Dressage Rider And Volunteer Heather Drake Wins Saddle Through Custom Saddlery’s “All American Saddle Fit Challenge” During Dressage At Devon

Heather Drake holds her new Custom Saddlery dressage saddle and is accompanied by Endel Ots, Tracie Montgomery(left) and Frank Taht (right).
Heather Drake holds her new Custom Saddlery dressage saddle and is accompanied by Endel Ots, Tracie Montgomery(left) and Frank Taht (right).

Check out how you can enter to win a Custom Saddle! Dressage At Devon was a whirlwind of excitement for dressage rider Heather Drake, who volunteered at the prestigious show and not only E-scribed for the Grand Prix Freestyles but met some of her favorite riders and horses including Wizard and Patrick Tigchelaar. As if that wasn’t thrilling enough, Drake also won a brand new custom saddle through Custom Saddlery’s All American Saddle Fit Challenge raffle, a program designed to bring awareness to the fact that all saddles need to fit both the horse and rider properly.

“I turned 30 the week before Devon and for my 30th birthday I won a custom saddle from Custom Saddlery!” Drake said, adding that she was in the volunteer room at the show when she received the call that she had won. “I started screaming when I got the call and everyone in the volunteer room clapped and told me they were jealous. And my favorite judge Gustaf Svalling pinched my cheeks.”

Endel Ots, the alternate rider for the upcoming Pan American Games, pulled Drakes winning name from the raffle box. Ots, who rides in a Custom Saddle, knew exactly how excited Drake was because in a strange twist of luck Ots won a new Custom Saddle at Gladstone a few weeks earlier when Custom sponsored rider Steffen Peters pulled Ots’ name out of the raffle box. “It was almost too amazing to believe when I won the saddle. I really needed it and I know Heather said she really needs a new saddle, so I know how she feels,” Ots said.

Drake, who describes dressage as her passion, said her favorite rider Heather Blitz rides her horse Paragon in a saddle by Custom Saddlery. “I am beyond thankful to Custom Saddlery. I never in a million years would have been able to afford a saddle of this quality. Coincidentally, right before I won the saddle I had a conversation with Lani Tigchelaar about how the right saddle could really help my position,” Drake said.

Drake, from Bryans Road, Maryland, is a training level rider who has had her horse Zena for almost a year. “I picked a horse I can move up through the levels with. Right now we are doing schooling shows and clinics to prepare for the show season next year. Zena scored in the upper 60s at Third Level and is schooling piaffe and passage.”

Through the All American Saddle Fit Challenge, five riders will win new custom made saddles from Custom Saddlery. Ots won the third saddle at Gladstone, Drake the fourth saddle at Devon and the fifth saddle will be given away at the USDF Convention in San Diego. It’s not too late to enter to try and win the final saddle. The remaining names from the Devon drawing will automatically be entered in the final drawing. There is no purchase required to enter the All American Saddle Fit Challenge and winner’s names will be drawn at random. Riders can fill out a questionnaire online or fill out an entry form at any show where Custom Saddlery fitters are on hand or a Custom Saddlery booth is located.

The All American Saddle Fit Challenge wants to encourage all riders, no matter what discipline, to make sure their saddle fits their horse properly. Cary Wallace, the President and head of design and research at Custom Saddlery, has introduced some of the best dressage saddles on the market and has also gained the confidence and endorsement of some of the finest riders in the world including Steffen Peters, Tina Konyot, Sue Blinks, Hilda Gurney, Leslie Reid and Heather Blitz just to name a few. The company’s Dressage line includes Wolfgang™ brand saddles as well as the extremely unique Icon™ line of monoflap dressage saddles.

For more information on Custom Saddlery or to enter the All American Saddle Fit Challenge online, visit their website at www.mysaddle.com.