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Press Release


Adrienne and Debbie Witty checking for evenness in the saddle panel

Alison and Stacie show off their new jackets

Debbie demonstrating correct palpation of a horse's back

Saddle Fitting Seminar attendees with one of Trilogy's sponsroed riders and speaker, Olympian David Marcus

Selvin prepares a backpack for embroidery

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Photographs may be used free of charge only in relation to the PMG press releases they pertain to.

The Inaugural Performance Saddlery Saddle Fitters Seminar Wraps Up With Rave Reviews

Written by: Kendall Bierer
Client: Polo Gear USA
Release Date: 2014-04-15

Wellington, FL – April 15, 2014 – The Performance Saddlery® Inaugural Saddle Fitter’s Seminar welcomed fitters to Wellington, FL, from April 1-3, 2014. Performance Saddlery® President and Founder of Trilogy® Saddles, Debbie Witty, spearheaded the seminar, instructing representatives from across all 50 states in a one-of-a-kind course that went beyond the basics, teaching in-depth techniques and strategies that will benefit Trilogy®, Verhan® and PoloGear™ clients. 

The first day of the seminar kicked off at Yellow Bird Farm in Wellington, FL. Each representative put faces to names, offering an exclusive networking experience. The inaugural seminar marks a page in history for Trilogy Saddles and PoloGear™, who joined together January 1, 2014 to create the all-new Performance Saddlery®. Each attendee learned about the history of the different facets of Performance Saddlery® and the vision of the company.

“Debbie [Witty] has the years of experience.  She has just seen and fitted so many horses and still meticulous and passionate about it. To learn from her is great—you are learning from a master,” Sue Newell (Southern California) said.

Although the primary focus of the seminar encompassed the correct fitting of a saddle for both horse and rider, the Performance Saddlery® representatives were also introduced to the PoloGear™ Team Shop™. Since 1993, PoloGear™ has become the gem of the equestrian community. Nestled in the heart of Wellington, the quaint store front has had many of the most established riders in the world walk through its door, offering an array of apparel, accessories, equipment and saddles that are unparalleled in the equine world. The Polo Gear Team Shop™ is known as the premier retailer for some of the finest woven shirts, knit polo shirts, caps and bags. They take custom logo design and embroidery to the next level with a one-on-one design process that is unrivaled. They also can completely embellish all your horse apparel and stable equipment.

Newell described further, “It has been awesome to learn all of the techniques and all about the new products from the merger with PoloGear™ and Performance Saddlery®. We have developed so many more techniques and how to fit saddles better. I am also very excited to be a part of introducing Verhan® to my future clients.”

The seminar went over the Verhan® and Trilogy® Saddles offered through Performance Saddlery®. Each part of the saddle was discussed in thorough detail from the panel system to the trees and from the flocking to the fit. The saddle fitters had the unique opportunity to evaluate a number of horse and rider combinations using specific forms, as well as meet Dr. Carlos Cortelezzi, a world-renowned veterinarian and chiropractor.

Cortelezzi discussed the important insights of saddle fitting and the development of performance horses bodies. Most importantly, he portrayed how the saddle fit works prior to and after a chiropractic readjustment.

“Debbie is such a wealth of knowledge when it comes to fitting. She sees so many things, and is so helpful. I wish I had the opportunity to work and train with her everyday. I picked up on a lot of things that are going to help me,” Alison Child (Utah Representative) said. “One of the highlights for me was the chiropractor, Carlos Cortelezzi. I see alignment issues all the time in horses when I am doing fittings. It was really eye opening to see what he can do to rectify those issues.”

Child continued, “I think that the Saddle Fitting Seminar really clarified the merger between Trilogy and PoloGear™. It was wonderful learning about the Verhan® saddles, and how they are produced. We also learned crucial information about the concept of the PoloGear™ Free Shoulder Saddle™, and how it correlates with the technology Trilogy® offers. The merger makes Performance Saddlery very versatile, and brings new technology to the different sports.” 

Later in the evening Performance Saddlery® hosted a pizza party with sponsored riders. Each rider discussed what he or she had discovered from the Trilogy® and Verhan® brands. Ollympian Dressage riders Adrienne Lyle and David Marcus each spoke to the fitters about the Trilogy Saddles. 

Lyle commented, “The Saddle Fitting Seminar goes to show how Performance Saddlery’s commitment to quality is unparalleled. Their continued education and networking opportunities are fantastic for the fitters and riders alike, and their expanse of knowledge is so valuable to us riders.” 

Top international professional 8-goal polo player Nic Roldan also explained the impact of using a saddle with the PoloGear™ Free Shoulder Saddle™ and the difference it makes to the horse. The Verhan® Nic Roldan Elite Free Shoulder Saddle™ has become the leader into the next generation of enhanced performance technology.  Roldan fueled the desire for a saddle that would alleviate pressure from the horse's shoulders and dillegently  worked alongside Argentinian veterinarian and chiropractor, Carlos Cortelezzi, PoloGear founder Gary Fellers, veterinarians and Verhan saddle makers to design the Free Shoulder technology.

"The Free Shoulder Saddle™ eliminates pressure off of the horses shoulders, increasing mobility. It is a strong concept that allows the horses to avoid injury and recoup more easily," Roldan stated. "This saddle tree is not only designed for polo, it is for jumping and dressage, too. In general, saddles have been the same for the last 150 years, but technology is ever-changing. We have put the effort into keeping up with this technology and bettering the saddle."

Founders Gary Fellers and Jeanette Sassoon participated enthusiastically in the seminar. Fellers commented, “I knew we would like this group and we did a lot. They are smart, dedicated professionals who really cared about the horses and properly fitting the saddles. Their level of training and knowledge is exceptional as we knew we could expect from a group hand picked and trained by Debbie Witty. They absorbed knew information presented enthusiastically, especially the incredible demonstation by Carlos Cortellezzi.”

The second day of the seminar also offered a wide array of information and hands-on training. The attendees were able to learn more about the PoloGear™ Team Shop™, and they also had the distinctive opportunity to learn from a top dressage trainer. 

Talented Grand Prix and FEI Young Horse competitor, Jessica Jo (JJ) Tate has earned her United States Dressage Federation Bronze, Silver and Gold medals. She took the time to speak to the group and provide them with her perspective on saddle fitting, saddle fitters and an insightful perspective of the journey the riders, owners and trainers go through while earnestly trying to give their horses the best care and saddle fit possible. 

“All of this was so beneficial to a saddle fitter. The chiropractor, talking to a professional—they are both so instrumental in learning and developing. Every time I work with Debbie, I always learn something new. I have been with her for eight years, and she is incredible to work with, a true genius,” Sally Dietrich (Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky) stated. “This seminar is so crucial not only to our education, but also to our clients.”

The saddle fitters continued to work alongside Witty to complete evaluations of horse and rider combinations, discussing the different models and characteristics of saddles, the construction of the saddle, the anatomical chart and lateral musculature of the horse, and the importance of conformation. The length, width and shape of the horse’s back all play a role in the proper saddle fit. Witty guided the fitters through the flocking and feel of each saddle. She made sure to stress the importance of the difference of fit for placement and flocking for jumping saddles versus dressage saddles.

The fitters were able to see the future home sight of PoloGear™, located at Polo West—one of the last unfinished real estate gems in Wellington. PoloGear™ is moving its operations to the Polo West location and renovating and updating those facilities to include a new home for the Trilogy®, Verhan®, Polo Gear™ and Golf Gear™ brands. PoloGear™ will be moving to the building on the corner of South Shore Blvd and Green View Cove, and included in this project are the fully lighted equestrian and polo arena and restaurant areas. Polo West also includes three polo fields, a nine-hole golf course and clubhouse destined to become America's first equestrian country club.

On the final day of the seminar, PoloGear™ opened its doors for a private tour of the entirely in-house facility. Award winning Creative Director Sam Love, Jr. walked the team through the steps of embroidery, heat stamping and CRM programming. The fitters were able to try on the different fabrics, meet the staff and become even more knowledgeable on the PoloGear™ Team Shop™ merchandise and services.

“It is always wonderful to work with Debbie; I have worked with her for many years. I go back to the very beginnings of her and Performance Saddlery, and from the get-go we hit it off immediately. I knew this was someone who was going to have the answers for the saddle fit world at the time. I had worked with others, and I was searching for a way to move forward with what I was doing,” Terry Zambrana (California Representative) explained. “I knew from the beginning that Debbie would open doors and bring her unique background experience to the forefront of the industry. She has real hands on experience. Her background from Cornell’s veterinarian program provides a new insight to saddle fitting from anatomy to physiology.”

Zambrana concluded, “Everyone at the seminar was positive, the whole tone was very upbeat. I can speak for myself that I see this as a kind of rebirth for both companies, and I think this is going to open up doors and avenues, making new and exciting things available to our clients that we didn’t have before. We will have a lot to offer along with the saddlea, although the saddles are the stars of the show. “ 

The strength of Performance Saddlery's unsurpassed expertise has increased even further as they have joined forces with Verhan® to create one-of-a-kind performance saddles and a national force of experienced saddle fitters. PoloGear's dedication to quality and attention to detail is never lost in their production. For more information on Polo Gear and to order products, visit Visit Trilogy® saddles by clicking here.


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