Michael came to the attention of Mr Peter Wilkes of Vale Brothers Ltd (owners of Harry Dabbs saddle makers, Thermatex rugs, KBF99 anti-bacterial grooming products, Equerry brushes and Edward Goddard whips) back in 2007 at Oldencraig Equestrian centre in Kent.
We were at the centre to check over a number of Harry Dabbs saddles owned by Oldencraig EC and many of their clients. The owner Ian Winfield introduced us to Michael by saying that he was an extremely talented and committed ‘up and coming’ Para rider and thought that Michael would be a great ambassador for Harry Dabbs. At this stage Michael and his pony had already notched up wins at the 2006 & 2007 National RDA championships.
After chatting with Michael and his mum Sue, it became obvious how ambitious Michael was despite his disabilities and tender age. Straight away we realised that Michael had the talent, confidence and determination to succeed in his chosen discipline – Dressage. Michael had his sights firmly set on becoming a future Para star and nothing was going to stop him! We fitted Michael’s first serious pony (Brockholm Royal Vagabond) with a Dressage saddle which instantly helped to improve Michael’s position and Vinnie’s freedom of movement. Michael’s new ride Aura has now will been fitted with a new luxury saddle from the Harry Dabbs Platinum collection.
When watching Michael ride you can see the rapport he has with all of his horses, Michael works with them in a gentle yet positive way, in return the horses respond to his commands creating a picture of pure harmony. Every time Michael rides his horse whether it’s at home during a training session, or whilst he competing he is able to demonstrate to disabled and abled bodied riders the benefits of riding in a Harry Dabbs saddle.
For over 40 years saddlemakers from Harry Dabbs have been producing exceptional saddles from their factory base in Walsall England. Each saddle from the Dabbs range is manufactured using the finest leather chosen for its strength, softness and looks. Our saddles are produced by experienced, skilled craftsmen who combine traditional methods with the latest technology creating saddles of distinction. All of the traditionally sprung saddle trees are guaranteed for the life of the saddle and are manufactured by hand. Harry Dabbs saddles are designed to deliver the very best performance and connection between horse and rider.