JACY HAWKINS is a true trailblazer in the male-dominated equine industry and is aiming to be a qualified farrier by completing a Certificate IV in Farriery at TAFE NSW Richmond.
With only 7 per cent of Farriers in Australia being female, the 17-year-old is encouraging others to turn their love for horses into a career. She was 14 when she decided she wanted to work with horses
“Growing up, some of my fondest memories have been made, being around horses, so I decided to follow my interest and pursue farriery. It’s the perfect job for me,” JACY HAWKINS said. “I would encourage other women to take up the Farrier trade.”
A farrier is a specialist in equine hoof care and combines skills traditionally associated with blacksmiths, with veterinarian-related skills in equine anatomy. A farrier’s work includes the trimming of hooves to balance the horse, improving their performance and the application of various types of shoes.
All horses need regular hoof care, and with Australia having the second-largest thoroughbred breeding industry in the world 1, there is a growing demand for people with specialist equine qualifications.
JACY HAWKINS said: “I was aware of Farriers and did my own research into the course.” She works for Ryan’s Farrier Service and is just over halfway into her four-year apprenticeship.
“The support from my TAFE NSW teachers and employer has been great,” said JACY HAWKINS. “I love every part of my job, but I especially like the fact I can work outdoors with animals.”
TAFE NSW Head Teacher of Horse Industry Studies, Karlene Triffitt, said equine-industry expert teachers ensure students gain the confidence and skills to launch their career as a qualified farrier, with many going on to start their own business.
“We know the industry needs qualified farriers who understand animal welfare and anatomy and can shoe horses and perform corrective shoeing across a range of disciplines,” she said.
The Richmond campus has industry-standard equine learning facilities and a large farrier workshop equipped with gas and fire forges. For more information about the range of horse industry courses available at TAFE NSW. Visit www.tafensw.edu.au or phone 131 601.