FRITZ REIDL & WOLFGANG FEY
This saddle is built on a Wade tree made by Warren Wright, New Zealand. Fritz Riedl did the construction of the saddle that features a 15 1/2-inch seat, 3 1/2-inch x 12-inch cantle, 5-inch stock and round horn cap, 4 3/4-inches in diameter. Wolfgang Fey did the tooling as a combination of roughout seat and skirts with mixed floral carving, dyed background and antique finish. Other features include buck rolls, and 7/8 flat plate rigging. The standard 1-inch oxbow stirrups made by Trina Weber, Nampa, Idaho, are leather lined and artfully scalloped and tacked around all edges. The saddle comes fully rigged.
FRITZ RIEDL, Saddlemaker, Bavaria, Germany
Fritz Riedl retired from his career as a journalist in 2003 to work as a full time saddlemaker. While on assignment in Wyoming for a German newspaper, Fritz met Sheridan saddlemaker Don Butler and was inspired to take up leatherwork. His first Western style saddle was built following Pete Gorrell's saddlemaking articles in the Leather Crafters & Saddlers Journal, along with many phone conversations with Pete. Fritz also learned from Ben Swanke and other saddlemakers such as Jeremiah Watt who attend the Sheridan Leathercrafters show.
WOLFGANG FEY, Saddlemaker, Hessen, Germany
Wolfgang Fey is 45 years old and has been making saddles for the last 11 years, since 2004 in his own shop. In 2008, he was awarded first place in the tooled saddles category at the World Leather Debut, held annually in Sheridan, Wyoming during the Rocky Mountain Leather Show. Wolfgang met American saddlemaker Chester Hape in 1997, who became an advisor, teacher and mentor. In 2006 Wolfgang received a TCAA scholarship for an apprenticeship with saddlemaker Cary Schwarz. Wolfgang credits both men for their valuable influence and philosophy, "Form follows function;" and "Art has to blend with function." Fritz and Wolfgang were featured in an article in the Spring 2008 edition of Cowboy Magazine.
Photos by Jeremiah Watt