She always remained positive through illness, says family.

Jenny Godwin, the well-liked saddle-fitter and former tack shop owner, has died from cancer. She was 51.

Jenny grew up on a farm near Bristol and developed a love of horses from a young age. When she left school aged 16, she started working as a machinist for Marks & Spencer.

She then moved to Cameron Balloons where she was involved with making hot air balloons.

In 1993, Jenny started making her own rugs and saddlecloths. But when she realised it was cheaper to buy them in, she began sourcing stock and selling at equestrian table top sales.

Jenny’s Tack Shop

Before long, she’d rented some space at Jarretts Garden Centre in Willsbridge, Gloucestershire. It was the start of Jenny’s Tack Shop.

The shop was a great success; the business grew and Jenny rented a unit where she employed 14 staff members, including her three sisters. 

Following the economic downturn in 2008, Jenny downsized her business and undertook a saddle-fitting course. She became a Society of Master Saddlers (SMS) qualified saddle-fitter and formed JTS Saddlery.

Jenny was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014 and had major surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. She went into remission in 2016 and continued to build her business, but the cancer returned in 2019, and again in 2021.

“Always positive”

“Jen always remained positive,” said her family. “Even when she was unwell, she would still be online ordering stock and completing Zoom courses on equine anatomy. She still had a positive outlook.”

Away from work, Jenny was a competent rider and loved spending time with her beloved gelding, Mr Grey.

Last month, Shelley Ford, who worked at Jenny’s Tack Shop, organised a show in Bristol as a tribute to Jenny. The proceeds were donated to equine welfare charity HorseWorld and equine therapy charity The Avon Centre.

Jenny leaves her husband Pete, son Mitch and daughter Charli.

  • With thanks to Horse&Hound