About Claire Fitzmaurice
Claire 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 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.
Claire 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.
Now in my 7th year of riding in Ava saddles, on several different horses – all expertly fitted and adjusted as necessary.
Nikki Cartwright, North Wales
Ria (my daughter) has 3 saddles from Ava and they have transformed our ponies way of going – now hankering for a 4th #loveAva
Wendy & Ria Scott, Thirsk
Wonderful personal service ensuring saddle fitted both myself and my horse.
Amy Bratt, Stafford
Everyone needs an AVA saddle!!!!
Kirsty Morton, Aberdeen
Thank you Claire Love my new calfskin dressage saddle with crystals. My 4 year old goes so well in his Ava jump saddle so thought I would treat him.
Steph Holker, Blackburn
They are absolutely brilliant, I have never ridden on anything as comfortable both for me and my horses
Pam Harrison, Cheshire
The fitting and aftercare service was like nothing I have ever experienced before, Claire has a fantastic eye for detail and is incredibly thorough, I am 100% happy with my Ava saddles!
Emma Littlewood, Leeds
Finally found a saddle that fits my rather wide cob after years of slipping saddles. My only regret is that I did not find Ava saddles sooner.
Gill Auger, Wirral
After receiving our third Ava saddle we are delighted with the results. Our young horse already seems looser and more relaxed in her paces.
Robert, Sheila & Megan Anderson, Skipton, N Yorkshire
The air filled panels also allowed my horse to develop more muscle along his top line, and within a month the saddle needed altering to his changed shape. Ava Saddles made the alterations quickly by changing the amount of air in each panel.
Jenny Owst, Otley
Ava saddles truly is a saddle for life for you and your horse ... Can’t recommend Ava saddles enough.
Jane Flickler, Cambridge
I have struggled with saddles probably since having horses. For the first time ever since my saddle fittings for both horses (Young & Older) I feel positive about our future.