their farriers. We look forward to welcoming the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, together with the Sheriffs and their consorts, to our Livery Banquet at Mansion House in May of next year. I look forward to the many events at which I will represent the Company over the next twelve months, both within the City of London and across the country and which I will undertake to the best of my ability. I look forward also to attending the many Company events which will take place during the year and to meeting as many Liverymen and Freemen as I am able.