Claire Fitzmaurice

Claire FitzmauriceClaire has always loved horses. As a child she competed many ponies for anybody and everybody that would let her. After starting her eventing career in her late teens, she moved to Belgium to train and compete. Claire also gained valuable experience of top level competitions by groomed on the international 3-day circuit, which included attending the Europeans at Achelswang.

Claire then moved to Germany for the next four years. She gained invaluable experience training with some of Germany's leading event riders, and competing a wide variety of young horses with a lot of success, including two years riding for Peter Thomsen (team gold medallist Beijing 2008). Some of her many highlights were riding two horses at the Bundeschampionat (German national young horse finals) and grooming at the Atlanta Olympics.

Claire FitzmauriceClaire returned to England and its enviable eventing scene. Over the following five years she had the support of an enthusiastic owner and rode up to advanced level. Many successes followed on several different horses.

In 2002 Claire branched out, set up her own yard and started her career as a trainer. She produced and rode many horses and trained riders at all levels, gaining considerable experience of watching and feeling horses' movement and a thorough understanding of how they move and carry the rider. During her time teaching Claire realised that many of the training issues and poor performance problems that she was enlisted to help with were saddle related as horses where restricted and compromised by the saddles they where ridden in.

Cover of Horse DealsClaire became increasingly frustrated because she could not find a suitable saddle to address these issues so she designed her own and Ava Saddles was born. Claire is a trained saddle fitter in flair and flock panels. She has drawn on her extensive horse knowledge and experience to develop a range of flexible horse friendly saddles that also work well for the rider.

Claire has developed Ava into a successful company, designing and fitting the saddles. She believes that a well-fitting saddle is key to horse well-being and performance. Claire brings her experienced eye and passion for horses and their comfort to the job, and enjoys working with clients to find a saddle that really works for them both.

Claire no longer has time to event but now enjoys competing in dressage with her 2 young horses Gilbert (Oldenburg by Sir Donnerhall) & Roy (Oldenburg by Foundation). You can follow their progress on Facebook and Twitter.

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