First promotion of Wintec Race Saddles
Ron and Ken Bates owners of Bates Saddlery Australia in Perth, Western Australia are the designers behind the revolutionary Wintec saddles.
In the early 1980's the Bates brothers made a range of leather race saddles using Kangaroo Hide due to its lighter weight and strength. The kangaroo hide in the saddles was not lined in order to keep the weight of the saddles down. This however caused the Kangaroo leather to wrinkle up in use and sparked a search for a lightweight foam which could be used to back the leather and stiffen it there by stopping it from wrinkling.
Not long after, a suitable foam was found, but it required protection. A tough knitted fabric, the same used to cover neoprene foam for wetsuits, was laminated to the foam for protection. The idea of laminating a single layer of cloth to a foam backing is the central idea behind Wintec Saddles. By laminating foam to fabric the durability of the fabric is considerably increased.
Using fabric on both sides of the foam produced the first ever Wintec Race saddle - what better way to maintain lightweight for a jockey.
This first ever full cloth race saddle was given to a local jockey to test. He absolutely loved the saddle and would in fact take it into the shower with him after a race to wash the mud and sweat off it. In no time there were enough jockeys interested in the saddle to send it into full scale production.
The first Wintec race saddles were sold in an array of colours including reds, blues, pinks and yellows. The saddles took the global market by storm, especially in England where in 8 out of the next 10 years the famous English Derby was won by jockeys riding in Wintec Saddles.