Successful Year for The Society of Master Saddlers
AN increase in membership, enlightening seminars, a manufacturers’ showcase and interesting educational days were all reported at an upbeat Society of Master Saddlers annual general meeting. The AGM was held at The Institute of Creative Leather Technologies, Northampton University and was followed by a very interesting tour of the Institute’s tannery and research facilities. The society has spent the last 12 months moving towards a more proactive and forward thinking association, to benefit both the membership and horse owners. Chief Executive Hazel Morley said: “Despite the current economic climate, SMS are pleased to be able to report that the membership continues to grow, with an increase in membership since last year. “The membership is made up of retailers, manufacturers, allied trade and affiliates, as well as individual members and overseas members, with UK and overseas qualified saddle fitters registered with the SMS. “They are very promising numbers and a pleasing retention rate in these difficult times, hopefully demonstrating that members really appreciate the support of their professional body.” With a series of exciting events to make members feel part of the association, to inform, educate and support, the SMS is going from strength to strength. The society has worked hard to respond to their members’ views and suggestions, so held an educational seminar with lectures on Social Media for businesses, the work which the saddlery team carries out for World Horse Welfare in developing countries, the work of the Farriers Registration Council and a very exciting demonstration by the Kings Troop RHA gun team. This brilliant event was very well received. The society has held two Manufacturers’ Showcase events, their yearly competitions, the BETA International saddlery competition, saddle fitting courses, refresher day and a side saddle education day, to name just a few events, with all well attended and enjoyed. Added Hazel: “The Executive Committee’s major task this year has been to carry out a strategic review of the Society which has been undertaken and a number of new initiatives already put in place including increased Social Media and Marketing activity. “Our regional groups have gone from strength to strength and we would encourage more regions to get together and develop their own group to discuss ideas and work in partnership. “All in all, is has been a very hectic but successful year for the society and its members - an acknowledgment of the hard work put in by both employees and volunteers alike.” To find out more information on The Society of Master Saddlers visit www.mastersaddlers.co.uk or contact on 01449 711642.
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