This year saw us return for the third consecutive year as sponsor of the British Dressage Ideal Saddles Combined Training Series and what a fantastic series it was! We returned once again to Field House Equestrian Centre in Staffordshire for the Championships, with a final of outstanding quality in both the dressage and jumping arena taking place on the 15th of March 2020.
Ideal Saddles Prelim 2/70cm
An exceptional dressage score of 76.90% and a faultless jumping round gave competitive amateur Sarah Thomas and Davidoff 84 (pictured above) a runaway victory in the Prelim 2/70cm Championship.
Sarah, who fits riding and training around her busy role as payroll manager for a large, soft fruit company in the South East said, “I’m absolutely delighted. I went to Field House with no expectations. I just wanted to ride it well and for Davidoff to settle as he can be nervous at stay away shows, so to win was like a dream come true.”
“Davidoff thrives on work and variety and I know him like the back of my hand, but he’s not been easy,” said Sarah who credits Kimberley Alice Seaby and her yard manager Nicola Greenwood for helping with their progress. “Kimberley has really pushed me and she’s so good with the trickier horses, and Nicola has helped hugely with my jumping.”
Davidoff, now 17, was bought by Sarah as a just-backed four year old and in their time together the pair have also evented and competed Riding Club. “Over the years we’ve been up and down the country competing, attending clinics, and he hacks a lot too.
“He’s a well-bred, sharp horse, and I have to be riding 110%, but I can honestly say he’s my once-in-a-lifetime horse as he’s taught me so much,” she said of the athletic, chestnut Don Bosco x Cordoba gelding.
“I have to thank Ideal Saddles and BD for putting on the Combined Training Championships. It’s been a winter of hard work keeping him (Davidoff) up and running – I like to keep him lean and eventing fit – so it’s fantastic to have the series to aim for and has really helped to keep me motivated.
“It was a beautifully built course at Field House. The lines were good, the angles were good and you really had to utilise your space. It was a very good jumping test.”
Ideal Saddles Prelim 18/80cm
A mere eleven months after his last run, former racehorse Pop the Champers (pictured above), ridden by Kathryn Pickering, headed the Prelim 18/80cm class. The nine year old bay, who first went down the centre line last July, already has an impressive track record at Prelim – a trend continued at Field House with a mark of 72.69% followed by a tidy clear round.
“I was absolutely thrilled with him,” said Kathryn, who runs an event, dressage and livery yard from her Lincolnshire base, and who became acquainted with Wendy Wesley’s gelding when he was in training with Nick Kent in Brigg.
“I ride out a couple of times a week for Nick so I’d ridden Pops there,” explained Kathryn. “He wasn’t a very successful racehorse and when the time came for him to retire they asked if I’d have him for a while for retraining. This was with a view to finding him a new home, though Wendy has since decided to keep him as she’s had so much fun with him this past year.”
Although bred for the track, the adaptable gelding shows all the qualities of a useful competition horse. “I used to ride him up the gallops and he was as lovely to ride then as he is now,” says Kathryn. “He used to trot round the gallops in an outline, and the day he arrived at mine he trotted around in an outline – he’s just built like that. He’s very intelligent, he’s scopey, he’s careful, he’s brave. I’d like to event him but as he’s so good at dressage we’ll work our way through the dressage ranks too. Although he is a bit unique, he’s a great advert for the Thoroughbred.
Ideal Saddles Novice 24/90cm
Victoria Gregg and Langson Governor (pictured above) were the outstanding winners with a 74.13% dressage and a clear round for a class total of 170.5. Langson Governor (Carduc x Hamilton III) is a nine year old 17.2hh British sport horse gelding; Victoria runs a training and livery yard from her Cheltenham base. She also contested the Elementary 42/90cm with her 15 year old bay gelding, Rock Supreme.
“Safe to say the boys were awesome!” said a delighted Victoria on Facebook. “Gov smashed 74% and clear in the Novice 24/ 90cm to take the championship by a mile. Rocky was on great form for a 70% and clear in the Elementary 42/90cm finishing third. Gov was a tad exhausted in his second class and, although foot perfect, lacked the sparkle for a top spot and finished fifth with a very respectable 71% and clear. A long but great day, they don’t happen very often and after a long, wet winter it reminds us why we work so hard!”
Ideal Saddles Novice 34/100cm
Joanne Brett earned an outstanding mark of 76.90% and a clear jumping round with her homebred gelding North Astor Cooter (pictured above), giving the Buckinghamshire combination victory ahead of Sally Crane and Cortynan Girl who also impressed for a 75% dressage. Joanne also earned another podium place with third in the Elementary 50/1m aboard North Astor Rosscoe.
“It was such a good day,” said Joanne who works as a freelance rider and instructor, and is the showjumping coach at her local Riding Club. “It was great to have qualified both horses, but for it to come together on the day and have both do well at the final was amazing.”
North Aster Cooter (Nigrasine x Balda Beau) started under saddle in his fifth year and has enjoyed a varied career including hunting, eventing to Novice level and showjumping up to Discovery. “We went into dressage to improve our dressage scores for eventing and have just got more involved since. We took part in the Petplan Equine Area Festival series last year and I feel that he’s still developing with a lot more to come.
“He’s a lovely horse,” she added. “He’s suspicious by nature but once you get to know him, and he gets to know you, he really tries for you. The championships was our last competition before the lockdown so I’m so glad to finish that way.”
The day before the competition, Joanne stayed with Jeanette Brakewell who’s based a short distance from the venue. “Jeanette gave me a lesson on both the horses the day before, which helped hugely.”
Ideal Saddles Elementary 42/90cm
A super, clear jumping round sealed victory in the Elementary 42/90cm Championship for Emma Sutton and her 15 year old grey gelding Coltstown Glider (by Seabanks Blue Glider) – pictured above. After dressage, they lay second with 72.03% behind Emily Watts and Rascalini, her black 14 year old son of Rascalino, who posted just shy of 74%. However, a couple of fences down proved costly for the challengers.
“I couldn’t be prouder of my little horse at the Ideal Saddles Combined Training Championships,” said Emma on Facebook. “Lots of lovely prizes thanks to The Ideal Saddle Company. Elementary 90cm Champion. Elementary 100cm fourth place!”
The pair, who hail who from the Vale of Glamorgan, were placed third in last year’s Badminton Mitsubishi Motors Cup. Emma combines her riding with working full time in the planning and programming department at St David’s Hall in Cardiff, the national concert hall of Wales.
Ideal Saddles Elementary 50/100cm
The Elementary 50/100cm title was down to the wire with the top four all within touch after the dressage, and all achieving a clear round, but Derbyshire event rider Georgie Rockingham (24) and her 11 year old gelding September Song’s dressage of 70.54% gave them the winning edge.
“Absolutely thrilled to have won the Elementary 50 1m Ideal Saddles Combined Training final and finished third in the novice. This has been a brilliant series. Huge thanks to Ideal Saddles for their very generous sponsorship, to Field House Equestrian for running the event so brilliantly and last but not least to Ruth Edge for her help on the flat. Extra polos for Super Scoopy!”
Congratulations to all our worthy winners and thank you all for the fantastic feedback. We are glad everyone had such a wonderful day and that we got the chance to talk to so many of you about your horse’s saddles and their impact upon horse & rider performance and to show you some of our most popular models on the day.
Thanks to the teams at Field Horse Equestrian and British Dressage for organising another wonderful Championships and a special well done going to our six champions from all at The Ideal Saddle Company.
Top tens (Dressage score : SJ faults : Total)
Prelim 2/70cm Championship
Prelim 18/80cm Championship
Novice 24/90cm Championship
Novice 34/100cm Championship
Elementary 42/90cm Championship
Elementary 50/100cm Championship
Photos © EmmPix
It is with great regret that we have had to take the decision to close our factory in Walsall until further notice. The situation with Covid 19 has developed such that it is no longer possible to keep our production line open. The health and safety of our employees is our greatest priority and our intimate factory set up and the great teamwork required to make every Ideal Saddle means that we cannot effectively continue production. We have a number of team members self-isolating and their health and wellbeing is our greatest concern.
Our entire population is being dramatically affected by the Corona Virus, whether through its impact upon human health or the impact it is having upon the economy. But we are a resilient nation and we will get to the other side. We are in awe of our country’s health care workers and the rest of the population must do what is needed to help stem the tide of this virus.
If you have any questions or queries over the next few weeks, please call us on 01922 620233 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to assist you.
We will re-open as soon as the situation improves, and it is safe for our team to do so. In the meantime, stay safe everyone and we look forward to starting to make your Ideal saddles for you again very soon.
We’ve had 19 hard fought qualifiers between October 2019 and our final qualifier at the end of February and entries are now closed and times available for the Championships this Sunday!
Taking place once again at the wonderful venue of Field House Equestrian Centre in Staffordshire, a total of 139 competitors will contest six different categories to determine our Champions.
Prize winners can look forward to receiving the wonderful Championship rosettes, trophies and some fantastic prizes including Ideal girths, stirrup leathers and our super grip pads.
This series has a wonderful ethos, with improvement and enjoyment at the heart of it all and we hope that everyone that took part in the qualifiers had a great day out. We certainly have enjoyed being a part of it and are so looking forward to Sunday and to crowning our new Champions. The weather forecast is not too bad… at least it doesn’t look like we’ll have another ‘Beast From The East’ to contend with! But there may be showers, so do pack the rain gear.
If you are going to Field House Equestrian this Sunday, whether to compete or to support, please do drop by our stand on the day. Here you can meet the Ideal team, pose your saddle fitting questions and even have a sit on some of our range of saddles. We won’t have them all on display, but we’ll have a great selection to give you a taste and James will be on hand to chat about the best saddle options for you and your horse.
So, from everyone at Ideal, GOOD LUCK to all competitors – we’re looking forward to cheering you on at Field House Equestrian Centre on the 15th of March!
We love making our customers and their horses happy! Comments from a very happy customer – Jane Sturrock – in France 👏👏👏
“Photos of my fabulous new saddle! Arrived in France within a month of ordering.As always, both Ideal and Ian from Minster Saddlery have managed to supply me with a saddle that fits the Andalusian breed of horse so brilliantly well. After spending so much money on other saddles and never finding that they have felt right on the build of the horse. They just perched on top of them like a basket on an elephant. Now both the horse and I feel truly connected in unison! I only wish I had found you sooner.
I appreciate all Ian’s expertise, advice and knowledge ensuring the comfort and freedom of movement of the horse. The saddle is amazingly comfortable for the rider too and gives you such close contact to the horse.
The Ideal Suzannah monoflap model was really great advice from Ian to fit most of the short coupled stockier breeds. I totally agree that it is incredible how one saddle can adapt to slightly different sized horses. The saddles are aptly named, truly Ideal!
It was super to be able to make it more bespoke and customise the design for such a small amount of money extra.
The Ideal saddles are extremely good value for money anyway, particularly as they are made to measure. I couldn’t believe that you could produce such an amazing fit from a few photos and a template of the horse.”
We’re delighted to return this year as sponsor of the British Dressage Ideal Saddles Combined Training Series for the third year running, and what a year it’s going to be!
There are a number of exciting new developments in the Series this year, all of which will add to the excitement and the challenge.
Firstly, we’re thrilled to announce an ‘All-comers’ route, which is open to all combinations regardless of their previous competition record. This will involve Elementary level tests – a Championship first – alongside 90cm and 100cm jumping. With the introduction of this level, Prelim and Novice at all four jumping heights will be now be open to combinations who’ve not competed above BD Medium. The introduction of this level will ensure that seasoned BD members with a more advanced horse will still have a nice alternative championship pathway for a little fun during the long winter, whilst still ensuring the events are fair for the grassroots combinations it’s designed for.
Secondly, For the 2019/20 qualifiers, riders and horses may be a minimum Associate member (free to sign up) competing on a class ticket. For the Championships, all horses and riders must upgrade to a minimum of a Club Membership and Club Horse Registration, which is just £35 for riders and £10 for the horse.
The qualifiers kick off at Bold Heath Equestrian Centre on the 26th of October and a further 18 qualifiers run through to the 23rd of February 2020. Our championship will be held on the 15th of March, once again in the excellent location of Field House Equestrian Centre in Staffordshire.
We are so looking forward to seeing you in action over the winter and to welcoming all qualified combinations to the finals in March.
In an exciting new development we have just launched a brand-new saddle design – the ‘Technical & Traditional’ or ‘T&T’, which brings expert design, adjustability and performance to a whole new level.
This ‘next generation’ of adjustable saddle design has all the benefits of the the superb quality leather we use and extraordinary attention to detail of our saddle makers, combined with our revolutionary new EGP system, to ensure that each saddle is expertly tailored for each individual horse and rider today, tomorrow and for many years to come.
While every saddle we make is tailored for the perfect fit for each horse, the unique EGP (ergonomic gullet plate) system which lies at the heart of the T&T design allows these saddles to be quickly and easily adjusted for the changing seasons or the growth of a youngster. What this means is that your Ideal T&T saddle can be adjusted to continue to provide the perfect fit, even though your horse’s shape may change and develop over the years.
Over 5,000 saddles per annum roll off the production line here at Ideal & WRS and our expert technicians have been working to perfect the design of the T&T for over 2 years to ensure that they combine the ultimate in comfort, fit and performance. T&T saddles are proven by pliance® and surpass BS 7875:2009. The saddle trees are made from synthetic materials and the saddles are handmade in Walsall, England, with a UK patent pending.
The T&T will be available across 4 models – Dressage, Show Jumping, Cross Country and General Purpose and with retail prices starting at just £1,500, these new saddle designs offer quality, comfort and a high spec finish that is not only beautiful, but also affordable.
It’s been a little while in development, but we hope you like it… the brand new IdealSaddle.com! Here you can find information on the entire range of Ideal Saddles, from jumping and dressage to speciality and wide fitting saddles, to our brand new Technical & Traditional or T&T range.
You can also find information on our wonderful brand ambassadors and be able to find details of your local Ideal stockist.
We will be adding more and more content to the site as time goes on and plan to bring you information on saddle fitting and design and tips and insights such as how to choose the best saddle for you and your horse and how to care for your saddle once you have found the perfect one for you, so please do come back regularly.
And remember that if you have any questions at all regarding saddles or saddle fitting, please do get in touch – we’re here to help.