Posted: 16th August 2022 | Back to news feed

The 2023 Society of Master Saddlers’ National Saddlery Competition will see an ‘environmentally friendly’ theme for the President’s Choice class at the prestigious event.

Current President Helen Reader has come up with the concept of entrants designing and making any leather item incorporating repurposed leather items.

The entry can be decorative, ornamental or a practical item such as a headcollar but the entry must be ‘fit for purpose’ and must be made of leather using traditional saddlery skills.


Said Helen: “As part of my year as President I was given the opportunity to put forward the theme for The President’s Choice class and wanted to come up with an idea that is current.

“I have always tried to be as environmentally friendly as possible with my own business, especially when sending parcels out by reusing packaging and wanted to incorporate that philosophy into this year’s theme.

“The entry can include new leather or other materials but it must be at least 60% repurposed, from existing leather items.

“For example a handbag could be made from a pair of leather boots or a headcollar crafted from a number of items, but it must be safe to use.

“Trying to be as carbon neutral as possible in today’s world is very important to me and I really want members to get behind the idea and showcase what can be achieved by upcycling materials.”

Added Society of Master Saddlers’ Chief Executive, Hazel Morley: “Helen’s very original idea is just fantastic and we are all really looking forward to seeing what our very creative members can achieve.”

The class is open to all Society of Master Saddlers’ members and their employees and must be the sole work of the entrant.

The entries will be judged on quality and craftsmanship as well as their innovative design and features.

For further information contact The Society of Master Saddlers on 01449 711642 or visit

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