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World Champion - Barnsby USA Partner In Joint Venture

They all come from one place.
The Shively saddle, that. is. While made by Barnsby, World Champion Horse Equipment has been the sole distributor of the popular saddle for the past decade - a staple for many when it comes to saddle seat equitation.

Now, Jabez Cliff and Co. of Walsall, England and World Champion Horse Equipment, from Shelbyville, Tenn., have partnered together to form Barnsby USA - a distributorship that will carry the full Barnsby saddle line.

The two companies extended this partnership in April 2002, stocking World Champion Horse Equipment with over 100 saddles, available for immediate shipment for retail stores across the nation.

“Our customers have been asking us to establish a stockroom in the United States and now we will have one” remarked John Jukes, Sales Manager for the Barnsby Company. “We are confident the new relationship with World Champion Horse Equipment will be a significant help and resource to all Barnsby retailers.”

As of April 15, 2002 a stockroom of over 100 Barnsby Saddles was set up in Shelbyville, enabling retail stores to order and receive Barnsby saddles on an immediate basis. Established Barnsby retailers can contact Barnsby USA for immediate shipment and new retailers can set up Barnsby accounts through the Barnsby USA operation.

World Champion Horse Equipment General Manager Jennifer Connelly added she was very pleased that her store was selected from stores all over the United States to become the distributor. She said World Champion looks forward to working with Barnsby and making this partnership a success.

She said, “We feel fortunate to have been selected for the Barnsby USA stockroom and distributorship and look forward to working with retailers on promoting the Barnsby line. World Champion Horse Equipment has done very well with the Barnsby Saddleseat and cutback line and we are excited about expanding to carry the full Barnsby line.”

Connelly’s goal seems reasonable as the two companies have a lot in common. A similar background, a solid foundation to build on - a family business.

Both Barnsby and World Champion Horse Equipment are family run businesses.

World Champion, a division of Dabora, Inc. is operated by David Howard. Howard, who also publishes the Saddle Horse Report and Walking Horse Report, and been in the horse business over 40 years, and has a wide range of knowledge surrounding the horse industry. With the help of his family - Jeffrey Howard, Christy Parsons, Jennifer Connelly and wife, Mary Howard - Howard has an understanding of what people want and need regarding horse care and equipment.

The store offers a variety of product - more than 10,000 different items - including gifts, jewelry, stable equipment, riding attire, saddles, bridles, blankets, tail sets, and more. Connelly said the inclusion of Barnsby USA will be a tremendous asset to their product line.

The world renowned Cliff-Barnsby Co. started out small more than 200 years ago when a young man named George Cliff worked as an apprentice making bridles. Several generations later, Cliff’s great grandson, Jabez Cliff Tibbits, proved he was a shrewd business man as well as a talented bridle and saddle maker.

“Not far from the Cliff factory were the premises of the world renowned saddle making company J A Barnsby & Sons...and in 1906 the young Jabez Cliff Tibbits pulled off an amazing coup when he put in a daring bid for the firm. Their offer was accepted, and the two companies merged,” as noted in the company Web site.

The Cliff-Barnsby merger, while maintaining its reputation as a distinguished saddlery, expanded their product during the 20th Century to include leather that would assist the British forces fighting in World War II - gun pouches, ammunition belts, and other leather goods. By this time, the company was also manufacturing sports products, travel goods and leather cases.

As a result of Cliff-Barnsby’s several contributions to Britain, Queen Elizabeth awarded the company in 1990 with the Royal Warrant as Saddler and Loriner.

John Jukes recalled a time when the queen was coming to the U.S. for a visit with former President Bush in the early 1990s. Naturally, she wanted to bring a gift for the president. Knowing he enjoyed playing horseshoes, Queen Elizabeth asked Cliff-Barnsby to make a set of silver-plated engraves horseshoes. They did, and the queen delivered them to President Bush in a velvet box.

Also in the early 1990s, Cliff-Barnsby met World Champion Horse Equipment. In January of 1990, a representative from Cliff-Barnsby introduced himself to a former manager of World Champion, Nancy Edwards. This meeting took place at the King Of Prussia (KOP) tack market.

Eventually, World Champion and Cliff-Barnsby formed a partnership where World Champion would be a distributor for the Barnsby saddle seat line, starting out with about 36 saddles. By May of that same year, World Champion was up to distributing about 280 saddles a year.

In 1991, World Champion began manufacturing the Shively 2000, which took off as saddle seat riders enjoyed the luxury of this particular saddle. About eight years later, after The World’s Champion Horse Show in Louisville, World Champion began manufacturing the Shively MMX, an upgrade of the Shively 2000.

The success of the saddle seat line prompted the recent partnership between Cliff-Barnsby and World Champion, where a broader range of product will be quickly accessible to horse people in the U.S. The two companies have seemingly similar goals and an understanding of what quality means when it comes to riding equipment. With the successful launch of this partnership, people all over the U.S. will have this quality at their disposal.

Barnsby USA began operations in Shelbyville, TN in April and should have a complete inventory of the Barnsby line by Summer 2002. Retail stores needing additional information or wholesale pricing should contact 1-866-BARNSBY. All other inquiries should contact World Champion Horse Equipment at 800-251-3490.

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