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.
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.
Maria Stevens, Usk
Just a note to say how delighted I am with my new dressage saddle. I have been struggling to find a saddle to fit for three years and have have tried at least four different makes which have been disasters!
Tracey and Texas
They are absolutely brilliant, I have never ridden on anything as comfortable both for me and my horses
Pam Harrison, Cheshire
Her jumping is much freer too as she’s able to use her shoulders more effectively with the saddle being made to measure.
Denise & Vicki Jarvis, Falkirk, Scotland
Claire is completely brilliant at what she does. Excellent British made product, excellent service.
Katie Monroe, Windsor
My Ava saddle was fitted by Claire, in Spring 2016. I have not looked back since.
Alison Elliot, Paisley, Scotland
Not only is my saddle the perfect fit for my horse, my leg position and riding has improved massively!
Becky Edge, Bury, Lancashire
Love our new Ava calfskin Gp Saddle with Swarovski crystals. My boy is so much happier and his way of going is superb!
Joanne Robinson, Wirral
Great saddles & an excellent knowledgeable fitter - even with big (17.3) high withered sport horses - i will never use any other saddles or fitters now and great value for money!
Seonaid MacDonald, Bath
Our Pony Sariska is moving so much more freely in every discipline.
Kirston & Eleanor Clulow, Durham
Just wanted to let you know how simply awesome the saddle is and how it has transformed our work in the school/competition/jumping!!
Nicki Owen, West Cumbria
Ria (my daughter) has 3 saddles from Ava and they have transformed our ponies way of going – now hankering for a 4th #loveAva