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Jo Ellis
Jo Ellis schooling her TB/Welsh X in the Free 'n' Easy saddle

The Classical Riding Club – in conjunction with Free ‘n’ Easy Saddle Company and The Blue Chip Feed Company Ltd – is for the first time taking its roadshow to the North Midlands, at The Alsager Equestrian Centre near Stoke-on-Trent, on Tuesday 26 September 2000.

The Classical Riding Club (CRC) was established five years ago by dressage trainer, Sylvia Loch from Kelso, to promote the classical principles of dressage riding and now has more than 700 members across the UK and overseas.

The CRC show first went on the road in 1999, visiting various locations across the South but the Alsager venue will be a first for the Midlands and is hoping to attract riders from Staffordshire and the surrounding counties of Cheshire, Shropshire, Derbyshire, Lancashire, North Wales and Merseyside.

The Roadshow will feature:

  • One-to-one dressage lessons with Sylvia Loch and other CRC instructors
  • A ridden saddle clinic run by The Free ‘n’ Easy Saddle Company
  • Other lectures and demonstrations
  • Discussions and debates
  • The opportunity to meet other classical riding instructors approved by The CRC

The Saddle Clinic will give classical riders the opportunity to see the Free ‘n’ Easy

saddle in action. The company’s revolutionary saddle construction has produced the only saddle in the world which is fully adjustable across the width and length of the horse’s back - as well as in the location of the stirrup bar - to ensure maximum freedom of action for the horse and to encourage a natural, correct and balanced position for the rider. The Free ‘n’ Easy dressage saddle has recently been redesigned to give it a more classical and elegant appearance, while retaining all its technical characteristics.

Dressage rider Jo Ellis from Chirk (Wrexham) - who has used a Free ‘n’ Easy dressage saddle since the end of March 2000 on her 7 year old three quarter Thoroughbred/quarter Welsh Cob currently competing at Elementary level - will be taking part at Alsager.

She explains: "I had tried quite a few saddles before this one and find that this is by far the best one for the horse. It never moves down on his wither despite him having no shoulder.

It sits you in the middle, in the correct position and the adjustable stirrup bar means that your leg is underneath you without having to think about it. I am looking forward to Sylvia seeing my horse again after three years and will be delighted to show other riders how the saddle works for me," ends Jo.

Adds CRC founder, Sylvia Loch: "We think the roadshow will appeal to all riders who use flat work as part of their training routine, as well as those who compete in dressage. I have used a Free ‘n’ Easy saddle for one of my horses myself with considerable success. Correct saddle fitting is always crucial to the performance of the horse so roadshow visitors should find the saddle clinic interesting whatever their personal choice of saddle at the end of the day."

Adds Les Spark of Free ‘n’ Easy: "We are delighted to be associated with The CRC Roadshow at Alsager and to be given the opportunity to present the theory and practice of our unique saddle construction". Free ‘n’ Easy Saddle Company also offer endurance and GP designs and are currently developing a jumping saddle. The company holds its own Saddle Clinics regularly across the country. For further details about their clinics and saddles phone 01833-640887 for a brochure or visit the web site at

CRC Roadshow tickets are available on the gate at £7.50 (CRC Members) and £9.50 (Non-Members). A £2.50 discount applies to tickets booked in advance. There are also a limited number of rider places available for the Sylvia Loch lessons at £37.50 (for CRC Members) or £47.50 (non-members) with lessons also available with other CRC instructors present (prices on application). Please send sae (with cheques made payable to: The Classical Riding Club) to: Nicky Brooks, Burchell, Caughall Road, Chester CH2 1LR.

The CRC/Blue Chip roadshow will also be at The Solihull Riding Club on Thursday 28 September 2000 and Hartpury College, Glos. on Saturday 30 September 2000.

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