Schleese Riders / Ambassadors
We are proud to introduce an entire gallery on our website dedicated to the talented and passionate English riders and trainers across Canada and the USA who are proud to call themselves Schleese Ambassadors. Click on the image for a short biography, contact information and testimonial from the rider.
Tina was born in Hagen, Germany as the daughter of Ute Busse, a Canadian Grand Prix rider. Tina moved to Canada after her first birthday. Tina became a Canadian citizen when she was 16 to ride for Canada on the Young Riders’ team. Competing many horses in your youth up to Grand Prix, Tina and her mount ‘Amicellie’ were listed for the Canadian Team for many years and their accomplishments include winning the CDI at Blainville Grand Prix and Freestyle in 2008, and riding in the World Dressage Masters in Wellington, Florida in 2009.
After the birth of her first child in 2011, Amicelli was sold and Tina acquired a young horse named Laurencio (a 2007 Oldenburg gelding by Laurentio x Donnerhall) and a year later a mare named ‘Fancy That’ (a 2006 Oldenburg mare by Freiherr x Donnerschwee). Also in 2011 Tina represented Canada at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico and helped the Canadian team win Silver and Tina placed fifth individually.
Tina and ‘Fancy That’ have won many small tour classes Nationally and Internationally and declared for the 2015 Pan American Games, as well as being part of the Canadian Bronze Medal Nations Cup Team the same year. She has made the jump to the Intermediare 2 level with over 72% and shows an outstanding talent for the Grand Prix. Laurencio and Tina had a stellar year in 2016 winning 9 consecutive classes at the small tour level Internationally and 3 more classes nationally, including all three classes at Dressage at Devon. They continued on in Wellington, Florida in 2017 where they hold the current World Record score for the Intermediare Freestyle of 78.7%! The Irwin’s were both key members of the Canadian Nations Cup Gold Medal winning Team. This is the ﬁrst time in history that Canada has won a Gold Medal as a Team at the Nations Cup and also the ﬁrst time that a husband/wife duo on the team together! Tina and Laurencio also went on to win the Individual Gold Medal at the Nations Cup. In the Spring of 2017, Equestrian Canada named Laurencio the Horse of the Year for 2016.
Future goals include the World Equestrian Games, Olympics, and World Cup. With these two talented horses on the verge of Grand Prix, the future is very bright.
Jaimey was born in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada and grew up on his families resort ‘The Irwin Inn’. He began riding at the young age of 6 and competed in many disciplines before focusing on dressage at the age of 16.
Jaimey competed very successfully at the Young Rider level on a mare named Picarda. In 1999 at the NAJYRC Jaimey and Picarda placed fourth individually just missing out on the Bronze Medal. Shortly after his Young Rider years, Jaimey went on to train in Germany with Holger Muenstermann, with whom he continued to train for 15 years. While in Germany, Jaimey found a flashy chestnut gelding by the name of Waldano that he brought back to Canada with him. Waldano and Jaimey were short and longlisted for the Canadian Team for many years winning many titles at the small tour level, including the Silver Medal at the Can-Am Challenge at Dressage at Devon. Jaimey then sold Waldano to an American girl and he returned to Europe, but this time to take a job as the head trainer of a stable in Luzern, Switzerland.
He continued on his training career in Europe by returning back to Germany and becoming Holger Muenstermann’s head rider. After his return from Germany, Jaimey competed the Dutch Stallion, Jacardo at the small tour level and Grand Prix, where he was again listed for the Canadian Team. Over the years Jaimey competed many horses up the levels winning many Championships. When Tina became pregnant, Jaimey took over the ride of Tina’s mount, Winston and qualified with him to be a contender for the Pan American Games in 2011. However once Tina had recovered, she took over the ride on Winston to qualify for the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico as well, and it was decided that Tina would have the ride. Jaimey played a huge role in coaching Tina and her fellow teammate Roberta Morris to the Pan Am Team Silver Medal.
In 2013, Lindor’s Finest was given to Jaimey to ride by his mother in law, Ute Busse and Sally Carlton. Lindor and Jaimey qualified for the FEI Reem Acra World Cup in Gothenburg, Sweden and made their debut overseas representing North America. Lindor and Jaimey had many excellent results at the Grand Prix level throughout North America, including Wellington, Florida.
Jaimey’s most recent star in the stable is Donegal V who was purchased by a syndicate for Jaimey to ride as a three-year-old from Holland. In 2016 Donegal made his International small tour debut and received many top placings with over 70%. In 2017, he won International classes in Wellington, Florida and was a member of Canada’s Gold Medal winning Nations Cup Team.The pair also won the Individual Silver Medal right behind his wife, Tina, and Laurencio. This was the first time in history that Canada had won the Nations Cup in dressage. Donegal will soon be making his Grand Prix debut! Future goals include World Equestrian Games, Olympics, and World Cup. Jaimey teaches many clinics throughout the year throughout North American and Barbados.
Tina and Jaimey are currently in Wellington Florida having a very successful season!
“Today we feature our longtime supporters and friends, Schleese Saddlery. Schleese has the best saddles on the market and only the best will do for our horses! Jochen and his team are always working together with many top riders, trainers and vets to produce saddles that are pain-free for horse and rider and offer many different styles and models. We love our saddles and our horses do too!
Thank you so much to Jochen, Sabine and the entire Schleese Team for being such a huge part of our team!”
Los Osos - CA
Barbi Breen-Gurley is one of Schleese’s longest time clients, an “S” judge, and an extremely accomplished Grand Prix rider/trainer with multiple horses. She and her husband Geof own Sea Horse Ranch, a boarding facility on the central California coast. Barbi has won many State, Regional and National titles on many of her dressage horses over the years aboard Schleese saddles. She loves the adjustability and comfort of the fit as well as the excellent customer service.
This is Vindicator, Barbi’s KWPN Grand Prix gelding. This year they won the USDF KWPN vintage Grand Prix national champion.
Croft Hollow Farm
Chad Basile is an award-winning rider, esteemed dressage trainer, and owner of Croft Hollow farm in Webster, New York where he breeds and raises world class horses.
A life-long horse lover, Chad’s current focus is directed toward mindful breeding practices that result in extraordinary horses with an aptitude for dressage, exceptional trainability, impeccable conformation, and optimal health. He is meticulous in his selection of stallions for his mares to ensure a compliment and balance of traits, and diligent when matching the sale of one of his horses with a prospective buyer.
Chad has been sharing his life with horses for 30 years riding hunters, jumpers, and dressage horses. His current focus is classical dressage: implementing the German Training system for a correctly developed sport horse. In his holistic approach to nurturing horses as athletes, Chad supports a respectful, dynamic, engaging, and harmonious environment – providing whatever is needed for horses to tap into their talent and fully realize their potential.
Chad studies with national and international classical trainers: working on his seat and position, as well as deepening his understanding of the classical training progression. He earned his USDF bronze medal and is a featured rider in USDF symposiums. He extends his knowledge of dressage by teaching other riders how to partner with their horses. He guides his students along their journey to make for a long partnership of health and well-being for both horse and rider.
Chad is constantly learning and improving his own riding and sees dressage as a lifelong practice. He continues to dedicate his life to creating the highest quality of horses all the while being an advocate for them and coaching people how to strengthen their partnership with them.
“I have been a customer of Schleese saddlery for 10 years. Prior to, I spent arduous amounts of time and money trying to find saddles that fit me and my horses, and that didn’t injure or restrict the movement of my horses. Since working with Schleese my horses perform at their best and continuously improve in their training with minimal interruptions.
When you invest in a Schleese saddle, it is a lifelong partnership. Their saddle fitters travel to me and my clients and take the time to problem solve and get to know our horses in order to customize the best fitting saddle possible. They continue to provide me with on-going education on saddle fitting and answer all my questions with explanations that are easily understood. The results are a comfortable saddle that fits both horse and rider with superior performance. It is refreshing to work with such skilled and dedicated professionals who match their level of customer service with the excellence of their product.”
Dawn Weniger has earned her USDF Bronze, Silver and Gold medals, and has ridden to the large tour CDI level. Dawn and her current mount, Don Derrick, started together when Dawn found him in Belgium as an unbroken 2-year-old. Now 14, Derrick is finishing his second year at Grand Prix with scores over 70%, and has also carried Dawn’s daughter Anna to success in the Young Riders division, including a Bronze team medal at the North American Junior Young Riders Championship, and a third place at the USEF Festival of Champions Young Riders division. Husband and father Andrew Weniger is a USDF Silver medalist and recently went back into the show ring on our latest import Claudius.
Firstview Farm purchased their first Schleese saddle almost 20 years ago and now have four! The Weniger’s are a Schleese family. The Weniger’s offer training, lesson and sales at their facility in Apex, NC. Visit Firstviewfarm.com and Facebook for details.
Edie started riding at Age 4, competing by 8 and Eventing her horse ‘MayDay’ by the age of 12! A Young Rider Team member 4 times from 1978-1981 again with ‘MayDay’ and ‘Mandrake’ This was just the beginning for Edie who has had a long list of accomplishments since then including,
1978-1981-4time Young Rider Team member (MayDay and Mandrake)
Top Young Rider and Woman Rider.
1982-2010-16 Times Short or Long Listed To Canadian National Event Team.
1984-33rd Olympics -Los Angeles, USA. 2nd place Canadian rider (Mandrake)
1988- 35th European Championships, Holland. Top placed North American Rider(Barbizon)
1990-10th place Rolex Kentucky, 4 Star (Mindy Rose)
1990-World Equestrian Games Team Member, Sweden (Mindy Rose)
1991-1st Canadian Advanced Championships, Checkmate, Canada (Socrates)
1991-Team Gold Medal, Pan American Games, Georgia, USA. 8th Individual (Socrates)
1992-6th Checkmate Canada,3 star Olympic Trial. Top placed Canadian (Socrates)
1992- Olympics Barcelona, Spain – Non-traveling reserve (Socrates)
1993- 7th Fairhill International 3star, Maryland, USA. Top placed Canadian (Socrates)
1994-24th World Equestrian Games, The Hague, Holland. Top placed Canadian (Socrates)
1996- Olympics Atlanta, USA. “Coaching Hat”- Hungarian Eventer Anita Nemtin.
2009-10th Fairhill International, Maryland, USA. 2nd place Canadian (Arwen)
2009- Horse of the Year Award (Arwen)
In addition to the above results, Edie has ridden many horses Preliminary-Advanced level with multiple Top 10 Placings in Canada and the USA. (MayDay, Mandrake, Moontime, Monsoon, Mistral, Barbizon, Mindy Rose, Wait and See, White Spats, Scamp, Socrates, Arwen)
She continues her love of reconditioning “Off Track Thoroughbreds” and other young horses.
“I have been riding in Schleese Saddles since 2007. My life changed from that day!
Schleese Saddles have transformed my training and coaching. The comfort, balance, and support these saddles give me, on the flat and over fences are wonderful!
I am very confident in the product and stand behind them 100%. My students and their horses also reap the benefits of these fabulous saddles.
My horses are pain-free and able to train and learn with no restrictions from ill-fitting tack. They are able to reach their maximum potential.
At the end of the day, knowing I will be pain-free speaks volumes. As an “Event Rider” I spend a lot of hours in the saddle.
THANKYOU to EVERYONE in the SCHLEESE TEAM for keeping me and my students so well outfitted.
Most recently Edie has been test-riding Schleese’s new “LightFlight” saddle stating “this saddle affords me the ultimate close contact feel and lets my horse move with wonderful freedom! “
Emily Keene brings 33 years of experience to training horses; 23 of those dedicated to Dressage. A USDF Bronze and Silver Medalist with multiple State and Regional championships, Emily specializes in lightness, confidence, and self-carriage for horse and rider. She believes that self-carriage is physical, mental, and emotional for both parties. She does not use artificial equipment or force of any kind in her training, her goal is to have horses that willingly choose to participate. Emily puts the happiness and wellbeing of the horse as the priority.
Emily teaches with a sensitive and highly tuned eye towards biomechanics, very clear communication, compassion, and mindfulness. Students learn the physical, theoretical and interpersonal skills required in a dressage rider.
She advocates natural and sensitive management, including social and turnout time, holistic nutrition, precise saddle fit, bodywork, and natural hoof care for our equine partners.
Emily started training horses at age 12 when her mentor introduced her to Natural Horsemanship and Tellington Jones methods. She taught and trained English, Western, Jumping, Dressage, and Competitive Trail Riding/Endurance Riding before deciding to focus on Dressage, and her appreciation for all disciplines and breeds continues today.
“When I saw a demo of a Schleese saddle in 1994 at the Colorado Horse Park, I was immediately struck by the thoughtfulness and complexity of these saddles. Lucky me, I got my first Schleese in 95, and I have been with the company ever since! They are a huge part of my program and I couldn’t do it without them. Their saddles are the best in the business, and over the years I’ve witnessed many companies emulate and try to play catch up with them, but there is no substitute for a skillful Schleese evaluation and a frequently updated Schleese saddle.
If you value your horse, if you care about his comfort, if you want a saddle that will enable you to ride in alignment without pain, make the investment. I tell people; if you have to spend more on your saddle than you did on your horse, DO SO. It’s THAT important! Thank you, Schleese for your constant innovation, care, and amazing saddles, my horses and my rider’s thank you too!”
Dr. Heather Boo is a full time practicing physician. She is also a USDF bronze, silver, and gold medalist and owner of Three Bays Farm in south Florida. She got her start in the Grand Prix on her Dutch warmblood Liberty Light (trained by Bent Jensen). She currently competes her Westphalian gelding, Divertimento, as an adult amateur in the open international Grand Prix CDI. Dr. Boo has used Schleese saddles on her horses for many years. The Obrigado saddle has been expertly fitted to both her and Divertimento to achieve maximum comfort and range of motion. “I believe in extremely well fitting equipment that does not cause any pain to the horse,” says Boo “and a saddle, such as this one, that allows me to sit exactly where I need to on his back and doesn’t prevent his shoulders from comfortably coming up. At this level every millimeter is important.”
Joni Lynn PetersCertified NCCP Level III Dressage and Level III Eventing Coach. Grand Prix Dressage rider. Clinician and Trainer
Joni Lynn Peters Equestrian - Armstrong, B.C. (Okanagan Region in South Central BC)
Joni Lynn Peters grew up riding, learning with, and truly admiring horses, both parents were avid horsemen themselves
Pony Club provided her first ‘formal’ education, leading to her achieving ‘A’ Level with honours; a career in Eventing to the International levels of competition on multiple horses developed by herself, with several of them being identified on the Canadian Team Long and Short List, and becoming Leading Lady Rider of Ontario six times; and Level III national coaching certification, specializing in Eventing.
Joni turned her focus to Dressage after moving back ‘home’ to BC in 1994. The Dressage phase of Eventing was always a strength for Joni and she wished to take it to a deeper level of training and competing. Two of her top Event horses made the switch in disciplines, to compete to the FEI levels of Dressage and attain Canadian Team Short List status, before Joni purchased a horse to solely train in the Dressage discipline. Joni again developed several horses to the Canadian team Talent Identified, Long and Short Lists, for Dressage this time.
Joni has trained in France, Germany, USA, and Canada with world-renowned trainers who recognized and accepted her as a dedicated horseman in her own right. Joni has been world rider ranked in Dressage, has had top 10 finishes in the 2012 London Olympic selection trials, (earning the FEI Certificate of Capability to compete), the 2014 Toronto Pan Am trials, and the 2016 Rio Olympic trials. Joni’s accomplishments earned her an invitation to train with the Canadian team in Germany, and the right to compete in the Five Star CDI while in Florida.
Joni gained national Level III (High-Performance Coach ) Dressage Certification to add to her previously attained national Level III Event Coach certification. Joni’s passion for horses and her pursuit of excellence comes across in her teaching. Joni’s classical training, eye for detail, encouraging and sympathetic approach, and diverse background enables her to empathize with different horses and riders at all levels from basic to advanced, and the individual goals students have. Joni loves to coach and train riders and horses of all stages and levels, and truly believes she herself learns from each pupil, equine or human.
“My entire Schleese saddle fitting experience was terrific!
From the initial, exciting, invitation to try a Schleese saddle; to the tryout of countless models and styles with the ever patient fitting and adjustments by the wonderful Mariette Klemm; to the hands-on custom fitting to Travolta and myself of our chosen model by the one and only Jochen Schleese himself, (whom I have known since he moved to Canada); it was a positive, supportive, engaging time. And with the tremendous care and attention to detail, it was love at first ride, which added to our comfort, confidence, and ability at the peak of our International Grand Prix competitive career in Dressage through two Olympic selection trials and one Pan American games trial! The continued care of fit to an ever-changing horse was caring, detailed and professional in the utmost.
The commitment to quality and integrity demonstrated by the entire Schleese team at all times is highly valued by me and all who have experienced it.
Thank you to the entire Schleese team for helping to make our dream come true.”
Photo: Joni Lynn Peters and ‘Travolta’
Rock-A-Bye Ranch is a Hunter/Jumper Training and Sales facility located in Gardnerville Nevada. Madchen Giesler-Lewallen has over 20 years of experience riding and showing on the California “A” show circuit.
“I was instantly impressed with the knowledge and experience offered from Jochen and the entire Schleese team and after seeing the difference in our horse’s body measurements and an increase of even muscling in a 6th month time, I knew I had made a great choice.
I am eternally grateful to Schleese for their endless work on creating saddles that help our horses be the best athletes and performers they can be.”
New Tripoli, PA
Martha Wunder is the owner and head trainer at Rax Run Eventing in New Tripoli, PA. Martha is a pony club graduate “A”, an ICP level 2 certified instructor, and an intermediate level event rider with aspirations for the top level of the sport. When she isn’t training and competing her own horses, she enjoys working with horses and students of all levels. Martha strives to offer a complete boarding and training program that offers every horse in the barn a shot at reaching their full potential. She does so by partnering with top vets and farriers, providing a thoughtful nutrition program, and attending to all the details that when combined really make a difference. Saddle fit is one of those crucial details and Schleese has been an invaluable resource in this regard.
“I have been a Schleese client for over 10 years. I was first introduced to Schleese by a dressage friend, who convinced me to purchase a saddle for my spindly little TB gelding at the time. After six months in his custom Schleese saddle, he was no longer spindly! He developed muscle and movement that I had not thought possible and his overall comfort and soundness were vastly improved. Needless to say, I was hooked and every event horse I’ve owned since has been fitted with a Schleese saddle! Schleese truly puts the horse’s comfort and performance front and center. When the horse is free to move and use his body without pain or hindrance, the benefits are endless. He won’t be compensating and overloading his joints. Resistance behaviors are diminished. Your horse will enjoy his work and be able to reach his full potential. Schleese is also constantly developing new and better technologies, allowing their clients to take advantage of the most cutting-edge saddles available. If you want a saddle that is truly customized for you and your horse AND will be able to change and adapt as your horse develops, Schleese is your answer!”
MA - NY - FL
Mary Bahniuk Lauritsen is a USDF Bronze, Silver, and Gold medalist trainer and rider. Riding since before she could walk, Mary has developed a thorough understanding of the training of horses and riders of all ages and levels. Mary has trained with some of the most reputable trainers and clinicians around the globe and has produced multiple FEI and Grand Prix horses herself. In 2015, Mary established Millennium Dressage, a training program for horses and riders of all levels with a primary focus on producing young horses through the levels and FEI young rider development.
Mary and her students’ success runs up and down the East Coast where they spend part of the year based in the idyllic towns of Harvard, MA and Bedford, NY and the winters in Wellington, FL.
“The very first thing I was drawn to by Schleese was their meticulous saddle fitting program. 10 or so years ago my mother was recommended to try Schleese for a horse whose back was tricky to fit. When the Schleese team showed up to the barn, witnessing the science behind saddle fitting and the lengths the team went to was unlike any saddle fitting I had ever seen. Now almost every horse in my program rides in a Schleese and I feel the same to this day. I have confidence knowing each time I ride my horses in a Schleese that the saddle is fit to their particular needs and that it can be adjusted to fit their ever-changing bodies as they develop. While my top priority is knowing my horses are comfortable it is the icing on the cake that the saddles are so comfortable for riders too! I feel at home whenever I ride in my Obrigado. I am so grateful for the support of Schleese and could not be happier riding and representing them every day. Thank you. “
Sturgeon Country, AB
Sharon Merkel-Beattie owns and operates Windhaven Enterprises with the help of Husband Colin Beattie and daughter Rachel. Windhaven Enterprises is a 20 stall Dressage barn located in Sturgeon County, Alberta.
Sharon has ridden to Grand Prix on two mounts trained with the help of trainers such as Neil Ishoy and Gina Smith. She has enjoyed success at this level and was able to compete in Canada as well as in the USA vying for a spot on the Canadian Team.
Unfortunately, Essence of Glory, her most recent mount, was retired and she lost her next up and coming mount named Loyal.
After taking a break Sharon now has a talented new horse named “Donatus”. He is such a character and has caused her to explore different avenues as they continue to build a partnership.
“Schleese saddles have played a large part in my success with all my horses. I enjoy working with this company and have purchased several saddles from them. Natalie Sauner, a Schleese Rep and excellent saddle fitter, has played a large part in my decision to remain a loyal customer. She has been integral in keeping my horses fitted correctly and comfortably. I love these saddles and look forward to continuing my relationship with Schleese.”
Sally Anderson is a third generation Morgan breeder and a USDF Gold medalist. She received her Gold medal on her Morgan stallion, ‘Iron Forge Starman’. She is currently training her junior stallion, ‘Flower of Alliance’ at Prix St George.
Sally runs a successful training and boarding facility in Bigfork Montana. Her students compete from Training level through FEI. Her barn is motivated yet has a fun and energetic vibe.
“I have found great success with the Schleese Saddles not only for personal horses but also for students. I find that the horses move more freely and my students not only have a correct riding position but can follow their horses easily. “
Shelley Van den Neste is a Grand Prix Competitor and has been training horses professionally for over 25 years. She has earned the United States Dressage Federation’s Gold Medal and the Gold Freestyle Bar, an honor bestowed upon riders for proficiency in the highest level of the sport of dressage. She has earned several IALHA National Championships as well as top honors at USDF Regional Championships and the US Dressage Finals. Shelley lives and trains at her facility in Gainesville Florida, along with her husband and partner who is also a lifelong horseman and Master Farrier.
I have two Schleese saddles, an Obrigado and a Heike Kemmer and I love both of them. Since I import and compete several FEI horses, those two saddles seem to cover all the bases.
My clients mostly ride in the Obrigado saddles and when I school their horses I never feel out of place, even though they all fit a little differently
“The horse in the photo is a recently imported stallion in my HK (my most favorite saddle of all time).”
Trish Tweddell is the owner and trainer at Eckwood Equine and is a co-founder, co-owner and learning facilitator at the Accord Equestrian Academy. Trish holds a bachelors degree in Animal Science from the University of Saskatchewan and is an Equine Canada certified competition coach.
Trish is a student of the Philippe Karl Ecole de Légèreté instructor’s course 2017-2020 in Alberta. She is honoured to be accepted into this comprehensive and progressive training method that places the intelligence and dignity of the horse at its center.
She enjoys coaching students of all ages and skill levels. Trish is dedicated to facilitating a harmonious relationship between horse and rider that is sympathetic and feeling.
Trish is continually learning and inspired by each horse that she works with. She takes an open-minded approach to solving problems and is astute to modify communication techniques to help riders achieve goals.
“My Schleese saddles have been the best investments that I have made for my training horses and competition horses.
I love how the saddles can be adjusted as my horses mature and become more developed as training progresses, maintaining maximum comfort for all. I have always appreciated the extensive professional support that I receive from Schleese before and after the purchase. My saddle fitter (Natalie Sauner), beyond having an experienced eye for optimal balance and equitation, takes the time to get to know my horses and listens to my feedback.
I recently bought the Remonte all purpose saddle and it is a super addition to my equipment. The Remonte offers the support for me to be able to adjust my position easily between dressage seat, light seat and the forward seat.
It takes a team to build a calm and confident equine partner, and I am proud to have Schleese on my team.”