Claire is a bench saddler having previously worked in an educational charity. Having achieved recognition at the SMS National Saddlery Competition and built up a network of contacts and clients, she established her own saddlery, Davenport Leather, in 2021. She specialises in bespoke bridles, but also makes other items of riding tack, bespoke dog collars and horse harness, as well as offering a repair service.
A QEST Scholarship will enable Claire to further develop her bridle-making and skills in harness-making and repair, with a particular interest in heavy horse harnesses. She will study at the Saddlery Training Centre, and also receive one-on-one training with two different experts: master saddler, harness and bridle maker, Frances Roche, and Phil Goodchild, who specialises in harnesses for heavy horses.
By developing her skills, expanding her business and passing her skills to those who follow in her footsteps, Claire will contribute to both the UK’s saddlery sector and to the welfare of the country’s working horses, as they, once again, gain prominence.