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FEI Dressage Trainer and Competitor Julio Mendoza Earns Custom Saddlery Most Valuable Rider Award

FEI Dressage Trainer and Competitor Julio Mendoza Earns Custom Saddlery Most Valuable Rider Award
Posted on: November 9, 2016    Category  Press releases

Williamston, NC (November 3, 2016)  – FEI dressage trainer and instructor Julio Mendoza believes that one of the most important contributions an experienced rider can make to the sport of dressage is setting a good example for the upcoming generation of riders. “We give young riders something to aspire to, and they need to see that we love and care for our horses and that we are supportive of one another,” said the USDF Gold Medalist, who has trained many horses and students through Grand Prix level. Those who have ridden alongside Mendoza can attest that he practices what he preaches. In addition to his own wins at the 2016 Great American Insurance Group/USDF Region 1 Dressage Championships & NCDCTA Autumn Leaves Dressage show in Williamston, North Carolina this autumn, Mendoza also helped several students achieve top-notch performances and extended support and helpful tips to other competitors, helping to make the show an enjoyable and successful experience for all.

Custom Saddlery thanked Mendoza for his exemplary sportsmanship and dedication to up-and-coming riders by presenting him with the Custom Saddlery Most Valuable Rider (MVR) Award. This award is given at shows across the U.S. to dressage riders who contribute to an overall positive show atmosphere by demonstrating excellent horsemanship, sportsmanship, and talent in the show ring. In recognition of winning the MVR Award, Mendoza received a ribbon, embroidered Custom Saddlery saddle pad, and $150 gift certificate toward any item from Custom Saddlery.

“Julio is a great guy!” said Custom Saddlery saddle fitter Rebecca Blikslager of Apex, North Carolina, who represented the company at the USDF Region 1 Dressage Championships. “We gave him this award because he supported his fellow competitors with friendly advice and exhibited an infinitely positive attitude, while winning many classes along the way.”

Mendoza, who owns and operates Mendoza Dressage out of Columbus, North Carolina with his wife Jessica, competed ​with six horses from First Level through FEI Intermediare I at the USDF Region 1 Dressage Championships. This included nine-year-old Friesian mare Wanda of Black Pearl, eight-year-old Friesian gelding Apollo, five-year-old Oldenburg mare Beaucoup D’Amis, 11-year-old Friesian stallion Reinder fan Wifo, 11-year-old Friesian gelding Roelof van Wolfshol, and nine-year-old Hanoverian mare Roxanne WLF. 

“All of my horses were fantastic and tried their hardest, which is all I can ask for,” he said. “One of our horses, who is in her first year of dressage competition, won the First Level Championship and was named Reserve Champion at Second Level. We also had several students competing at this show, and all had a great weekend. One of the highlights was a student riding a beautiful Intermediare I Championship test to earn Reserve Champion Adult Amateur Intermediare I.” 

Mendoza himself was a fan of Custom Saddlery even before winning the company’s award. He has ridden in a Custom saddle since 2010. While competing his multiple horses at the USDF Region 1 Dressage Championships, he rode in Custom Saddlery’s Wolfgang Solo model, Icon Star, and Icon Flight. 

“Custom saddles give the horse very good freedom in the shoulder, and they also provide a great connection between the rider and horse,” Mendoza said. “All my Custom saddles are amazing and suit each horse differently as needed for each of their body types. My personal favorite is the Wolfgang Solo, which I rode in at the 2011 Pan American Games in Mexico.”

Custom Saddlery is proud to recognize riders like Mendoza for their contributions to the sport of dressage. Custom Saddlery produces innovative, expertly crafted saddles for dressage riders, jumpers, and eventers. Custom saddles can be personalized in a variety of ways to provide exceptional fit and comfort for both horse and rider. Expert saddle fitters are located across the country, and there are a wide variety of aesthetic options available so that riders can create their own perfect saddles. Custom Saddlery also manufactures quality accessories, including stirrup leathers, girths, and saddle pads. For more information about Custom Saddlery, visit or call 1-800-235-3865. 

Photo: Julio Mendoza won the Custom Saddlery MVR Award at the 2016 Great American Insurance Group/USDF Region 1 Dressage Championships & NCDCTA Autumn Leaves Dressage show (Pictured from left to right: Custom Saddlery saddle fitter Rebecca Blikslager, Julio Mendoza, and show manager Sandy Donovan)