Manufacturer: Collegiate (View all products by Collegiate)
Model: Graduate (View all Graduate reviews)
Category: Close Contact Saddles
Purchase: I paid $200 for this saddle around 2000. It was traded to a BO for board and I offered to purchase for what was then a great price (retail $700). I'm giving it 4 stars out of 5, with five being the more high end off-the-rack saddles.
Likes: I always liked the classical/minimal styling of this saddle and the "correctness" for hunters/jumpers. This saddle doesn't hinder the rider but at the same time it doesn't allow you to slack off. It's a very good starter or lesson saddle because you can't rely on blocks or knee rolls to get you in good form. The Graduate was a major player for years and if you don't follow or can't afford fashion, I would recommend you look into them. You can pick them up easily for $250 on Ebay.
Dislikes: I actually can't think of anything I didn't like about this saddle. I did outgrow it and chose a different brand, probably because Collegiate's do have a bit of a reputation as a starter saddle.
Quality: I am pretty sure my Graduate was made in England (fact check? Later ones were Argentinian I think) as were those of some friends. With Hermes as a comparison, I must say the that saddle was pretty well done. Not sloppy. And the leather was pretty good too.
Summary: The Graduate is a definitely a good value for your money. If you buy used you can probably get a screamin' deal on a plain flap version, even one that is like new. I would definitely recommend it.
Usefulness Rating: 3 out of 5.
1 reader(s) voted.
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