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The National Saddlery Competition 2017

This week was a really exciting week. We went down to London for the National Saddlery Competition. The main reason for my attendance was to collect my portfolio as the official recognition of me starting my apprenticeship. I also decided to enter a couple of classes – it is a competition after all!

The exciting twist to this year’s competition was that The Princess Royal was attending and handing out the portfolios. Her Royal Highness is in fact the Master of the Worshipful Company of Saddlers’ and has attended a few of the competitions over the year.

Well this had obviously had an impact on the number of entries (an entry in the competition is the only way to guarantee a ticket to the event) as the hall was packed with both people and entries.

I entered the master and apprentice class where I had to make a breastplate and then my master made a martingale attachment to add to it. I also entered the trainee bridlework class which was an inhand stallion bridle. Fortunately, I recently completed my final bridle making exam and one of the exam pieces was an inhand stallion bridle, so I just entered my exam piece.

Although I didn’t place in either class, I was awarded premium awards for both my entries. Premium awards are given to pieces of work that are of an exceptional standard so as far as I am concerned that is still an achievement and encouragement that my work is heading in the right direction.