Westerville, OH - Custom Saddlery, the Official Saddle of the U.S. Dressage Team through the 2016 Olympics, believes that every equestrian champion of all levels deserve first-class recognition. That’s why Custom Saddlery is returning as a platinum sponsor of the Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA) National Championships this year. Custom Saddlery has sponsored the IDA Nationals in the past, including awarding handcrafted, custom-fit saddles to the first-place competitors of four levels of individual and team competition. The stakes are high for the 2015 competition, as the country’s best Intercollegiate Dressage Association riders and teams strive for victory.
Through its sponsorship, Custom Saddlery encourages the riders at IDA Nationals to continue growing in the sport of dressage by allowing them to gain a feel of what advanced dressage competitions on a higher level are like.
The host of this year’s Intercollegiate Dressage Association National Championships is Otterbein University’s Austin E. Knowlton’s Center for Equine Science in Westerville, Ohio. The competition takes place on April 24-26. Founded in 1995, the IDA began as a small competition among a few colleges and secondary schools in the northeast. As dressage gained popularity, the sport developed within college and secondary school riding programs, and IDA quickly grew to become what it is today. The organization is affiliated with the United States Dressage Federation and adheres closely to the United States Equestrian Federation rules. The IDA relies on companies and sponsors such as Custom Saddlery to support their efforts and support the country’s rising stars in dressage.
Ginger Henderson of Averett University, a sponsor and strong supporter of the IDA Nationals, is excited to have Custom Saddlery return this year as a platinum sponsor. “It is important to the association to award top prizes that exemplify the same quality and dedication to excellence that our riders strive for. To have Custom Saddlery— one of the most sought-after saddle manufacturers— as a platinum sponsor shows our competitors that their accomplishments in the ring are truly worthy. Custom will provide a combination of donated and significantly discounted saddles to IDA Nationals. Eight saddles will be awarded to the first place finishers at each of the four levels on the individual competition day, and four saddles will be given to the winning team on team competition day,” Henderson explains.
Henderson recognizes the efforts that the students put into preparing for Nationals. “They spend hundreds of hours riding, practicing, and working out, all in order to compete at IDA Nationals. IDA provides collegiate riders with an awesome opportunity. Many riders grow up never participating in other sports, and this may be the only time they get to be a part of a team— which is really the heart of IDA,” she states. “The experiences they have are innumerable, from spending hours in vans traveling to horse shows together, to learning how to evaluate a horse in ten minutes before they ride a test, to having the opportunity to ride and learn from so many talented and generous horses.”
Cary Wallace, president and Master Saddle Fitter at Custom Saddlery, proudly states “it is an honor to support and sponsor the next generation of our talented dressage riders, and to be able to provide them with the quality tack they will need to make it to the next level.” Henderson agrees, stating “the camaraderie and networking that happens during their IDA years stay with them forever. I support IDA because to me it showcases all that is good in our sport and brings out the best in these young professionals.”
Custom Saddlery offers top-quality saddles like those to be awarded at IDA Nationals. The company has countless ways to customize a saddle specifically for an individual horse and rider’s needs and preferences. Saddle fitting services and accessories are also available.
For more information about Custom Saddlery, visit www.mysaddle.com or call 1-800-235-3865.