Monday, 7 July 2014

Bert Sheffield - Canadian International Para Equestrian Dressage Rider- No2 in the FEI World Rankings and is the top placed Grade III rider.

Bert Sheffield - Canadian International Para Equestrian Dressage Rider-  No2 in the FEI World Rankings and is the top placed Grade III rider. 

Bert has had a busy few weeks! First the exiting news that she has been selected to represent Canada at WEG with one of the three horses that she has qualified . Training with Gareth Hughes has been intense and her own level of fitness with her own personal coach. Riding in thunderstorms and dashing off for new hat and boot fittings plus new bridles for the boys and girl. And finally a very exciting film and photo shoot but more on that later.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Canadian rider Bert Sheffield qualifies for WEG – Twice!

 Canadian rider Bert Sheffield qualifies for WEG – Twice!

Bert has met the qualification standards of the Canadian Team selection criteria with Bindro T, Double Agent and Wonderboy.

Friday, 28 February 2014

Ralph Lauren – Spring and Summer 2014 Collection

Ralph Lauren 2014 The Year of the Horse

As Ralph Lauren join in the celebrations for 2014 “The Year of the Horse” we are once again delighted to be asked to supply saddles for the stunning window displays at both Bond Street, London and also the Ingam Street, Glasgow store.
The 12 year Chinese astrological cycle is symbolized each year with an animal, for 2014 the Year of the Horse  (馬 午) promises to bring ‘prosperity and success’.  Red envelopes are traditionally given by elders to younger family members for good luck.  In Chinese culture red symbolises good luck and is believed to ward off evil spirits.  This is represented with the impressive red evening gown in the main Bond Street window display alongside The Bliss Liberty Jump Saddle.
Any children born in this year are described as ‘active, energetic, sociable and gifted’. Children also focus strongly in the Glasgow displays that have a classical equestrian theme.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

2014 Horses Inside Out Conference

I have just returned from the 7th Annual Horses Inside Out conference on the topic of “The Back and Beyond” at the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester.  This insightful conference is brought together by the anatomy and biomechanics author, artist and lecturer Gillian Higgins

The horses ‘back’ and the structure thereof is such a complex interlinking system it was fascinating to learn so much more from other professionals and combine this knowledge with saddle fitting.
The speakers included:

Dr Sue Dyson is a world-renowned expert in equine orthopaedics, with a particular interest in lameness and poor performance in sports horses. Highly skilled in the diagnosis of subtle and complex lameness, Sue is also an expert in diagnostic imaging, radiography, ultrasonography, scintigraphy and magnetic resonance imaging. Dr Dyson is currently researching the association between hind limb lameness and saddle slip. It was very reassuring listening to her trials and findings which were fabulously exampled and seeing what we saddle fitters are faced with on a daily basis.  The key message was that the majority of saddle slip problems are hind limb lameness related, followed by rider asymmetry as opposed to poor saddle fit.  Also findings showed the lighter the rider the more prevalent the slip.

Dr Theresia Licka is a Professor of Orthopaedics in Vienna. Her principal research interests involve movement analysis in horses.
Her research was very interesting but in especially the work  analysing the pressures exerted from under the saddle and the sandwich effect, as generally we only usually think of the downward pressures.  I was particularly interested in her confirming that excess heat under the saddle can cause tissue damage, which is what we have always seen and proven in practice when saddle fitting.  All the more reason for wool flocked panels, maybe even serge panels and only natural fibre pads!

Dr Wilfried Bechtolsheimer is principal trainer to his daughter, successful Olympic Dressage rider Laura Bechtolsheimer. He has also supported and trained many other top dressage riders including Carl Hester. Dr Bechtolsheimer has competed at top level eventing and dressage representing the UK at the European Championships in 1995. His philosophy is to to ride in a way that is good for the horse physically and fair to him mentally. Harmony is the goal and this was shown in his ‘5 Pillars of Strength’ strategy.  Personally, I was pleased to listen to his belief which I strongly share of a varied exercise programme for all horses including dressage horses, of road work, hacking, gallops, jumping as well as arena work for the horses well being both physically and mentally.

Other speakers included Louise Broom - chartered physiotherapist, Dr Andrew Hemmings - Equine Neuroanatomist, Dr Richard Hepburn is a vet and specialist in internal medicine at the BW Equine Vet Hospital Group.
This was all topped off in the wonderful historic surroundings of the University halls with a very entertaining after dinner speech from Haydn Price, consultant farrier to the BEF.  Some very home truths about the joys of being a husband/father/groom out and about at events – always look at a riders facial expression before commenting on their performance!

There were many saddle fitters from around the world at the conference, I was joined by both Heleen Klumper and Martine Leifstingh from The Netherlands. The event was a fabulous opportunity to speak with other equine professionals from all spheres and continue to develop the ongoing knowledge of saddle fitting.
If you wish to view more of Gillian’s work visit or view a great video on this link

- Nikki Newcombe

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Bliss of London sponsor the National 1.30m Championship

Bliss of London is proud to announce the sponsorship of the prestigious National 1.30m Championship at The Alexanders Horseboxes British Showjumping Scope Festival.  Qualifying rounds are already under way at most major venues across the country with the final to be held at The Scope Festival, in August later this year.  

The British Showjumping Scope Festival is one of the most prestigious events on the equestrian calendar. The show incorporates many of the National Championship Finals from the smallest of riders battling it out for the Tiny Tots Championship through to Grand Prix level. 

In 2009 Nick Skelton on Big Star came through to win the National 6yo Championship and went on to Olympic stardom at the 2012 Olympic games; the following year we saw Bruce Menzies on Sultan V take the National Championship title, Sultan V went on to compete at the 2012 Olympics as part of the Saudi Arabian team. The perfect platform for the stars of the future. The Bliss of London National 1.30m Open Championship was won last year by Paul Barker with Lynn Barker’s Temple Ryefield

Bliss of London manufacture the finest quality English Dressage, Jump, Eventing and All-purpose saddles and specialise in high end custom made saddlery for discerning clients and professional competitors around the world.  The Bliss team have a wealth of knowledge and experience from an in-house team of saddle fitters and riders to help guide each client through the process.  With a selection of tree and panel profiles for the comfort of the horse and custom flap and block configurations for rider support, we are able to offer performance enhancing saddles for riders at all levels.

Bliss of London believe in supporting equestrian fixtures and will once again be exhibiting at the Festival August 24th-30th with their exciting collection of Jumping saddles with onsite saddle fittings available.
To find out more about the Bliss of London collection tel: 0207 1188 123; or visit: or