A great supporter of trade bodies while running a successful business.

Peter Lewis, a towering and immensely popular figure in the equestrian and saddlery trades, died on 8 November. He was 79.

When he was BETA chairman in 2003/4, Peter Lewis (left) made a presentation to outgoing BETA president Sir Adam Butler.

During 50 years in the industry, Peter variously served as president of the Society of Master Saddlers (SMS), chairman of the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) and Master of the Worshipful Company of Saddlers.

He was a successful equestrian retailer, highly skilled saddler and saddle fitter, a mentor to many apprentices - and a gentleman.

Peter was the proprietor of leading West Country based retailer Pointings Saddlery. 

Pointings was originally based in Monmouth Street, Bath, before moving to Blathwayt Stables in Lansdown near Bath where it remained for 24 years. 

When he closed the shop at the end of 2018, Peter set up his own saddle fitting and consultancy service, Peter Lewis Saddles.  

Working for the trade

Peter was a BETA Council member for many years and elected the trade association’s chairman for 2003/4. 

Among his notable achievements was to lead the development of the saddle fitting course jointly run by BETA and the SMS. He was also an advocate of promoting the BETA logo – and the reliable reputation of its member businesses – to equestrian consumers. 

“Peter was a lovely man with a vast knowledge of our industry,” said Claire Williams, executive director of BETA. 

“He was a tireless supporter of BETA’s work. During his chairmanship, he endeavoured to make the trade association more relatable and accessible to the riding public. His legacy continues to this day.”

Saddlers’ champion

Peter was a highly respected and long-standing member of the Society of Master Saddlers (SMS). 

He sat on the Executive Committee for many years, firstly representing the retail trade, and was elected president in 1988. In later years he served as the Worshipful Company of Saddlers’ representative on the committee. 

“Peter was a huge figure in the SMS for many, many years,” said SMS CEO Hazel Morley. 

“He was a big support to me when I took over the role of CEO from Tony Russell and everyone on the committee found his steady and reasoned advice of immense value. 

“Peter is someone that you always listened to and had the utmost respect for.”