ANDREW RIVAS - WARC MASTER FARRIER
1983 - 1985
Started in the Defence Force in the mounted infantry in the operational wing and held rank as platoon sergeant.
July 1985 - 1988
Served farrier apprenticeship at Witwatersand Association of Racing Clubs under the mentorship of Dr Maurice Azzie and Master Farrier Piet van Rooyen. I then qualified as a farrier, and to quote Dr Maurice Azzie “received a certificate which was a license to learn”.
1988 – current
I then started my own farrier practise, in which I predominantly shoe race horses and sporting horses in all disciplines.
I served as a committee member on the HRA (Highveld Racing Authority) and was selected as a course farrier for Turffontein Race Course for a number of years.
In 1994, I founded the South African Farrier’s Association together with Professor Sybrand van der Berg, and organised a clinic with world renowned farrier Grant Moon and went on to organise the first farrier forge day which the SA Farrier’s Association still hosts.
In 2004 I went to America and was an attendee at the International Hoof Care Summit at Cincinnati, Ohio and subsequently opened a farrier shop called Gold Anvil Horse and Farrier, where I am a co-owner, in order to bring new and innovative products from overseas to South Africa.
In 2005 I also attended the AFA Convention in Ohama, Nebraska.
On a separate occasion I had the pleasure of meeting and spending time with the well known racing farrier in Lexington Kentucky, Steve Norman, who is a multiple shoer of the Kentucky Derby Winners.
In 2005 I was invited to the Luwex Symposium, in Bavaria Germany, where I was an attendee on four occasions. In 2011 I was invited as a speaker at the Luwex Symposium.
In January 2010 I hosted the CCVF (Cape Town Convention for Vets and Farriers). This was the first international convention which saw 47 international attendees consisting of vets and farriers.
In 2011 and 2012 I was a co-examiner with Robbie Dawson and Chris Gregory for the first series of F.I.T.S examinations.
Currently I run a multi-farrier practise in the Johannesburg area, where we predominantly shoe race horses and as a team we have probably shod every Grade 1 race on offer in the country.
We also shoe dressage, jumpers, western, endurance horses and a few back yard ponies.
I have been fortunate enough to have 12 farrier apprentices, who are now farriers, pass through my hands and who run their own successful businesses today.