Coat of ArmsThe Worshipful Company of SaddlersThe Saddlers Company
The Saddlers' Company Charitable Policy


Applicants wishing to apply to the Saddlers’ Company for a charitable grant should read the following statement before making an application.

The core purpose of the Saddlers’ Company has been enshrined by Charter since 1395 as the ‘furtherance’, ‘promotion’, or ‘support’ of and to the craft or trade of Saddlery.

The latest Company Charter of 1995 further refined these goals:

“The Objects of the Company shall be to further the Craft of Saddlery and activities associated with the Craft of Saddlery. The Company should further provide for the good fellowship of its members and others associated with the Company in any way or with its objectives, shall promote and sustain its charitable and philanthropic objects of all kinds both corporately and by members individually and shall provide for the support of our City and Corporation of London.”

This statement of intent incorporates a wide range of objectives which have been further reviewed since. Each review has incrementally sought to bring greater clarity to just what is most important and what lies at the heart of the Company and its charitable giving.

In 2016 the Wardens, at the behest of the Court as Trustees of the Charities, conducted a review of the Company’s charitable policies and activities to ensure that effort was focused and commitments were made to those areas which might have the greatest and most relevant impact and public benefit, having regard to the Company’s charitable aims and its core purpose as an institution.

The terms and intentions of various benefactors contained within the charities administered by the Company, be they endowments or otherwise, were also examined in detail. Both the freedoms and constraints contained within each were reviewed and the type of each donation or legacy was taken into account in formulating a set of recommendations. 

The conclusions of that review were endorsed by the Court in July 2017.



The Saddlers’ Company and its charities have limits as to what can be done and the funds which can be accessed and used for a specific purpose. The 2016 Review concluded that the following priorities were fundamental to ensuring the continued success of the Company’s charitable work:

a.        securing the principal assets held by the Company,

b.        building the capital base, whilst investing for the future,

c.        finding ways to grow both commercial and charitable income,

d.        changing the charities reserves policies,

e.        administering the charities as a single unitised fund,

f.         only committing to spend that which has been generated by the fund,

g.        working in partnership with others to maximise the impact of
           available resources and expertise.





Constructive, and well considered, feedback was received from across the Company in response to the various papers that were prepared and briefings given. This shaped the following key conclusions:

a.         The Company should seek out those institutions and charities with which it wishes to work most closely, finding areas where common goals align. Such an approach will lead to fewer but stronger and more enduring relationships with those best placed to support the Company’s objectives.

 b.         There are many partnerships already in place upon which to build. In the trade this should currently be the Society of Master Saddlers, the British Equestrian Trade Association, Capel Manor College and the Saddlery Training Centre.  Equestrian partnerships should focus on the British Equestrian Federation, the British Horse Society and World Horse Welfare. City, University of London, Alleyn’s School and City of London Academy Islington should continue to be priorities in the education sphere with increased efforts to find common ground.

 c.         Riding for the Disabled, the British Racing School, the British Horse Society Changing Lives Through Horses programme and XLP: Futures for Young People would fall naturally into the ‘sweet spot’ where the Company’s charitable goals align with those of disadvantaged youth and the disabled; an area of focus that should endure.

 d.         Where the Company has long term commitments to existing Charities and Institutions (such as Alleyn’s School, City, University of London and Riding for the Disabled) they should be honoured, but the annual grants must be tailored to reflect the realities of reduced investment returns in the near term.  The strong practical relationships that exist with these and other institutions are greatly valued by both sides and the provision of Governors or representatives will be maintained.

 e.         Support for research should be leveraged to bring ‘science’ to support British saddlery through the Society of Master Saddlers, thereby ‘professionalising’ the industry and keeping it at the cutting edge of a competitive, global marketplace.

 f.          The Charity ‘Visits’ programme should be expanded to a ‘Liaison’ role with each of the Company’s principal partners having a Court or Livery and Free Member assigned to it, working together and providing feedback to the Charities Committee.

 g.         Opportunities to support smaller local charities and causes of interest to members of the Livery must remain, although they should be in some way relevant to the Company’s broader charitable objectives. Priority will be given to those causes supported by members in a personal capacity, such as fundraising or in a governance role.

 h.         As a Livery Company, support to the City of London must continue, as should that to the military – albeit at a level of financial ambition that matches income from investments.

Broader ideas from Company Members which are supported by best practice also recommend:

a.         The Company should actively seek out charities and partner organisations with whom it wishes to establish long term relationships and funding arrangements rather than inviting applications from all comers, as has been the practice in recent years.

b.         Areas of common interest should be sought between trade, equestrian and charitable support, so that the Company’s ‘goodwill’ might encourage a collaborative approach to the delivery of the Company’s objectives and those of its partners.

 c.         Charitable grants should remain UK focused.

Following on from the above, the Trustees of the Companies’ charities have decided the small grants programme is no longer an effective or efficient method of delivering against the Review objectives and from July 2017 it will no longer operate in its current form. The charity most affected by this decision is the Saddlers’ Company Charitable Fund.

Charities and individuals that might previously have applied to this fund for a small grant will no longer be able to file online applications for support.  Instead applicants may register their interest in applying for a grant and if their activities are considered to align with the Company's funding priorities, they may be invited to make a full application. 

Thus while charities and individuals are welcome to register their interest in applying for financial support from any of the Company Charities, this should be done by way of an introductory email to the Charities Administrator at who will respond to discuss the merit of a bid before advising on whether one should proceed.

 Prospective applicants should note the following:

Kitchin’s Charity is focused on training and education and priorities for discretionary funding are:

         City, University of London

         The City of London Academy, Islington

         Capel Manor College

 There will remain an opportunity for eligible individuals pursuing a relevant education or training course to apply for support.

Kaye’s & Labourne’s Charity focuses on need and beneficiaries of disbursements from this charity will be

         Saddlers and their dependents who are in need, experiencing hardship or    otherwise requiring assistance;

         Charities working with disadvantaged young people and which are inclusive rather than focused principally on a single ethnic or cultural group;

         Charities working with disability where statutory support is not available.

The RM Sturdy Trust will retain its focus on education in the Church of England and the repair and maintenance of the fabric of small churches in the Anglican Communion throughout the UK.

The majority of funding from the Saddlers’ Company Charitable Fund will be allocated to those organisations which the Company identifies as having interests that are aligned with the Company’s core purposes.

The Company will not attend to unsolicited brochures or appeal letters and respectfully requests that it be removed from mailing lists.

Students at City, University of London