THE Society of Master Saddlers is very sad to announce that well known industry figure Ken Lyndon-Dykes has passed away.
Ken was a visionary in the saddlery industry and a long-term supporter of the Society of Master Saddlers, holding the role of President in 2016/17.
He was also one of the course leaders for the Saddle Fitting Qualification in the early years during the 1990’s.
Well-known throughout the sector and with a successful career in saddle design and fitting, Ken was vocal when it came to continuing to improve standards.
Throughout his life he encouraged and supported both qualified saddlers and saddle fitters to be passionate about their roles and careers, helping to ensure saddlery work and skills were maintained to high standards at all times.
A life-changing aeroplane crash in 1972 temporarily paralysed Ken from the waist down and forced him to rethink his career plans.
Saddle design was at the top of his list and with no job but a horse and riding knowledge he set out to learn more.
At the time the saddle industry was developing and Ken arrived with a very dynamic view of the way things should be when it came to designing saddles.
He was told he would never walk again but thankfully this didn’t prove to be the case. Ken started riding again in 1974 and became a champion three-day-event rider and by 1981 he had the highest scoring event horse in the world.
As well as making a successful eventing career, Ken was at the forefront of the business world too, at one time owning a national chain of 56 retail outlets under the name of Kent Leather Distributors.
He sold this company in 2001 save the saddle side of the business, which became known as Saddle World in Maidstone, Kent. Ken lived near Faversham and travelled all over the world undertaking fittings
A family-only funeral is planned with a memorial at a later date.
Please contact the SMS office for details where messages of sympathy may be sent.