Farrier Tom Burch has been awarded an MBE in the New Year's Honours list in recognition of his services to horse welfare. 

World Horse Welfare’s Director of International, Liam Maguire, said:

“We are delighted that Tom’s efforts to help horses and their owners have been Royally recognised.  World Horse Welfare knows from experience that in the UK or overseas, all horses need good farriers, and Tom is one of the very best. We are proud that he is training students on our projects in Africa, Central America and Cambodia.”

Tom apprenticed as a farrier in Kent and went on to join the Metropolitan Police in 1979. He retired as senior farrier in 2009. 

He was then asked to join the UK’s National Farrier Training Agency as a Field Officer (now Farrier Placement Officers) to help make sure UK apprentices’ training is on track.

Tom has trained farriers overseas with World Horse Welfare since 1998, training more than 150 farriery students in countries such as Kenya, South Africa, Romania, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Cambodia.

He was instrumental in setting up the charity’s farriery training programmes overseas which offered the most promising students extra training to help teach other farriers in the country.

He said, 

“I do it because I want to put something back.  When I finished my apprenticeship I promised myself that if the opportunity arose I would do whatever I could to help apprentices and promote good farriery.  I am especially grateful to the Metropolitan Police for allowing me the time to work internationally with World Horse Welfare which has made me a better teacher and hopefully improved the welfare of those horses, and the people who rely on them for their livelihoods.  From a personal perspective, it’s interesting to see how people do things in other countries and there is a lot of job satisfaction. The students really appreciate the skills you are sharing with them.”