ANCIENT LIVERY COMPANY WELCOMES THREE MODERN MOVERS

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The trio make things happen in the equestrian industry.

Three members of the trade have received Freedom of the Worshipful Company of Saddlers.

Father and daughter, Victoria Coleman and Frank Baines
©Bob Hook

Claire Williams of the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA), Victoria Coleman of Frank Baines Saddlery and Godfrey Morris, a Master Saddler from The King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, have become members of one of the City of London’s oldest livery companies. 

The presentation ceremony took place at Saddlers’ Hall during a lunch reception for Britain’s equestrian Olympic and Paralympic competitors and back-up teams. 

Although it has roots dating back to the 12th century, The Worshipful Company of Saddlers – also known as The Saddlers’ Company – is an enthusiastic supporter of modern equestrianism via education and funding. 

Royal Horse Artillery Master Saddler Godfrey Morris and friend ©Bob Hook

It’s one of 110 livery companies representing trades, crafts or professions. 

“It was a great honour to receive the Freedom of this venerable organisation,” said Claire Williams. 

“The Saddlers’ Company works incredibly hard to promote high standards, training and careers within the saddlery industry and also supports British equestrian activity right across the disciplines. 

“And, of course, the Saddlers’ path often crosses with that of BETA’s as we strive for the best interests of equestrian manufacturers, distributors and retailers.”

Claire Williams of BETA ©Bob Hook

Claire Williams has been at the helm of BETA since 2001. 

Godfrey Morris is a serving soldier, Master Saddler with the Royal Horse Artillery and recent ETN cover star. 

Victoria Coleman is a director of Frank Baines Saddlery, the Walsall manufacturer founded by her father Frank Baines and which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.  

Roly Owers, chief executive of World Horse Welfare, also received Freedom of the Worshipful Company of Saddlers during last week’s ceremony. 

Receiving the Freedom of a livery company involves being invited to become a member, usually in recognition of good service to a profession, trade or craft. 

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