Sarah is tipped for a rural Oscar accolade

Sarah Parry has been nominated for a rural Oscar.
Sarah Parry has been nominated for a rural Oscar.
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A mounted police volunteer for the Ribble Valley is a finalist in the Countryside Alliance Awards for her business Bit on the Sidesaddle.

Sarah Parry, whose business aims to keep the art of side saddle riding alive by offering affordable saddles and tailored habits, has been shortlisted to win an award in the Rural Enterprise category.

The awards are the Countryside Alliance’s annual celebration of British food and farming, enterprise and heritage through the country’s small hard-working businesses.

The awards are now in their 13th year and have become the definitive rural business award to win. They are set apart from other award schemes because they are driven by public nomination, offering customers the chance to say why their favourite businesses are worthy of national acclaim. The awards received more than 11,000 nominations this year.

Sarah, whose career spans 20 years designing men’s and sportswear to the high street, designs and makes riding clothing inspired by vintage paintings. She also makes her own fabrics used for clothing and home textiles under the name Sissy and Flynn Equine Outfitters. The prints are country and side saddle themed and often customer led for their own requirements.

Sarah became a keen side saddle rider through injury and is convinced that her Melody saddles, which were used at the Rio Olympics, will make riding accessible to disabled people, arthritic riders and amputees. As a mounted police volunteer for the Ribble Valley, she often patrols side saddle.

Speaking about her nomination Sarah said: I’m absolutely delighted to be nominated for an award. Working in a niche sport, in a rural area can be challenging but I look forward to opening a working showroom in Whalley very soon.”

Countryside Alliance Awards director Sarah Lee said: “The secret to the Rural Oscars’ popularity is that they honour the people involved in these businesses and not just their produce or services.”