In 2005, Chris Gregory did a clinic in South Africa where he also judged an exam of the South African Farrier’s Association and their national contest. He was asked to judge their first exam so that there would not be any political problems that can arise from one person judging another from the same country without the weight of international farrier certification behind them. There were 47 horses and farriers that were judged that day, and a lot was learned about the international farrier scene.
One of the main things learned from this trip was that there is a huge need for a farrier exam that crosses oceans and international borders. To have examiners from one country judge judging work of farriers in other countries doe a lot to help the quality of the work being done by the farrier community. This improves the lives of countless horses, which in turn improves the lives of any farrier involved.
In 2007, Chris was asked to do a clinic in Brazil. While there, an interest in an association, and farrier testing was expressed by the Brazilian farriers. They decided to create an association, and asked Chris to write an acceptable exam at 2 levels, which would be given in March of 2008. The exams were written, and they became the basis of the FITS test.
The first President of the AFB, Flavio Souza, and AFB Secretary, Fabio Furquim, were amongst the first to take and pass both levels of these exams in 2008. Chris, Kelly, and Cody Gregory from Heartland Horseshoeing School in Lamar, Missouri, USA, administered and examined the first tests.
In 2011, the FITS exam headed to South Africa. It was largely introduced to that country by Robbie Miller of Cape Town. Robbie has become a huge part of the FITS in an international way. He was amongst the first people to pass the exam in South Africa and now works as an examiner for FITS, having done exams in the US and Australia. FITS has become the accepted exam for farriers in South Africa and they have conducted the exam in that country at least a dozen times at this point.
In 2013 the FITS took place in Australia. Bob Sim, Kim Broad, Steven Riggs and Adam Tighe were big in the FITS movement in Australia. Since then they have had FITS exams on both sides of the country and offer the exam at least once a year. These men have travelled as examiners to the US and South Africa as FITS continues to gain ground.
A new farrier and horse school called El Picazo will be hosting a FITS exam in Argentina in June of 2017 with Chris Gregory and Fabio Furquim of Brazil serving as examiners.
The FITS exams are being created so that the farrier industry of one country can have in common something with the farrier industry of another country. Allowing individuals in the world farrier community to have a shared level of testing that can be accepted from one place to another.
The exams offered as part of FITS are provided in an effort to bring the farrier industries of different countries together. This will benefit both the horse and farrier from every country involved, and give farriers exceptional education opportunities. Having a goal and target creates major growth in skill. If you want to look into hosting a FITS exam or becoming a part of the FITS community, don’t hesitate to contact an examiner to see how to make this happen.