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Chester Hape und Tom Balding

It must have been a lucky day when Wolfgang Fey, on a trip to the USA in 1998 in Sheridan, Wyoming, met two of its probably best-known residents. Tom Balding, known to many riders for his bits and spurs, and Chester Hape, world-class saddlemaker and Tom Balding's father-in-law.

These contacts grew into a deep friendship and even more – Chester Hape became a mentor and teacher.

For a saddle or any leather project, Wolfgangs understanding of fit and function along with his artistry and superior craftsmanship make him an easy choice.

Tom Balding, bit & spur maker
Sheridan, Wyoming

Chester Hape and Wolfgang Fey
Chester Hape and Wolfgang Fey

During further stays in Sheridan in the following years, his willingness to help and his immense knowledge were the basis for expanding Wolfgang's skills in saddle making. "As his only student ever, I also got the unique opportunity to learn how to do the tooling from scratch from one of the best toolers," says Wolfgang Fey.

Tom Balding was the "point of contact" for meeting the finest saddle makers and leather artists who willingly shared their knowledge and encouraged Wolfgang's advances in craftsmanship. These include Don King, Jim Jackson, Clinton Fay, Keith Seidel, Pete Gorell, Don Butler and Dale Harwood to name a few.