Saddle & Bridle is the oldest name in horse show magazines. Founded in 1927 Saddle & Bridle has been family owned since its first day and today’s publishers, Chris and Jeff Thompson, represent the third generation. When their grandfather Arthur Van Ronzelen first published the magazine, Saddle & Bridle was a society publication focusing on the equestrian lifestyle. Then, as now, show horses were a popular choice among the “horsey set.” Through the depression and World War II, “Mr. Van” never missed an issue and Saddle & Bridle became more and more focused on the American Saddlebred and Hackney ponies, though other breeds such as Walking Horses and Morgans garnered coverage as well. One of the innovations of Saddle & Bridle was the publication of the American Saddlebred Sire Ratings, which were based on a point system created by W. Jefferson Harris. Over 80 years later the sire ratings remain an important tool in the breeding of the American Saddlebred.
In the early 1960s Mr. Van Ronzelen’s son-in-law William Thompson purchased the magazine. He put his passion for the American Saddlebred to good use and was instrumental in the creation of the pleasure division and later Pleasure Equitation, Western Pleasure and Hunter Pleasure. By the early 1990s Bill’s sons Chris and Jeff had joined the magazine and he retired in 1991. Chris and Jeff share his passion for horses and ponies and continue to promote the American Saddlebred through the Saddle & Bridle Finals: the Pleasure Equitation Medallion, Shatner Western Pleasure, Working Western Pleasure, Hunter Classic and Working Hunter Classic Finals.
For over 80 years Saddle & Bridle has represented the highest quality and most consistent and detailed coverage of the wonderful American Saddlebred and other show horses. The key to the success of the magazine has always been the loyal and enthusiastic staff. All of Saddle & Bridle’s editors share a passion for the horse and all participate in horse shows as exhibitors and sponsors.