A Tealing man has been crowned the country’s best farrier.
Lewis Balfour, of J & K Balfour Farriers, won the National Champion Farrier 2017 at the weekend. He also came first in the ‘shoeing scores’ for best trimmed and dressed feet at the competition in Yorkshire – the biggest annual farrier event in the UK.
The 26-year-old said he can’t believe that he won and that it is “still sinking in”.
“There are some great names on that trophy so it’s great to have my name on there too,” he said. “It’s a massive achievement for me personally, my biggest individual so far.
“I’m still getting my head around that I’ve won it.”
The competitors had to shoe a live horse and make two shoes based on a specimen that a judge provides.
Lewis began his farrier apprenticeship at the age of 16, qualifying five years later. He now works full-time but says the competition keeps him “sharp”.
“It keeps your eye on the game,” he added.
It was tight at the top as fellow Scottish team member David Varini was hot on his heels in second place, just 0.1 points behind – out of a total of 60 points.
Lewis said they worked together and helped one another in practice sessions so there was a friendly rivalry during the competition.
His father, James Balfour, was also a winner when he took the title of National Champion Striker for is role in assisting his son in the competition.
Lewis is also part of the Scottish team which recently won the World Championship for the third year in a row last month.
Lewis was confident going into the individual tournament confident on the back of the team win, but was humble and said he still did not expect to win as “there was a lot of good people competing”.