New Saddle Powerhouse Announced
Trilogy Saddles and Verhan Saddlery Join Forces
With Debbie Witty's Performance Saddlery
The Verago Dressage Saddle, The Talisman Saddle and the Debbie McDonald Dressage Saddle by Trilogy®
Wellington, FL - January 24, 2014 - For 24 years, Debbie Witty's Performance Saddlery, Inc., has centered around the harmonious balance of comfort for both the horse and rider, delivering improved performance of the horse with every saddle they fit. The strength of Performance Saddlery's unsurpassed expertise has increased even further as they have joined forces with Verhan® and Trilogy® to create one-of-a-kind performance saddles.
In an effort to consistently maintain their mission to provide comfort for both horse and rider alike, Performance Saddlery has trained and continues to support their 20 national saddle fitters and companies across the nation. Each of the representatives is the epitome of passion, focus and drive. They have committed to achieving the enhanced performance for which Performance Saddlery has become known.
Debbie Witty with Lionheart, her 8-year-old Mecklenburg Gelding
Always seeking more avenues to best serve clients and their horses' needs, Witty's attention perked when the prospect arose to become involved with the Verhan® Saddlery and the patented concept of the "Free Shoulder Panel." Witty became extremely engaged in this new concept for saddle design and was amazed with the proven success Verhan® was bringing to the dressage, jumper and polo worlds.
"The Free Shoulder patent is a revolutionary evolution in the design of saddles," Witty commented. "Combining it with the knowledge we have from Trilogy® and our collective years of experience, we believe we will lead to further refinement and significant new innovations that will benefit the rider and horse."
The Verhan® "Free Shoulder Saddle"™
Witty's passion is evident in every aspect of her life. After spending 10 years running the Exercise Physiology Program at the Veterinary College Cornell University, Witty was determined to find solutions for the back, body and hindquarter issues that mounted equestrians face when trying to keep their horses sound.
When Gary Fellers and Jeanette Sassoon, owners of Polo Gear USA, approached Witty with the opportunity to join forces and rectify the challenge, Witty jumped at the opportunity. Working in tandem with the leading equestrian merchandising company was the perfect integration to reach the next level of saddles.
For many years, as an avid polo player, Fellers had recognized the need to create a more comfortable and less restricted shoulder for the polo saddles. Sassoon's 30 years of dressage experience offered a window toward more advanced saddle fit techniques and the avenues that were being explored within the discipline.
The Nic Roldan Elite Saddle, the Maximum Free Shoulder Saddle and the GP Free Shoulder Saddle by Verhan®
Fellers combined his passion for creating this type of saddle with the ideas of American polo player icon Nic Roldan, horseback specialist, Argentinean veterinarian and chiropractor Carlos Cortelezzi, and the Verhan® saddle makers to perfect the free shoulder patent. Such a rigorous sport exacerbated the need for a solution for the saddle, most specifically in the shoulder area.
The development of the free shoulder ensued.
The popularity of the free shoulder patent only grew. Although it found its home within the realm of polo, it was Olympian Todd Minikus who brought the Verhan® saddle to the show jumping arena. Both he and his wife, Amanda, have advocated for such a saddle for years, and through the brainstorming and careful crafting of Verhan®, such a unique and impressive saddle became a reality. It wasn't too long before it was seen in the dressage ring, as well as achieving the same outstanding result-freedom of movement.
Nic Roldan in the Polo Gear™ Free Shoulder Saddle™ Photo By: Scott Fisher
Performance Saddlery, Inc. officially merged under Polo Gear, LLC as of January 1, 2014. Witty is president of the new "Performance Saddlery" division of Polo Gear, which includes the Trilogy and Verhan® brands. Operations will be consolidated in the new Polo Gear building in Wellington when it is complete. Witty's staff of saddle fitters will service Trilogy®, Verhan® and the "Polo Gear Team Shop" line of custom equestrian apparel, horse and barn products.
Fellers had the following to say about the merger, "Polo Gear is honored and excited about working with Debbie Witty and her excellently trained, experienced staff of saddle fitters. To us it is all about the horse and Debbie has devoted her life to improving horse comfort and performance. It is a wonderful fit, and we work great together."
Todd Minikus riding in the Verhan® Free Shoulder Jumping Saddle
The combined powerhouse also brings with it an impressive group of professional riders. Olympians Debbie McDonald, Adrienne Lyle, David Marcus, Todd Minikus, and Cesar Parra have all been using the products with long associations. In addition, trainers and riders Scott and Susanne Hassler, Jeremy Steinberg, Shannon Peters, JJ Tate, Nicholas Fyffe and celebrity author Tami Hoag join a large group of Verhan® trainers and riders in support and product testing of the Performance Saddlery products. Polo stars Nic Roldan, Luis Escobar and Memo Gracida also use the saddle along with top patrons like Marc and Melissa Ganzi, Tommy Lee and Dawn Jones.
Debbie McDonald celebrates a fantastic test she completed in the Trilogy® Debbie McDonald Dressage Saddle
Olympic Dressage rider Debbie McDonald spoke highly of the merger, "This is a fabulous opportunity for the horse community. You have two very experienced, long standing companies, Trilogy and Polo Gear, joining together with a commitment to the horse, proper saddle fit and customer service. I have known Debbie [Witty] for 15 years, and she has always been 100% devoted to customer service and solving problems. Polo Gear has the same reputation. It is great that we can receive the same service wherever we are training or competing, because Debbie has instilled that knowledge and commitment to her fitters as well."
Polo Gear is the industry standard when it comes to top of the line equestrian products. Always seeking more avenues to best serve clients and their horses' needs, Polo Gear recently joined with Debbie Witty and Performance Saddlery to enhance their already popular Trilogy® saddles. The strength of Performance Saddlery's unsurpassed expertise has increased even further as they have joined forces with Verhan® and Trilogy to create one-of-a-kind performance saddles and a national force of experienced saddle fitters personally trained and mentored by Witty. Polo Gear certainly doesn't stop at just saddles-they are the leading providers of every product players need to walk onto the field, or riders use in the show ring. Polo Gear is also a central component in the development of the Polo West complex one of the last unfinished real estate gems in Wellington. It is moving its operations to the Polo West location and renovating and updating those facilities to include a new home for the Trilogy®, Verhan®, Polo Gear™ and Golf Gear™ brands. For more information on Polo Gear USA and to order products, visit www.pologearusa.com.
These photographs may only be used in relation to this Phelps Media Group press release. Photos By: Scott Fisher, Emily Riden and Courtesy of Client.