THIS year’s Society of Master Saddlers’ National Saddlery Competition at Saddlers’ Hall, London proved a huge success and was attended and supported by HRH The Princess Royal to add to this very special occasion.
HRH The Princess Royal presented awards to the successful apprentices currently undertaking the Millennium Apprenticeship Scheme, those who had completed their training and also apprentices on the Government Saddlery Apprenticeship Scheme.
At the start of the evening Society of Master Saddlers’ President, Ted Boggis gave a much applauded address on the huge steps made over the last 25 years when looking at saddle and bridle fitting and the importance of horse welfare.
Said Ted: “The national competition is here thanks to the hard work of the best saddlers in the world. The effort applied, the late evenings, stitching and polishing, is what makes the competition such a success.
“The entrants think about the fit, design and wellbeing of the horse and we now see more and more comfortable fitting saddles and bridles which is only good for the horse.
“The continuation and growth of British saddlery by focusing on the care and wellbeing of the horse is key. Let’s ensure we can all keep enjoying riding horses into the future for many years to come.”
HRH The Princess Royal commented that it was a real pleasure to be able to see the quality of the work available in the UK at the event and wonderful to note that improved welfare for the horse around the world continues to grow.
Gratefully supported by The Worshipful Company of Saddlers, The Worshipful Company of Coach & Coach Harness Makers, Abbey England, SEIB Insurance Brokers, T. Cribb & Sons, H Webber and Osborne Tools and Musto, the competition awards ceremony was followed by an evening reception which attracted many of the leading names from the saddlery and equestrian world.
Following a host of awards throughout the evening, Frank Baines Saddlery was the delighted winner of the Bruce Emtage Memorial Plate for Best in Show for their entry in the trade saddle class.
A particular highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Saddlers’ Company Trophy, which is awarded to a trainee or apprentice whose work demonstrates excellence in saddlery skills and knowledge.
The winner will have obtained City & Guilds qualifications within the Saddlery skills assessment schemes during the last two years, and will have shown consistent effort and commitment to their training.
This award celebrates the Company’s links with the saddlery trade and is intended to encourage the highest of standards.
In addition to a cheque for £500, the winner received the Saddlers’ Trophy.
This year the winner was a delighted Lily Spackman apprenticed to Sarah Stevens. Lily achieved a double accolade in being awarded the hotly contested Best Apprentice trophy for her winning entries in the competition.
During the evening a prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award was also made to Side Saddle Specialist, Richard Godden.
Said Society of Master Saddlers’ Chief Executive, Hazel Morley: “Whilst the Society’s Lifetime Achievement award is not an annual presentation it is presented when the Society identifies a deserving individual and Richard is such a person.
“Richard completed his five-year apprenticeship in 1957 after training under his uncle, Les Coker at Champion & Wilton. He worked for four London companies who held the Royal Warrant before starting his own business in Sherborne, Dorset.
“In 1995 Mark Romain asked if he would be interested in running side-saddle courses. He agreed straight away and 25 years later, at the age of 82, he is still running those courses at The Saddlery Training Centre.
“Mark commented that Richard is a very talented trainer, whose skill in making and knowledge of side saddles are unique. He is a very modest man, but without his willingness to share his expertise we would not have so many skilled side saddlers working in the trade today.”
2020 National Saddlery Competition Results
Class 1 Master and Apprentice
A Dog Collar made by the apprentice and Plain Lead made by the Master.
1st: Sarah Stevens and Lily Spackman
Class 2a Trainees in year’s 1 & 2
Sponsored by Abbey England
A Head Collar conforming to Level 2 City and Guilds Skills Assessment specification
1st: Michelle Bogaerdt, Capel Manor College
2nd: Ruby Knights, Capel Manor College
3rd: Katherine Hinchcliffe, Capel Manor College
Class 2b Trainees in year’s 3 & 4
Show Double Bridle conforming to Level 3 City and Guilds Skills Assessment specification
1st: Lily Spackman, S E S Saddlery and Saddlery Training Centre
2nd: Rudy Llewellyn, Wylye Valley Saddlery
3rd: Rachel Oldfield, Saddlery Training Centre
Class 2c Trainee Harness Class
Sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Coach & Coach Harness Makers
A Breeching Seat conforming to Level 2 City and Guilds Skills Assessment specification
1st: Charlotte Cheesman, Capel Manor College
2nd: Michelle Bogaerdt, Capel Manor College
3rd: Georgina Chapman, Capel Manor College
Class 3a Trainee Saddle (Rural)
2nd prize sponsored by H Webber & Osborne Tools
A Leather Saddle meeting the criteria of C&G Level 2 or 3 Saddle specification
1st: Clair Rivers-Boyden, Saddlery Training Centre
2nd: Rudy Llewellyn, Saddlery Training Centre
3rd: Leah Wright, Saddlery Training Centre
Class 3b Trainee Saddle (Trade)
Any style of Leather Astride Saddle
1st: Sam Smith, Bliss of London Ltd
Class 4 Intermediate Bridle for those with less than 7 years’ experience
A Five Point Breastplate with Standing Martingale attachment
1st: Becky Simmons
2nd: Kelly Jones
3rd: Amy Baldwin
Class 5 Special Open Class
A pair of Rolled Pelham Roundings
1st: Helen Reader
2nd: Jeff Barry
3rd: Lynsey Ellis
Class 6 Small Business Saddle Makers
Any design of English Astride leather saddle
1st: Penny Dickson
2nd: George MacEachran
3rd: Joshua Morris-Siegel
Class 7 Trade / Company Saddle
Any design of leather English Astride Saddle
1st: Frank Baines Saddlery
Class 8: A new class for a Trade / Company Accessory
Leather Girth or Stud Guard
1st: D L F Saddlery Ltd
Class 9: Open Harness – Sponsored by Cribbs Carriage Masters & Funeral Directors
A Breast Collar with Neck Strap
1st: Catrien Coppens (pictured top left)
2nd: Chris Taylor, Saddlers Den
3rd: Carolyn Truss
Class 10: Open Bridle – Sponsored by SEIB Insurance Brokers
A Double Bridle with Cavesson Noseband
1st: Line Hansen
2nd: Isobel Russell
3rd: Coralie Chung
Class 11 Open Saddle
Any design of leather GP Saddle
1st: Lee Jones, Winners Circle
2nd: David Rollinson, Bliss of London Ltd
3rd: Mark Smith, Bliss of London Ltd
Class 12 Open Class
A Bitless or Hackamore Bridle
1st: Sorrel Russell
2nd: Kirsty Thomson
3rd: Catherine Baker
Class 13 The President’s Choice
‘A Leather item with a Nautical Theme’
1st: Godfrey Morris for the lighthouse with the flashing beacon
2nd: Catherine Baker for the Anchor
3rd: Helen Leedham for the ships wheel
The Neil McCarraher Trophy for the most attractive and commercially viable saddle in Class 7 was awarded to Frank Baines Saddlery
The Ken Lyndon Dykes Perpetual Trophy for best entry in the President’s Choice class was awarded to Godfrey Morris for his Lighthouse
The Tony Byrne Memorial Trophy for the best Harness entry by an Apprentice or Trainee was awarded to Andrew Hawkins for his entry in the open harness class.
The Tony Russell Memorial Trophy for the best harness entry was awarded to Catrien Coppens for her entry in the open harness class.
The Alf Batchelor Memorial Trophy for the best bridlework entry was awarded to Line Hansen for her entry in the open bridle class.
The Les Coker Millennium Trophy for best entry by a Millennium Apprentice was awarded to Lily Spackman
The Bruce Emtage Memorial Plate for Best in Show was awarded to Frank Baines Saddlery for the entry in the trade saddle class