Category Archives: WOW saddles and Paul Tapner

Busy as ever…

The eventing season may have finished but for WOW’s eventing ambassadors, the off season does not mean lazing about! Francis Whittington took a short break before heading off to the USA to do some teaching clinics. Kitty KIng went horse shopping in Ireland (we are awaiting news of that exciting mission) and on her return, went to Cheltenham races to promote Team GBR at the Countryside Day. Pau Tapner demonstrated at Your Horse Live and signed lots of autographs and then headed off to Newmarket for the Retraining of Racehorses Awards where he was a prize winner – see our blog post on this nest week! What a busy team they are.

kitty paul and francis at stand

Bespoke bling and exciting leather colourways available from WOW Saddles

Leading saddle manufacturer First Thought Equine now offers a personalisation service on all new saddles.

Blingy WOW with customisationCustomers can have the cantle and pommel areas customised with appliquéd diamante and crystals to suit their needs, either in a pattern of their choice, or to spell a rider, horse or sponsor’s name.

The leatherwork of all saddles may also be customised in the rider’s or sponsor’s colours; two-tone leather is popular, for example. Eventer Paul Tapner recently commissioned a striking red and black saddle in his country colours.

Key features of WOW Saddles:

• The only longitudinally rigid, but laterally flexible tree – offers greater shoulder freedom
• Large bearing surface
• The widest range of interchangeable width fittings: XN-8X
• Features Flair air bag flocking; a flexible, gaseous bearing surface that increases pressure distribution over the horse’s back & provides shock absorption.

Call (44) 1227 831614 for stockists or visit

bespoke  Red saddle_ model shown is XC style

Barbury Castle – a great day for WOW sponsored riders

This year has seen some of our most celebrated equestrian events cancelled due to the typical British weather, but despite a bit of rain in the morning, Barbury Castle was in full flow with the sun shining.

The CIC2* sections were a favourite for many spectators and the focus of the day. There have been some recent changes to the course, but it remains one of the bigger CIC2* tracks of the eventing calendar.




Kitty King at Salperton




We were extremely pleased to see our sponsored rider, Kitty King win section Section B on her horse Persimmon. Together they only added 6 time penalties to their dressage score after also jumping clear in the showjumping.

Paul Tapner came second in section B on his horse Indian Mill.

Barbury Castle had a bit of light relief on offer (no one took it that seriously of course!) They had the Hit Air Rodeo Bull Eventers vs Jockeys challenge. Our very own Paul Tapner managed to stay on ‘Billy the Bull’ for a very impressive 59 seconds!

Why we love Badminton Horse Trials

This is a great bit of footage from the 2011 Badminton Horse Trials. Paul Tapner talks you through his ride around the Mitsubishi Motors cross country course via full helmet cam footage used to compliment the TV coverage. Paul talks us through every fence, his strategy for riding the course, and his thoughts on his way round.

Eventer Paul Tapner co-designs beautiful cross country saddle with the WOW factor

The striking new ‘WOW XC Saddle with Long Blocks’ has been co-designed by Australian eventer, Paul Tapner.

Paul, who is sponsored by WOW Saddles, wanted a superior saddle that would help keep him at the top of his game. His top ride, Inonothing, one of the sport’s top event horses, recently returned to four star eventing after an injury.

“Manny loves his WOW saddles. They are built from two different perspectives; firstly the saddle gets constructed to fit the rider, then the saddle gets constructed to fit the horse; when these two parts are brought together, the result is a bespoke saddle that 100% fits the horses and also 100% fits the rider; whatever the horse’s shape, or your own build and height. The saddle’s Flair air-bag flocking is proven to be far superior over traditional wool flocking or foam, for both fit and pressure distribution, enabling the horses to perform at their best cross country. I helped design this saddle with a faster pace of XC riding in mind. The rider needs to be able to achieve a different balance to cope with the terrain and different jumping requirements of XC riding; the leg blocks, saddle flaps and seat type on this saddle are all designed with the rider’s balance as a priority,” Paul states.

The fixed long blocks give increased support for the leg, making this saddle ideal for riders with longer thighs, or those that ride with a longer stirrup length. Paul co-designed the Havannah and Military (brown and maroon) colour-way, however all conceivable colours are available in this and other WOW saddle ranges from First Thought Equine.

The XC Saddle with Long Blocks saddle retails for £2,082.

Training with one of our sponsored riders – Paul Tapner

Spring Cross-Country Training Sessions

Due to demand, the Tapner Eventing Team have just released dates for more cross-country training with Paul at Wickstead Equestrian Centre. Click here to be directed to the booking form or for information.


Paul is a popular and skilled trainer of all ages and levels of rider. He is available for clinics and lecture demos for Riding Clubs and Pony Clubs as well as other large groups. He is also happy to teach individuals or smaller groups either at his base, Wickstead Equestrian Centre, or at other locations around the UK or even further afield! He has wide ranging experience in teaching all three disciplines and always adds a touch of his humour to keep everyone entertained. Here are some of the things people have said about his training methods…

“Paul is amusing and inspiring when he teaches, plus he’s great at explaining things so that I can understand. I can’t wait for the next clinic!”

“Even though I was not riding I really learnt a lot by listening to what Paul had to say. If you could possibly pass on the thanks to him and say that I enjoyed myself very much.”

“Hannah had a great lesson and learnt a lot from him – in fact everyone I have spoken to has said the same. Thanks again and please let us know if Paul is doing another clinic.”

“Paul’s amusing and inspiring instruction helped each attendee become more aware of how their position and movement affected their horse.”

Book now for clinics in March, April, May and June.

Contact Lucy Graham ( for more details of Paul’s availability or to book particular dates.