Earlier this year, with the help of our amazing team of Bates Saddles sponsored riders around the world, we ran a competition to help those in need with product prizes and lessons from Elite riders world-wide.
One of those prize winners was the delightful Jodie from England, who, like many others, has had a rough year.
Jodie is a single mum to a son with additional needs who has been horsey her whole life. After working multiple jobs to make ends meet, Jodie finally started her career as a front-line ambulance clinician working for the NHS and in her first year faced a global pandemic and death of a close friend and colleague.
With all of her spare money going to her son and her horse, a luxury of a new Bates Saddle was certainly out of reach.
When we called Jodie...
Jodie's sister answered and thought that it was a prank call and promptly passed us aside. Later on, she was joking with Jodie and this "prank call from someone called Bates Saddles" came up.
Luckily, we had also sent an email, and an absolutely mortified Jodie replied to us apologising to no end and asking what we might need from her - in no way believing that she may have won a new saddle.
Needless to say.... we bet her sister will NEVER hear the end of this!
Eventually - we got in touch with Jodie...
Absolute disbelief, silence, and an outpouring of emotion met us on the end of the phone line as a shaking Jodie very humbly and gratefully accepted a prize - already knowing exactly which saddle was the Bates of her dreams... the Bates Wide All Purpose+ in Luxe Leather.
Jodie then hoped that the saddle would arrive in a few months to give her time to meet her fitness goals and use this saddle as a very big reward at the end of her challenge!
Then Jodie's saddle arrived... earlier than expected!
"Wow! It would appear my fitness plan is going to need to be fast-tracked!
"I was so shocked when I got the notification from UPS! It still feels like a dream and probably will for some time!
"However, I do now have a beautiful new addition to my lounge and it's far more beautiful than I ever imagined it would be! 😍
"I genuinely can't thank you enough for this prize...I'm so excited to ride in it for the first time. This has been more than just a helping hand for me... it's given me the drive and ambition to get back in the saddle which is something I was never sure would happen after my fall." - Jodie
And don't General and Connor look great in it!
"General and his beautiful new saddle - with my little boy Connor as his jockey giving it a test run :) Thank you again for this amazing prize." - Jodie