Voting for the Welfare and Performance Awards is open until 11th November, 22.00hrs

These prestigious awards celebrating the very best in equine welfare and performance will be presented at the Gala Awards Dinner following the 3rd Saddle Research Trust international conference on the 8th December 2018.

In the equine category, we have a diverse shortlist, Teddy, Rio, and Valegro. Key to all three is “absolute joy“: for the children in a hospice, who experience a gentle and confident little pony, for the dedicated owner who has ensured  her rescue cob is safe and comfortable  riding out in the Welsh hills, and for the thousands who have been enthralled watching a superstar.

It is almost an impossible choice as all three are equally deserving.

You can read more about all the shortlisted candidates in each category by using this link:

Join us and our celebrity guests on the 8th December and celebrate these outstanding practitioners, achievements, horses, people, saddlery/equipment and organisations who lead the way, inspire and inform all equestrians.

Discounts are available for block bookings – contact admin@saddleresearchtrust for details.

You can buy your Gala awards Dinner tickets using this link:

Announcing the Shortlist for the Saddle Research Trust Welfare and Performance Awards!

The Saddle Research Trust is delighted to announce the shortlisted nominations for the 2018 Welfare and Performance Awards, to be presented at the Gala Awards Dinner, sponsored by the Deutches Institut für Pferdeosteopathie.
There are amazingly diverse candidates, including the latest high tech, life-improving equipment, and dedicated and outstanding professionals. Some are horsey household names, some may be less familiar, all are resoundingly deserving of recognition.

                The SRT Welfare and Performance Person Award
sponsored by

John McEwan FEI       Hayley Moore         Mary Wanless

                 The SRT Welfare and Performance Practitioner sponsored by The Animal Production, Welfare & Veterinary Sciences Department, Harper Adams University

Sue Dyson     Sonya Nightingale    Thilo Pfau

                      The  SRT Welfare and Performance Equine
Teddy the Shetland       World Horse Welfare Rio      Valegro

                      The SRT Welfare and Performance App sponsored by 21st Century Rider

Equibuddy             Equla Vert            Horsemonkey

                      The SRT Welfare and Performance Achievement
sponsored by The Horse Trust 

Christopher Bartle     Carl Hester   Claire Lomas

               The SRT Welfare and Performance Saddlery/Equipment
sponsored by Novel GMBH

                       Equiband       Micklem Bridle     SaddleAid Saddle

                    The SRT Welfare and Performance Organisation

sponsored by HorseGent-Horseback, University College of Ghent

The Brooke      Equitopia       ISES

Breaking news…  special Lifetime Achievement Awards will be presented at the Gala Awards Dinner.

Buy your tickets for this perfect pre-Christmas party using this link:


Sponsorship packages available now.

Please contact the Saddle Research Trust at for details

SRT Welfare and Performance Awards 2018 nominations

Here are the longlists of nominations for the Welfare and Performance Awards to be presented at the Gala Awards Dinner, kindly sponsored by Deutsches Institut für Pferdeosteopathie and supported by Amerigo and Utopia Saddles.

Keep a lookout for news on the shortlisted candidates. For news on who they are and how to vote please watch this space.

For The Ridercise Welfare and Performance Person the nominations are:

Richard Davison, Hayley Moore, Russell Guire, Jochen Schleese, William Micklem, John MacEwan, Dr. Robert Cook, Thomas Ritter, Mary Wanless, Dr. Andrew Maclean, Stuart Attwood, the late Carol Brett, Lisa Ashton, Peter Menet, Ellen Cochrane, Karen Rohlf, Caroline Hegarty.

For the E.Q. saddles Welfare and Performance Equine the nominations are:

Teddy the Shetland, WHW Rio, Valegro, Bluebell, Boyce, Supernova, Felix

For the Welfare and Performance Organisation

ISES, Balance International, Equitopia, Horses Inside Out, The Brooke, Blue Cross, Ritter Dressage.

For the Welfare and Performance App the nominations are:

Equibuddy, Coaches Eye, Horsemonkey, Equla Vert

For the Welfare and Performance Practitioner the nominations are:

Sue Palmer, Karin Allott, Dr Angela Holland, Steph Bradley, Jim Masterson, Becky Chapman, Stefano Coata, Dr Gavin Scofield, Hilary Wakefield, the late Carol Brett, Dr Sue Dyson, Rosie Stone, Tim Jarman, Sonja Nightingale, Penny Hooper, Nick Stone, Emily Howe, Mandy Miller, Gillian Tabor, Donald McLellan, Liga Cottle, Thilo Pfau.

For the Novel GMBH Welfare and Performance Saddlery/Equipment the nominations are:

Micklem bridle, Total Contact saddle, Utopia Saddle, The Balance Saddle, Equiband, Fairfax saddles, Estride Harmony, Strada saddle, Saddle Aid Saddle, Lightrider bitless.

For the Welfare and Performance Achievement the nominations are:

BHS Education, Carl Hester, Mark Fisher and Russell Guire, Francesca Bradley, Brain, Pain or Training book, Christopher Bartle, Claire Lomas

Congratulations to all those nominated for an award for their work to improve the welfare and performance of horses and riders everywhere.

The shortlist will be announced soon. Keep an eye out for the Saddle Research Trust newsletter, and Saddle Research Trust Facebook and Twitter pages for all you need to know about how to vote.

Please note: our major sponsors and connections of the SRT do not appear here and some nominations were deemed to be in the wrong category and were moved accordingly. Nominations which did not meet the criteria do not appear.

Breaking news….There will be 2 special Lifetime Achievement awards presented at the Gala Dinner.








Education needed on rider weight ratios and saddle fit

These photos taken at a championship show this year show equines either being ‘worked in’ before competing, or in the ring.

Their expressions and way of going clearly showed discomfort.

Hopefully, the Saddle Research Trust conference, Horse, rider, saddlery interactions: Welfare and performance sponsored by Wow Saddles and World Horse Welfare will raise awareness on the damage and pain that is caused if a saddle does not fit the rider, if the weight is too far back, and if a rider is too big for the animal. The safety of the small rider who gets on after this working in period is compromised when the horse or pony is in discomfort.


While we await the full results of the pilot study on weight ratios, which will be presented at the Saddle Research Trust  international conference  in December, perhaps in the meantime all riders, judges, owners and ring stewards could work with Dr Sue Dyson’s principle of “if the picture is wrong, it’s probably wrong!”

Nominations for the Welfare and Performance Awards

A huge ‘thank you’ to everyone who has sent in nominations. It has highlighted just how much people appreciate their qualified practitioners, their kit, and their circles of support and knowledgeable advice. It has also demonstrated the hugely positive influence that the people and kit (equine vets, saddlery makers, physios, chiropractors, osteopaths, saddle fitters, trainers and equine practitioners and organisations, the equipment, training aids and saddlery) nominated have made to ridden horses all over the world.

It’s apparent that these riders and owners who have sent in nominations try to ensure their horses are comfortable, cared for and progressing and we’re delighted to be able to recognise excellence in the field of Equine Welfare and Performance by celebrating the wonderful professionals who work hard to make a difference to those horses and riders. The Awards will be presented at the Gala Dinner following the srt2018 conference in the fabulous banqueting suite pictured above. It’s promising to be a fun evening, at the perfect time of year to get together with friends. You’ll be able to have dinner with our special guests Lucinda Green and Richard Davison, our generous sponsors, our celebrity speakers and the opportunity to find out more about the brands and organisations which can take you forward in your ridden goals. Don’t worry if you’ve attended the conference all day – the dress code is smart/casual and not the full monty!  Tickets are available now on Eventbrite.

The longlist has now been sent to our panel of SRT Trustees to check eligibility and that those nominated meet the criteria.

SRT Director, Dr Anne Bondi and her company Solution Saddles are not eligible and both of the conference sponsors World Horse Welfare and Wow Saddles have kindly asked not to be recognised in the awards, therefore despite numerous nominations, these will not appear in the shortlist currently being drawn up by our trustees.

Once this is completed, voting will be open. A newsletter giving details will be sent out to all subscribers and if you’d like to be added then drop us an email at

There are sponsorship opportunities available, contact details as above.

There will also be Twitter and Facebook updates on voting so don’t miss your chance to vote for your favourites!

Update coming very soon!