Find out who collected this year’s awards. 

The 2023 Society of Master Saddlers (SMS) National Competition took place at Saddlers’ Hall in London on 6 February.

Judged by leading Master Saddlers, all classes were hotly contested as entrants put forward breath-taking displays of fine leatherwork. 

The competition was back to full strength, following a hiatus due to Covid, with 120 entries in nearly 30 categories. 

The event was hosted by the Saddlers’ Company and run in conjunction with the Company’s new Saddlery Showcase (See New event inspires the next generation of saddlers).

Society of Master Saddlers National Competition Winners 

Class 1 Master and Apprentice    A Cavesson Noseband made by the Apprentice and Plain Browband made by the Master.  

1st: Master Saddler Sarah Stevens and her Apprentice Charlotte Cheesman

Premiums:  Apprentices Charlotte Cheesman, Tahia Frost, Christie Farren and Gudrun Thuesen and Masters Sarah Stevens, Chris Taylor and Godfrey Morris MBE

Trainee Bridlework  

Class 2a A Stable Headcollar conforming to Level 2 City and Guilds Skills Assessment specification

Sponsored by Abbey England 

1st: Bonnie Dale, Capel Manor College

2nd: Harri Bruce, Capel Manor College

3rd: Filip Lazic, Capel Manor College

4th: Regina Mitchell

Premiums:   Bonnie Dale, Harri Bruce, Filip Lazic and Regina Mitchell

Class 2b Show Double Bridle conforming to Level 3 City and Guilds Skills Assessment specification

1st: Charlotte Cheesman, SES Saddlery

2nd: Gudrun Thuesen, The Saddlery Training Centre and David Dyer Saddles

3rd: Ruby Knights

Premiums:   Charlotte Cheesman and Gudrun Thuesen

Class 2c A Driving Bridle Browband 

Sponsored by The Worshipful Company of Coach and Coach Harness Makers

1st: Bonnie Dale, Capel Manor College

2nd: Harri Bruce, Capel Manor College

3rd: Gudrun Thuesen, David Dyer Saddles

Premiums:   Bonnie Dale, Harri Bruce, Gudrun Thuesen, Regina Mitchell and Charlotte Cheesman of SES Saddlery

Class 3a Trainee Saddle (Rural)

Any type or size of Leather Saddle suitable to meet the criteria of C&G Level 2 or 3 Saddle specification

2nd Prize – Sponsored by Osborne Tools

1st: Gabrielle Mitchley, Saddlers’ Den & Saddlery Training Centre

2nd: Shaun Powell, Saddlery Training Centre

3rd: Tahia Frost, The King’s Troop RHA & Saddlery Training Centre

Premiums:  Gabrielle Mitchley and Shaun Powell

Class 3b Trainee Saddle (Trade)

Any type or size of Leather Astride Saddle 

1st: Alec Brandwood, Albion Saddlemakers

2nd: Sam Smith, Albion Saddlemakers

3rd: Gus Billard, Hastilow & Son

Premiums:  Alec Brandwood, Sam Smith, Gus Billard and Jordan Fluk and Tonishia Lugsdin of Ideal Saddle Company and Nico Edwards of Bliss of London

Class 4 Intermediate Bridle open to qualified and trainee members only

Matching Set of Double Reins for a Showing Bridle

1st: Hattie Crabtree

2nd: Charlotte Cheesman, SES Saddlery

3rd: Kate Hardt

4th: Stephanie Smith

Premiums:  Hattie Crabtree and Charlotte Cheesman

Class 5 Special Open Class

A Waist Belt

1st: Lynsey Ellis

2nd: Katy Warriner

3rd: Tahia Frost, The King’s Troop RHA

Premiums:  Lynsey Ellis, Katy Warriner, Tahia Frost, Christer Dahlberg, Tiffany Parkinson and Louise Palmer

Class 6 Small Business Saddle Makers

Any design of English Astride leather saddle 

1st: Faye Williams

2nd: Kate Hardt

3rd: Penny Dickson

Premiums:  Faye Williams

Class 7 Trade / Company Saddle

Any design of leather English Astride Saddle

1st: Ryder Saddles

Premiums:  Ryder Saddles, Hastilow & Sons and Albion Saddlemakers

Class 8 Open Harness

Any Driving or Working Harness Pad / Saddle

Sponsored by Cribbs Carriage Masters

1st: Catrien Coppens

2nd: Jenna McCall, The King’s Troop RHA

3rd: Carolyn Truss

4th: Louise Palmer, Saddlers’ Den

Premiums:  Catrien Coppens, Jenna McCall, Carolyn Truss & Louise Palmer

Class 9 Open Bridle 

A Double Bridle suitable for Dressage

1st: Lisa Hoskins

2nd: Catherine Baker

3rd: Lucy Ellis

Premiums:  Lisa Hoskins, Catherine Baker, Lucy Ellis, Isobel Russell, Steph Smith, Kelly Jones and Kirsty Thomson

Class 10 Open Saddle

Any design of Dressage Saddle

1st: Andrew Hastilow, Hastilow & Sons

2nd: Dan Jones, Albion Saddlemakers

3rd: Alex Russell, Albion Saddlemakers

Premiums:  Andrew Hastilow, Dan Jones and Alex Russell

Class 11 A Side Saddle 

1st: Coralie Chung

2nd: Kitty Jameson

3rd: Jocelyn Danby

Class 12 Open Class 

Any type of Leather Box / Container

1st: Line Hansen

2nd: Catrien Coppens

3rd: Carolyn Truss

Premiums:  Line Hansen, Catrien Coppens and Carolyn Truss

Class 13 The President’s Choice 

‘Scrapbox to Top Notch’

1st: Lucy Cushley for her Turtle 

2nd: Line Hansen for the Shoe carrier and shoes

3rd: Christie Farren, The Kings Troop RHA for her head and hat

Premiums:  Lucy Cushley, Line Hansen, Christie Farren, Catrien Coppens and Helen Leedham

  • A full report with trophy winners appears in the April issue of ETN.