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Jochen and Sabine Schleese join The Equine Sciences Academy Advisory Panel

September 13th, 2012

The Equine Sciences Academy is proud and honored to announce that Jochen and Sabine Schleese of Schleese Saddlery and Saddlefit4Life are joining the esteemed group of equine professionals on our Advisory Panel.

Certified Master Saddler, Saddlefitter and Equine Ergonomist Jochen Schleese received his initial training in saddle making from Passier and Sohn in Germany. In 1984 he was certified as the youngest master saddler ever in Europe, and was asked to come to North America from Germany in 1986 to be the Official Saddler for the World Dressage Championships held in Toronto. From his experience as a former internationally ranked 3-day event rider Jochen Schleese knows not only how a saddle should feel from a rider’s point view, but also how it should be made. In 1990 together with the Canadian government, Schleese developed the first ever authorized school for saddle makers and saddle fitters. In1996 Schleese received an international patent for his innovative AdapTree® saddle tree.

Jochen confers regularly with industry professionals and is a guest speaker at veterinary associations, equine veterinary schools, riding instructor conferences, and teaches saddle fitting at the German National Riding School in Warendorf, Germany. He was a guest speaker at the Veterinary Conference in Sao Paulo Brazil in Sept. 2011. Jochen has been profiled in the Wall Street Journal and the Discovery Channel, and is the recipient of many industry and business awards. Schleese was the Official Saddler for the World Cup Final 2005, 2007 and 2009 in Las Vegas. He is the founder of Saddlefit4Life®, a global network of equine professionals dedicated to the comfort and protection of the horse, and a director in HIPPOH Foundation (Horse Industry Professionals Protecting our Horses). In 2008 the company won “Best of the Best” English Manufacturer of the Year from Tack’n’Togs magazine, has been featured 4x as a cover story on California Riding Magazine, as well as in articles in the German magazines St. Georg, Cavallo, and Piaffe. Jochen’s first book “The Silent Killer” is due out later this fall in German, published by WuWei Verlag, and his first commercial DVD “Beyond the 9 Points of Saddle Fitting” will be available end of September.

Sabine Schleese has been involved with Schleese Saddlery Service Ltd. since its inception in 1986, together with her husband Jochen and more recently the addition of their former banker and now partner Earl Rothery. Sabine is responsible for all legal and fiduciary requirements as they pertain to their US entity, and ensures compliance with timely tax filings and submissions. Her job description involves a little of everything – marketing/PR, administration, operations, and client services in her role as Director of Corporate Affairs. In 2000, Sabine completed her Executive MBA at Queen’s University. Sabine attends various association meetings on behalf of the shareholders to keep abreast of what’s new and exciting in the industry itself, and is taking a position as director on the board of the local Chamber of Commerce this year.

Sabine has been the recipient of many business awards over the years on behalf of the company, including an Award of Merit from the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, a Global Trader’s Award, “Woman of the Year” in York Region in the entrepreneurial category in 2000, and “Exporter of the Year” in 2008 from the Organization of Women in International Trade. She has been on Profit Magazine’s List of Top 100 Women Business Owners in Canada for the past 10 years.

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I have been riding in Schleese saddles for at least 20 years. When I bought my first horse I rode in a second hand JES and when I got a "real job" and a new horse I purchased a slightly used Wave. Having a Schleese was just the right thing to do for me and my horse, and the frequent fittings were part of the scheme of developing a horse and doing right by them. I searched and tried many different brands, semi-custom, custom, shoulder freedom, wider gullets etc., etc.  If it looked good for the horse, it felt horrible to me, if it was comfortable for me, it couldn't fit the horse.  Eventually I tried out an Obrigado saddle and REALLY liked it. In cold, horrible weather, at the end of a long day at Lamplight, Julia Dixon-Curtis and Alexa Frye cheerfully let me try saddle after saddle, discussed the best options in less expensive models and talked about ways to modify my current saddle.  It really went on and on, and those two positive, helpful, encouraging women just supplied me with information, said nice things about my horse (it helps!), let me 'hem and haw' and ask 10, 000 questions.  I felt like an important client with a crucial but difficult decision to make.  At NO time did I feel pressured, or demonized for saying that considering the $ to my family vs what was best for my horse might be a legitimate consideration.  I now have a custom wonderful Obrigado that fits me and my horse wonderfully. It was VERY much worth the price and a saddle that I do believe I can grow old with.  It is beautifully made, with details that suited me and my horse. Those two are wonderful representatives of your company, they are easy to work with, very knowledgeable and a perfect combination as a team.  Your company has very strongly shaped my whole adult horse riding life.  I am a very educated consumer thanks to all  my years of watching saddle fitting and riding in your [Schleese] saddles.

— Paula Smeltekop - Mount Prospect, IL

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