It was a very windy, cold and damp evening in October 2010 that Dean and I first met Nicki. It was getting dark and as we fitted a saddle to Nicki’s very sweet ( and a bit nervous) little arab gelding I was cursing the traffic that had held us up. Despite the dusk and the weather Mango went well and Nicki bought her first ReactorPanel saddle…. Little did either of us know where that first endurance saddle fit would lead.
Now four years later Nicki is one of the top ranking Endurance riders in the World, Well done Nicki we are proud to be part of your team and thank you for letting us come along for the ride…….
“Reactor Panel Saddle World Tour 2014
I decided on a Reactor Panel saddle for endurance when my old saddle finally fell apart. The reason for choosing Reactor Panel ? – it was the choice of FEI World Champion Maria Alvarez Ponton – what better reason. Way back then this was my first proper endurance saddle and was fitted to none other than Mango the Magnificent. From the very first phone call, I have received world class service, help and advice from the Saddle Exchange team.
Roll forward the next few years and I am delighted to say that Mango (Za Marengo) went from strength to strength winning at FEI 1* and competing twice at the prestigious FEI2* at Windsor, GB. As for me – I started to travel the world to extend my endurance racing knowledge and to experience riding in other countries and terrains. Making friends around the world my stable of horses also increased and I am proud to say now boasts 5 horses at FEI 3* level.
I, partnered with my trusty Reactor Panel saddles , have raced all over the world and I never compete without a Reactor Panel. They have been fitted in person or by video across the USA, South America and Africa. As well as across Europe on my home team horses that are cared for and checked by Dean and Gini on a regular basis.
One of the great joys of the Reactor Panel endurance saddles is that not only are they super comfy for both rider and horse, but they can fitted and re-fitted constantly not only to any horse, but also to accommodate the constant changes found during the training of the competition sport horse. You never need another saddle and can be assured that your saddle (as long as you have it regularly checked) will always fit your horse.
I am delighted to say that 2014 was an exceptional year for me – not only did I have top 3 placings at 1*, 2* and 3* level all around the world but I topped the FEI international world endurance rankings twice. Sadly I missed out on finishing the year at the World number One spot when my final South African ride at Schranskraal was disallowed due to the lack of a foreign vet on the day – So near and yet so far. However I had topped the rankings but not once, but twice. Starting and completing 15 out of 15 FEI rides in a row.
I was overjoyed to attend the BEF celebration in London to commemorate this with the Princess Royal, HRH Princess Anne. What an exceptional honour.
Now to be short listed for the Darley Awards sponsored by the Sheikh Mansour festival for Top International Lady Endurance Rider 2014 is just amazing. It is held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, famous for it’s red carpet annual Oscars prize giving.
None of this would be possible without the incredible and world class team I have around me. Saddles and saddle fit are an intrinsic part of equine success, and this is ever more so in a discipline where we ride for a 100 miles in a day ! Thank you Dean and Gini for helping me to Live The Dream. ”