BETA International 2015 is putting skill and craftsmanship firmly in the spotlight as its annual saddlery competitions – organised by the Society of Master Saddlers – take centre stage in the show’s vibrant Saddlery Pavilion.
The competitions, designed to promote the work of talented trainee saddlers, take place throughout the three days of the trade fair. On Sunday 22 February, apprentices from the Saddlery Training Centre will compete against one another to make the best Pelham rounding. Second-year students from Capel Manor College, Enfield, go head-to-head on Monday 23 February to craft a lead rein with butterfly attachment and first-year apprentices from both colleges will gather on Tuesday 24 February to make an Irish martingale.
“BETA International’s global reputation as a showcase for the finest, innovative and inspiring products makes it the perfect choice for hosting this highly respected event,” said show organiser Claire Thomas. “We are really pleased to welcome the Society of Master Saddlers back for another year and look forward to congratulating the winning apprentices.”
The winner of each competition will be selected by a panel of judges from the Society of Master Saddlers, with cash prizes supplied by the Saddlers’ Company. Apprentices train for four years and many go on to set up their own saddlery businesses or take up apprenticeships with master saddlers.
Hazel Morley, of the Society of Master Saddlers, added: “The competitions we run at BETA International are a fabulous window for the youngsters who take part to demonstrate their skills to the equestrian industry and we really appreciate the opportunity to show the trade how lucky we are to have the best saddlery training in the world.”
BETA International is the world’s definitive trade exhibition for the equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet products markets. The 2015 show will take place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 22 to 24 February.