Wellington, FL – Grand Prix dressage rider Lauren Knopp has a string of successes attached to her name. She’s a USDF Gold Medalist; the 2009 Reserve National Junior Champion at Gladstone, New Jersey; Team and Individual Silver Medalist at the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC); and, in 2013, she placed third in the Brentina Cup at the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions. Throughout earning all of those accolades, Knopp has learned that perfect saddle fit is essential to success. That’s why she chooses Custom Saddlery, and has partnered with this saddle company as a Custom Saddlery Most Valuable Rider (MVR).
Knopp hasn’t always ridden in a Custom Saddlery saddle. Several years ago, a Custom Saddlery representative was at the barn where Knopp was boarding, and Knopp decided to try one of the many models the company offers. “I was pleased to find that from day one, I was much more comfortable in the Custom saddle,” she said. “Custom saddles are the only saddles I can ride in and be 100 percent comfortable all the time. I like how the saddles have narrow twists, and their monoflap design allows me to be able to have closer contact with the horses. Also, none of my horses suffer from back pain, either, since I have switched to Custom.”
Since riding in a Custom saddle, Knopp has experienced many successes in the show ring, but she is proudest of her performance in the 2013 U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions. “I ended up placing third overall in the Brentina Cup division while riding in my Custom Icon Flight. I swear one of the reasons for my success that whole week was because of that saddle!”
Knopp began riding at the age of eight in Pennsylvania and, when she was 12, her family realized this was not just a phase— Knopp was truly dedicated to the sport of dressage. To further their daughter’s talents and passion, they sold their house and moved to Wellington, Florida, so she could continue her dressage career. She has since trained with Sasha Newman, Oded Shimoni, Marco Bernal, Caroline Roffman and many clinicians, and is currently training with Jaime Amian and Neve Myburgh.
Knopp currently rides her two horses, Samoa 52, a five-year-old Oldenburg gelding, and De Gregory, a nine-year-old Oldenburg gelding, in Custom saddles. Whenever she rides any horse she has in training or in her sales program, she also rides in a Custom. “Every horse I have ridden in a Custom has always improved in his or her work and feels much better in a Custom,” she explained.
Custom has a variety of saddles to fit all types of horses and riders. Knopp owns two Custom Wolfgang Omni models and one Icon Flight. “The Wolfgang Omni is my favorite, and this is the saddle I use on both of my own horses,” she said. “This saddle is great because it allows my legs to be in their correct position, and the knee roll is good for people who are short, but have a long leg. The Icon Flight is a fantastic model to put on many different types of horses. I also use the Icon Flight when I ride young horses or horses I do not know. It gives great support, but does not make me feel ‘trapped.’”
By becoming a Custom Saddlery sponsored rider, or Custom Saddlery MVR, Knopp joins a cadre of high-performance riders who trust Custom Saddlery for all of their saddle needs. Knopp is based out of her family’s IDA Farm, where she runs her training and sales business while helping her father Harry Knopp oversee the daily operations. Custom Saddlery is the Official Saddle of IDA Farm, a 15-acre facility with 81 stalls located in Wellington, Florida. “I know several riders at IDA use Custom,” Lauren Knopp said, naming Jaime Amian, Neve Myburgh, and Barbara Richardson, amongst others.
When Knopp goes down centerline, she can count on Custom Saddlery to provide her and her horses with the comfort, style, and excellent craftsmanship she has grown to rely on. As the Official Saddle of the U.S. Dressage Team, Custom Saddlery is devoted to supplying high-quality, customized saddles that are perfect matches for dressage’s most talented riders.
To learn more about Lauren Knopp, visit www.laurenknoppdressage.com. To see IDA Farm’s beautiful facilities, go to www.idafarm.com. For more information about Custom Saddlery and its popular saddle models— including the Wolfgang Omni the Icon Flight— visit www.mysaddle.com or call 1-800-235-3865.