Esteemed international equestrian brand, Bates Saddles – has become the Official FEI Saddle Partner.
Well known and respected for delivering sound and practical saddle guidance for riders of every equestrian discipline, Bates Saddles has enjoyed career-long partnerships with many elite riders including German Dressage legend Isabell Werth (GER).
Feature image: German Dressage legend Isabell Werth, pictured with Ron Bates. (Image courtesy of Bates Saddles)
Founded by George Bates in 1934, Bates Saddles has passed down through generations of the family and is today proudly run by George’s great-granddaughters, Ellen and Emily. They inherited the company from their father Ron Bates, whose role as the Managing Director still keeps him heavily involved in the day-to-day running of the business.
The company’s guiding principle has always been horse welfare and comfort, as well as the strong belief that “comfortable horses perform better”.
As a saddler and experienced horseman himself, Ron Bates pioneered much of the innovation in the brand, introducing various advancements, such as air cushions, plastic adjustable saddle trees, webbers, and movable blocks.
Innovation has always been the name of the game, and the contribution Bates Saddles have made to the evolution of saddles over time has no comparison. The company’s reputation has been built on its creation of the first adjustable tree, adjustable knee rolls and adjustable girth systems, as well as pioneering changeable gullet plates, the sealed equestrian air cushion panel system, a riser system enabling panel customisation and the close contact adjustable stirrup bars.
Said Ron Bates, Managing Director:
“Under the governance of the FEI, equestrian sport has evolved over the years to an incredibly high standard of competition and professionalism,”
“It is such a joy to collaborate with the FEI on all aspects of horse health around saddles, as an official supplier. It has been my experience that progress is driven through the exchange of knowledge and it is my hope that our collaboration will advance horse and rider happiness under saddle, around the world.
“As competitive standards reach ever new heights, we will leave no stone unturned in driving the future evolution of saddles to deliver on performance.”
It was this focus on education and horse welfare which first forged the partnership between the FEI and Bates Saddles, with the latter providing advice to the FEI’s online community over the past year.