Monday, 11 February 2013


**April 2013 update, this saddle has now SOLD**

Up for sale is my 15 1/2" (US 20") Champion & Wilton side saddle dated February 20, 1897. Leather seat and pommels with linen and serge panels.

A nice little saddle for those starting out to learn on, hacking out, growing kids or for lower level showing and dressage shows. The tree is sound, there is no movement in the fixed head, the tree points are also sound and when I peeled back the gullet channel liner, there is a reinforcement bar so could be used for jumping although for hunting, a saddler would be best to look at the saddle to see if it is up to hours of constant hard riding over 5' hedges!

The faults:
-Some old non-active moth holes on the seat (about 7) and on the top of the padded safe (see photo) where your right calf hides it.
-Leaping head cover was roughly sewn back together when extra padding was added to it.
-The L shaped C&W stirrup skirt has lost a few of it's front stitches near the edge but is still strongly sewn onto the saddle.
-Extreme tip edge of cantle has some movement where it has been knocked over the past 116 years and the leather at the back of the cantle has cracked because of it. A common fault with old saddles due to the sharp unprotected edge of the seat. Still ridable as is and there is no bagging in the seat from sagging seat webbing (there is a comfy "sweet spot" for your right seat bone from previous owners though!).

Has a handy off-side pocket with rough hand stitching edging it. Off-side overgirth has had an extension sewn onto the original strap to make it longer. The girth straps (billets) were replaced in the 1980's- early 1990's but could do with a conditioning or can be replaced.

The good points!
-Nice comfy sweepy seat for those who don't like the pancake flat seats of 1930's saddles (I hate them!).
-Non lumpy flocking.
-Panels are in excellent condition (linen has marks from riding and some shoe whitener left on it but can be scrubbed up for showing).
-Nice wide gullet channel between the panels and the panels are flocked for a level fit.
-Comes with original Champion & Wilton stirrup leather which is stamped C&W as well as Owen!! Also comes with a modern stirrup iron.

The gullet measures 5" between the tree at the head which according to the NEA Side Saddle Association, is a medium fit or #1 tree. The tree spread between the points taken from the tip of the leather off-side tree point pocket to the bottom tip of the nearside tree point pocket is 17" which makes it a medium, possibly a medium/wide fit if a wykham pad it put on it. The saddle is currently heavily flocked up for a narrow/medium fit to a high withered medium fit.

A beautiful saddle in a hard-to-find size that is in good riding condition for it's age.

£1000 + postage. I will ship anywhere in the world and accept Paypal, cash on collection or bank transfer. The saddle can also be viewed in South Leicestershire and we are about 3 miles from Junction 21 of the M1. You can send me a message through my blog or to crinolinegirl @ (please be sure to remove the space before and after the @ sign. I just put them there to stop spammers from harvesting my email address).

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Dianas of the Chase

On February 2, 2013, the Dianas of the Chase race sponsored by Bernard Weatherill (which was the first ladies steeplechase race held since World War Two), was held in Quorn hunting territory at Ingarsby Old Hall.

Unfortunately, I missed the actual race due to traffic mishaps but got there at the end to see the muddy aftermath and the wide smiles on all the side saddle riders.

Luckily, there are some thrilling videos of it on You Tube for everyone who could not attend such as this one:

and this one...

The legendary Susan Oakes (saddle cloth number 10), ended up winning the race and I managed to take some photos of the riders after the race. If any of you ladies recognize yourselves in the photos, please let me know so that I can identify you in them.

I think you will be able to tell by the muddy habits and the happy smiles, that a good time was had by all!

I was also amazed by the size of some beautiful horse lorries too! I could happily travel Hattie in one of them :) There were quite a few spectators who turned up to watch the race too so this sleepy little village had a bit of a traffic problem at one point.

Side saddle race riders coming back to untack and relax after a hard day's racing!

The outside of Ingarsby Old Hall...

and the courtyard at the back of it where the awards presentation was held...

The winners of the Bernard Weatherill Side Sadde Steeplechase race as well as The Household Cavalry Race...

A beautiful Whippy side saddle for sale which was on display in the courtyard (it looked like it would fit Hattie!)...

along with the saddle cloths used during the side saddle race.

The beautiful views of Ingarsby...

and the history of the village...

Although I don't think Hattie and I will be doing the Dianas of the Chase race any time soon, we did "pretend" the next day by galloping and jumping over the ditches filled with rainwater which line the edge of the lane that we hack down!