Melissa Millerick-May of Michigan Wins First Saddle In Custom Saddlery’s All American Saddle Fit Challenge

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Michigan dressage rider Melissa Millerick-May is still on cloud nine after receiving the phone call informing her that she has won the first dressage saddle in Custom Saddlery's All American Saddle Fit Challenge. Millerick-May entered the contest at the USDF Member's Lounge while volunteering at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky. 

"I was so excited when I received the phone call that it took me a little while to truly believe that I had won," Millerick-May said. "I have never won anything, let alone something that I really want and desperately need!"

Millerick-May will use her new dressage saddle from Custom Saddlery on her seven-year-old gelding named Military Brass, who Millerick-May describes as the equine version of her "soul mate." Millerick-May rides with Debbie Marquardt at Sleepy Hollow Equestrian Centre in South Lyon, Michigan. "In order to ensure Military Brass's future willingness to work, I need assistance in finding a saddle that will fit him correctly," Millerick-May said. "Something that before now, I did not have the necessary skill set or resources to do. From the bottom of my heart I want to thank Custom Saddlery."

Millerick-May added that she is excited that she will have the opportunity to have a saddle fitted specifically to her horse so he can be comfortable in his work. "I am thrilled that I will be able to learn what works for him from the saddle fitter during the fitting and construction process. I have heard nothing but wonderful things about saddles from Custom Saddlery, and their support team. Which makes me even more excited that as training progresses with my horse, and his musculature changes accordingly, I will have someone that I can trust to make adjustments to the saddle as necessary to ensure his comfort," she said.

Custom Saddlery, whose list of riders includes Steffen Peters, Sue Blinks, Hilda Gurney, Leslie Reid, and Heather Blitz, will give away five Custom Saddlery dressage saddles as part of the All American Saddle Fit Challenge. The program is designed to bring awareness to the fact that all saddles need to fit both the horse and rider properly. The company's dressage line includes Wolfgang™ brand saddles as well as the extremely unique Icon™ line of monoflap dressage saddles.

"We had a great response to our All American Saddle Fit Challenge, during WEG and we are always flattered when anyone wants to ride in our saddles," said Cary Wallace, President and Master Saddle Fitter at Custom Saddlery. "Everyone at Custom Saddlery wants to congratulate Melissa on being the first of five lucky people who will win one of our custom made dressage saddles."

Wallace, head of design and research at Custom Saddlery, has introduced some of the best dressage saddles on the market and has also gained the confidence and endorsement of some of the finest riders in the world. "We believe every saddle should fit both horse and rider. All of our saddles are anatomically designed for this purpose and handcrafted from the finest leathers. Our saddles are made with the idea that people want more out of their saddles and we do everything in our power to accommodate them. A lot of saddles are ‘flocked' for the horse, but at Custom Saddlery, we build the trees and focus on the fit and shape of the tree to that of the horse. We don't have tree sizes on our custom fitted saddles. We fit them to the horse so there is no size. Whatever the horse's build is dictates the tree size."

There is no purchase required to enter the All American Saddle Fit Challenge and winners names will be drawn at random. The drawing for the next saddle will be done at the Adequan/USDF Annual Convention in Jacksonville, Florida in December. The remaining three saddles will be awarded during 2011.

For more information on Custom Saddlery and the All American Saddle Fit Challenge, visit their website at

Founded in 1973, the United States Dressage Federation is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to education, recognition of achievement, and promotion of dressage. For more information about USDF membership or programs, visit, email, or call (859) 971-2277.