Champion Black Leather Saddle

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This Champion saddle is of a western design, but was likely used as a showman’s saddle, given the extensive silvery-steel plating and studding and very heavy weight. The core is a very traditional wooden tree frame, which was laid over with a semi-glossy black stained leather, and further reinforced with a myriad of steel plates and large steel studs. Despite the black stained leather, brown stitching is used throughout most of the leatherwork, the decorative tassels hanging from the rounded steel conchos are also stained brown instead of black. These highlights of brown provide a nice contrast to the predominantly black body of the saddle. The saddle’s horn is completely covered with steel plate, this steel plate is also covering the girdle, the cantle, and the swell. Steel studding is seen on the back housing and fenders, mixed in with a plethora of western floral tooling. The breast strap is also quite heavily studded, and the center of the strap holds a large steel plate which has been decorated to feature a horse’s head. The stirrups have a mounted toe guard, with a bar resting 30 inches below the seat. The saddle body measures around 27 inches long by 20 inches wide. The label for the saddle is found just behind the seat, it depicts a showman upon a rearing horse over the company name Champion.

Champion Saddlery has been manufacturing and producing quality saddles out of central Virginia for over half a century. The family owned business produces saddles in a multitude of styles, such as English, Aussie, and Western American. The saddle featured here is one of their much older western designs, and was likely made for cattle roping, or possibly for Horse Reigning. Regardless of whether Champion designed and built this saddle with the specific intention of it being used in work during a cattle drive or for sport, it would have performed quite sufficiently. The heavy weight of the saddle would make it a poor choice however for endurance riding, or any sort of vaulting.

Item #: 0270