Express & Star

Former traffic officer Kate now works with a different type of horse power as an award winning master saddler

A top saddler has trotted off with yet another prize in a national competition.

Kate Hardt with the prize winning saddle

Master Saddler Kate Hardt, who is based in Eccleshall, has won prizes in every National Saddlery Competition since becoming a member of the Society of Master Saddlers in 2021.

This year's prestigious contest, at Saddlers’ Hall in London on February 6, was no different for Kate who began her career by becoming an apprentice saddler in her teens.

She entered a side-saddle as well as an astride saddle into the competition, and was awarded a second and a third place respectively. She says that lots of lady riders still want to ride side-saddle.

Kate, 52, said: "I'm elated to have received these second and third places. Lots of people enter and never get placed.

"I three years I have always been placed."

After some time out of the career working with a different kind of horsepower as a traffic police officer, Kate returned to her roots and joined the Society of Master Saddlers.

Having qualified as a saddle-maker and bridle-maker in November 2021, she was granted the title of Master Saddler in March 2022. She works on restoring saddles as well as creating her own.