Well-known saddler Helen Reader was in triumphant form at this year’s British Riding Clubs NAF 5 Star National Championships.


Based in Carmarthen, Helen is a Society of Master Saddlers Master Saddler & Harness Maker and Registered Qualified Saddle Fitter.


She made the successful long journey from her base in West Wales to the Lincolnshire Showground partnered by her two 17hh grey horses.


Helen had qualified them both in Dressage and Show Jumping Championships at this prestigious final.


Said Helen: “I was delighted to qualify the boys for the Championships but knew it would be a very busy day with six classes. Both boys didn’t disappoint and I was thrilled to bits with them.


“We were placed in every class and an Individual 1st place on each of them topped the day. My Irish Sport Hors, Tinahely Rocket took the Novice 27 Dressage title which I had previously won on my KWPN Zennith five years previously and was also placed in the 1metre Show Jumping.


“Not to be outdone by his stablemate later in the day Zennith took the 75cm Style Show Jumping title and went on to be placed in the Elementary 45 Dressage. They are both such versatile horses which allows me to compete in so many disciplines.


“In addition to Dressage and Show Jumping we are out and about Eventing and I have recently taken up Side Saddle.”


Helen runs her own business, HR Saddlery and has to rise early to keep her horses fit for the competition season.


“I usually exercise the boys at 6am, under floodlights through the winter, but during the summer I am up at 4am a couple of times a week to get out on the beach and get 10km of fittening work done.


“I can be back home to be in the workshop or on the road saddle fitting by 9am. I am so lucky to be close enough to the beach and it is a lovely way to start the day, I am usually heading home before most of my customers are up!”

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