Q: WHEN Mary King parted company with Imperial Cavalier at Badminton, I noticed she was using a striking green saddle that matched her cross-country colours. Was it specially made for Mary or can I get one too?
What is it?
MARY was riding in a Barnsby Xtreem event saddle that was custom-made for her, but it is also available to buy. It was the result of years of collaboration between her and the company. The close-contact saddle is extremely lightweight at only 3.5kg and is made with a carbon-fibre tree.
“It is very light, but the tree is still strong and secure,” said Mary, who now uses the saddle on all her horses.
“Barnsby makes beautiful saddlery so I was keen to have it made. It has a flat seat and low cantle which I prefer for cross-country riding.”
It is said to be Barnsby’s most radical saddle yet.
What colours are available?
THE saddle is available to buy with blue, red or green seat and kneepads, as well as the traditional black and brown leather.
“As well as the green version, we also have blue and black ones at home,” said Mary, who first used it competitively at Boekelo in October.
“It was designed by Barnsby to catch the eye and yes, it did help that I fell off at Badminton so more people could see it — but I don’t think Barnsby was privy to that!”
Where can I get one?
THE saddle comes in various sizes and fittings.
Price: £1,750. Available from Barnsby www.barnsby.com
This Q&A was first published in Horse & Hound (5 June, ’08)