California Rider Dantia Benson Wins Second Saddle In Custom Saddlery’s All American Saddle Fit Challenge

For Immediate Release
Thursday, December 9, 2010

Somis, CA (December 8, 2010) – California dressage rider Dantia Benson flew from her home in California to Florida to attend the annual United States Dressage Federation (USDF) Convention and watch her four-year-old Dutch horse be awarded the Materiale Horse of the Year. What Benson didn't expect was to fly home from the convention as the second winner of a custom made dressage saddle from Custom Saddlery as part of their All American Saddle Fit Challenge.
"I think the whole audience at the convention saw my excitement and surprise when I won the saddle, I was so ecstatic," Benson said. "The new saddle will be for Bad Boy who was just presented with the Materiale Horse of the Year Award which is the Sunshine Sporthorse Association Trophy. He had the Overall High Score for all ages and sexes this year. Bad Boy is Dutch and by Olive (Jazz) out of Lotte (Damiro). I got him as a two-year-old and last year he was the three-year-old Materiale Horse of the Year as well as the DG Bar Cup winner for three-year-olds. This year he was also the winner of the DG Bar Cup for four-year-olds and shows a lot of promise in his training as he is a lovely mover."
Benson trains with Sabine Schut-Kery, but said she enjoys taking clinics and lessons from top riders. "I just took a lesson with Shannon Peters and she told me that her husband, World Equestrian Games competitor Steffen Peters, rides in a saddle from Custom Saddlery," Benson said. "I look forward to fitting and riding Bad Boy in his new saddle. I just think it is awesome to have the opportunity to have such a nice saddle and I am thinking of the style that will match my ability to ‘stick' on my young, big moving boy."
Benson, who competes as an amateur and says she has "too many horses," said she wanted to thank Custom Saddlery for the opportunity to ride in one of their saddles. "I hope it gives Bad Boy the ‘edge' to continue to rise for the occasion up the levels," she said. "I really need a saddle that will help me keep my seat in the saddle and my leg long. The Buffalo hide is also really helpful for me, so I am looking forward to having a saddle that fits the both of us. I am so excited."
Cary Wallace, President and Master Saddle Fitter at Custom Saddlery, congratulated Benson on winning the second saddle through their All American Saddle Fit Challenge. "Dantia had a great weekend at the USDF Convention, between her horse being presented the award and winning our saddle," he said. "We look forward to fitting Bad Boy with his saddle and helping Dantia and Bad Boy as they progress in the show world. We always love someone who is excited about our saddles and we certainly look forward to having Dantia as a spokesperson for Custom Saddlery."
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. "All of our saddles are anatomically designed 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," Wallace said.
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. The company's dressage line includes Wolfgang™ brand saddles as well as the extremely unique Icon™ line of monoflap dressage saddles.
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.