Created and managed by Schleese Saddlery Ltd., the Devin Grace Scholarship Fund is devoted to helping young riders get the most out of their equine experience through expert saddle fitting and performance. As such, the Devin Grace Scholarship Fund makes quality Schleese saddles available to deserving children whose families may not be able to afford the quality and craftsmanship of a proper fitting saddle.
Devin Grace Franktze was a young rider of 14 years old and a dear member of the Schleese extended family when she lost her life suddenly in a tragic car accident. The fund is set up in memory of her caring spirit, work ethic and passion for western riding in the Arizona desert on her beloved horse, Lady Bug. Devin cared deeply about the health of her horse and understood the importance of proper saddle fit. The DGSF’s mission is to help others experience the joy and satisfaction that she felt while riding the trails.
These values are shared by our Schleese and Saddlefit4Life teams who regularly meet deserving, hardworking youngsters in barns all over North America who understand the importance of proper saddle fit but for whom circumstances make a quality saddle unaffordable. Our field teams will identify potential candidates and encourage them to complete an application that will include a personal essay on what the child feels makes them deserving of one of the fund’s saddles, provide an endorsement from their teacher/coach/trainer/mentor and a letter of applications from their parent(s).
Each Devin Grace Scholarship Fund saddle will be stamped, “On loan to this deserving rider” as recognition of the child’s achievement. Then, when the child outgrows the saddle or stops riding for any reason, it will be returned to the fund to be put back into circulation for yet another child in need. As the scholarship funds accumulate, saddles will be awarded in order of acceptance. Saddles styles made available will include pony, western, dressage and jumping.
Schleese Saddlery Ltd has committed to donating a percentage of every SWS “Devin” western riding saddle to The Devin Grace Scholarship Fund.
Jochen Schleese graduated from Passier as a Certified Master Saddler and came to Canada in 1986 as official saddler for the World Dressage Championships. He established and registered the trade of saddlery in Ontario in 1990. Schleese saddles are designed for women, specializing in the unique anatomical requirements of female riders. Schleese authorized representatives provide diagnostic saddle fit analysis and saddle fitting services across North America to maintain optimal saddle fit to horse and rider. Jochen Schleese is the author of the best-selling “Suffering in Silence: The Saddle Fit Link to Physical and Psychological Trauma in Horses.” For more information visit www.saddlesforwomen.com.