of the country's leading saddlers fought it out at BETA International
2004 to secure top honours in a new competition.
saddlers vied for a prize fund of £3,000 in the initiative
organised by the Society of Master Saddlers (SMS).
included Jeremy Rudge of Jeremy Rudge Saddlery, Robert Deavall of
The English Riding Saddle Company, Patrick Keane of Hunter Saddlery,
John Hammond of Jabez Cliff and Co Ltd, Martin Gulliver of Woodseaves
Saddlery and Andrew Hastilow of Hastilow Competition Saddles.
the winner was Patrick Keane - who in a gesture of great team spirit
that surrounded the whole competition shared the prize fund with
his fellow competitors.
Patrick: "It has been fantastic and well beyond our expectations.
Throughout the show people have come up to us to ask questions,
many staying for more than an hour.
has been a great opportunity to promote the trade and everyone competing
has worked so hard and had great fun."
Hastilow added: "We have all enjoyed every single minute of
it, the camaraderie has been wonderful."
brother Ian Hastilow commented: "The competition has been a
breath of fresh air and there is only one winner - the British saddle
making industry, which has made a big statement. This is the start
of something very exciting."
Brown, President of the Society of Master Saddlers said: "We
are very lucky in this country to still have the wealth of experience
and skill in the art of making saddles and I hope that this competition
will help to encourage more people to take up the trade and keep
UK saddle production strong."
judges were Frank Baines, Frances Kelly and Nathaniel Underwood,
all highly regarded in the saddle making industry.
included J&E Sedgwick of Walsall, Pittards Plc of Leeds, Joseph
Clayton and Sons Ltd of Chesterfield, Abbey Saddlery of Walsall,
Lariot Equestrian Supplies of Walsall, Abbey Saddlery, Fiebing Company
of Milwaukee, Grangers International