Awarded Best of Show: Saddle Category

The inspiration for the pattern on this full flower carved saddle was a poinsetta plant. The saddle is built on a Wade tree made by Keith Gertch, with a 15-inch seat, post horn with 3 1/2-inch cap and 4-inch cantle. It has 7/8 flat plate rigging, an Oregon cross over rope strap, and stirrups with carved quarter covers. Ernie Marsh was enlisted to make the silverwork details.

WAYNE KELLY, Saddlemaker, Stanford, Montana
Wayne Kelly learned to build saddles in the early 1980s from Steve Stephenson. Two major turning points in his career came in the 90s when he started using Keith Gertch trees and when he had an opportunity to work with Twain Harwood. Wayne and his family live in Stanford, Montana, where he makes all types of gear, mostly for working cowboys and on occasion for competition roping. He continues to learn from various master saddlemakers including Steve Stephenson, who helps him especially with floral carving.

Photo by Adam Jahiel