Aussie Rider Ilse Schwarz Sponsored by Custom Saddlery

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Ilse Schwarz on Cadenza. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Ilse Schwarz on Cadenza. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

WELLINGTON, Florida, Nov. 18–Custom Saddlery, makers of handcrafted custom-fit saddles, on Thursday announced their sponsorship of dressage rider Ilse Schwarz, a U.S.-based Australian.

Ilse, who trains with Steffen Peters, and has been based at Magnolia Farm in Wellington for the past 10 years, has two horses competing at FEI levels.

“Being an Australian citizen, I am unable to compete at the U.S. Nationals, but I have earned quite a bit of success on the highly competitive Wellington dressage scene,” Ilse said. “I compete at the FEI level and have also enjoyed success at the National Young Horse Finals and the Region 3 Championships.”

Ilse is thrilled to be sponsored by Custom Saddlery and believes their saddles enable her to sit centered and feel close contact with her horse.

“I love the fact that saddles from Custom Saddlery have a thigh roll that can be altered to suit the rider and that they offer so many different tree options,” she said. “The bottom line is in the results, and since I have switched to Custom Saddles I have been more successful at the FEI levels than ever before.”

She started both FEI horses herself,  which she finds very satisfying.

“I have a 10-year-old gelding, Cadenza, who has been very successful through the small tour and will start the Grand Prix this season. I bred him and started him, so everything about him is all from my training,” she said. “I also have a super eight-year-old mare, Sauvignon, that I bought as an unbroken three-year-old. I just competed her for the first time in Prix St Georges.”

In addition to competing her horses, Ilse trains young horses, works with multiple clients, and has sale horses. “I love training young horses, which is where I initially made my reputation as a trainer. I currently have two young horses, belonging to clients, that I hope to compete at the 2011 Young Horse Finals,” she said.

Cary Wallace, President and Master Saddle Fitter at Custom Saddlery, said Custom Saddlery is thrilled to be partnering with Schwarz.

“I met Ilse many years ago and once she became familiar with Custom Saddles she was sold on them. We are very excited that Ilse will now be competing in saddles from Custom Saddlery.”

Custom Saddlery, an official sponsor of the United States Dressage Federation, is endorsed by some of the top riders in the world including Steffen Peters who represented the United States at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Custom Saddlery’s Dressage line includes Wolfgang™ brand saddles as well as the unique Icon™ line of monoflap dressage saddles.

Wallace said that Custom Saddlery strongly encourages all riders to make sure their saddles fit correctly. “Whether you ride dressage, or any other discipline, the saddle needs to fit the horse and rider, not just the rider,” Wallace said. “All of our saddles are anatomically designed for this purpose and hand-crafted from the finest leathers. We don’t have tree sizes on our custom fitted saddles. We fit them to the horse so there is no size. Whatever the horse’s build is dictates the tree size.”