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SMS National Competition, Creating History

From decorative brow bands to show double bridles, a saddle safety handle and ceremonial riding bridle – the classes at the 2018 Society of Master Saddlers National Competition provide plenty of choice for wide ranging skills and creativity.
One of the highlights in the world of saddlery and craftsmanship the competition continues to bring world-wide attention to the history and heritage so aligned with this much sought after tradition while encouraging modern techniques and developments.
The event brings together highly trained Master Saddlers, to trainees and apprentices just setting out on their exciting journey.
Explains Society of Master Saddlers Chief Executive, Hazel Morley: “The National Competition really does encourage some of the finest craftsmanship there is available worldwide and we are always delighted with the entries and huge amount of effort that goes into the exhibits.
“Attending the evening prize-giving is very much sought after and for many years the event has seen Saddlers’ Hall at capacity.
“The idea for the competition first came about as a way to showcase the fantastic range of bridle work and saddlery that is made throughout the world by Society of Master Saddlers’ members and it continues to go from strength to strength.
“It never ceases to amaze the judges how varied the entries can be in the classes which allow for creative flair while there are so many occasions that a first or second place is down to the odd stitch requiring adjustment.
“The event also provides a great opportunity for those long established in the industry to mix and network with the next generation, encouraging them to make their way in the saddlery world and to aim high when it comes to producing and crafting the very best leatherwork they can.”

The 2018 National Competition is supported by the Worshipful Company of Saddlers, Abbey England, Cribbs Carriage Masters, Tandy Leathers, Musto and Osborne Tools.

The event takes place at Saddlers’ Hall, London on Monday, February 5, 2018.