Updated Devoucoux information

Hello! I am interested in learning more about Devoucoux as a company, as well as the quality/comfort/etc of their product. Most of the information I’ve read is a bit outdated.
Have you had any experiences with the company or reps? Was is good/bad? Some reviews talk about the horrible customer service, any thoughts on that?

Thank you!

My sister and I went to Rolex last month and she sat in just about every hunter saddle in the trade fair, and her favorite by far in terms of comfort was the Biarritz. It was a beautiful saddle, and she just bought a used one and likes it. Can’t speak to whether the customer service has improved, I couldn’t get a rep to call me back in 2014 when I was shopping for a new saddle and ready to order custom, so I marked them off my list.

I don’t know what area you’re in, but Catherine Winter is the NC/SC sales rep and I’m sure she’d be happy to answer any questions for you. She has a FB page - Devoucoux of North Carolina/South Carolina

My understanding is that the new Devoucoux are being made in Morocco rather than in France and are not the same quality as the older ones.

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Devoucoux was originally made in France by Jean Michele Devoucoux and was a luxurious saddle. The company was purchased by CWD. CWD makes saddles in Morocco. No telling where the current Devocoux’s are made.

The CWD buyout has been pretty hurtful to Devoucoux’s reputation recently. Apparently the quality has gone to heck. And, in my area at least, no improvement has been made in the customer service.

My friend was talking to a Voltaire rep, and he said he can’t sell any of the Devoucouxs that people are trying to give to him to put towards the purchase of a new Voltaire. So he isn’t accepting them anymore.

Bottom line is, they make pretty, comfy saddles, but the company is a nightmare to work with. You’re probably better off looking into Voltaire or Antares.

Although I used the local rep the very first time my horse and I were fitted for a Devoucoux, I have gone through their US headquarters for any problems. All problems (included replacing the saddle because the dye never stopped bleeding) were addressed to my satisfaction and without any hassles. I know they’ve gotten a bad rap for their customer service, but I have to say I have had positive experiences with the company.

to be fair, Devoucoux has never been extremely durable.

the reputation they have now is the same they’ve always had. Caveat emptor, and involve many fitters.

Good for some horses, bad for others.

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I bought a Socoa a couple of years ago and I’m very happy with the saddle. I had no problems with customer service. My saddle was shipped from France, not Morocco.

I had an independent saddle fitter check my saddle for fit about 9 months after I bought it. She seemed a little surprised by how well the saddle fits my mare…I think she is biased based on past experiences - we didn’t get into the specifics.

It seems that there are people that love to hate Devoucoux. I didn’t let it keep me from trying their saddles, and I’m quite happy, as I would expect to be having spent the $$$ for a nice saddle.

Dev also plays everything close to the vest. Good luck getting any info or help in purchasing a used saddle. Even if you work with a fitter directly, who DO have used stock.

I can tell you that they took total advantage of a young lady at my barn. Her parents wanted to buy her a nice saddle so she liked the Devoucoux, not sure what model. The girl is a twig and maybe 5’2" and she has a cute pony. Bothe she and the pony were there to be fitted. Well, long story short the saddle did not fit the pony and never will and they sold her a 17 1/2"seat! They have been awful to deal with. You would hope that after you sent 5k plus someone would call you back.
After all was said and done she wound up with a County and they are happy but still have this saddle to sell…customer service was awful also.

I’m a happy mid-Atlantic Devoucoux customer. I had excellent service with my first saddle, which ended up being custom-fitted to my horse on-site by a master saddler who did surgery on the panels in the tack room. Horse changed shape dramatically and I called their rep to have the panels refitted; I had a good idea of what would work for him. We tried that, which was fine, and then tried a Chiberta with the D3D panel. Immediately I had two more feet of stride, which was no mean achievement for a 19-year-old horse. So I’ve had my Biarritz with their D3D panels for about two and a half years now and have been very pleased with its fit as my horse’s musculature has continued to change with age.

The rep serving our area at the time I purchased my D3D was definitely more a salesman than a fitter. I learned a ton about saddle fitting when trying to find the right match for my horse, so I was confident that I was making the right decision for my horse, but for someone without that skill set, I’d suggest enlisting a friend before buying. This goes for any of the Frenchies, actually, as I had a similar experience with Antares.

Devoucoux works for some horses and doesn’t for others. The curvy tree and wider gullet of the Biarritz works for my horse like no other saddle I’ve met. Your mileage may vary.

Devoucoux was indeed bought by CWD. It’s the reason why Vincent of Sagmae stopped selling Devoucoux and switched to Butets. The quality has gone downhill.

I never had to deal with them as a company, but I can tell you that I have ridden in several Devoucouxs on my horse, and each and every one made his back sore. The latest one is a fairly new one, with wonderful, wide panels, and no reason to make him sore as it appears to be a good fit, but he got sore after about two weeks of riding in it (I borrowed my trainer’s while waiting for my Butet to arrive). For every person who loves their Dev on this board, you will find at least 5 who have had horrible experiences with one.

I don’t care for high pressure sales tactics. Or poor customer service. I also don’t prefer foam saddles.

That being said, I think some of the trendy French saddles are NICE quality products (CWD, Voltaire, etc.) if I was in the market for foam, I’d have no problem buying a used/demo one if it fit my horse well.

Devoucoux on the other hand, in my experience, are an odd shape and poor quality for the price. They have such an A-frame shape, they often sit oddly. I have also noted a seemingly-higher-than-typical number of “crooked” Devoucoux saddles (either sewn not 100% evenly or the tree is crooked or they shift/list on the horse). I personally have no interest in owning one.

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[QUOTE=ivy62;8682614]I can tell you that they took total advantage of a young lady at my barn. Her parents wanted to buy her a nice saddle so she liked the Devoucoux, not sure what model. The girl is a twig and maybe 5’2" and she has a cute pony. Bothe she and the pony were there to be fitted. Well, long story short the saddle did not fit the pony and never will and they sold her a 17 1/2"seat! They have been awful to deal with. You would hope that after you sent 5k plus someone would call you back.
After all was said and done she wound up with a County and they are happy but still have this saddle to sell…customer service was awful also.[/QUOTE]

This kind of stuff seems to be par for the course. A former barn-mate had THE most INCREDIBLE run-around trying to get her “custom” saddle to be what she ordered. I think it took 4 or more tries and in the end still didn’t really fit, she just gave up. The rep treated her awfully throughout the process and the workmanship got shoddier and shoddier with every try. The final time the saddle returned, they had GLUED the flaps in places and thrown the saddle in the box with wet glue. There were strings of glue sticking out and packing material stuck to the saddle. On a $6K “custom” saddle that had been bought new.

I had the same experience. I normally ride in a 17" or 17 1/2" and the Devoucoux rep fitted me for a 18". Okay, they are professionals, right? Ordered an 18" with a 3A flap and it arrives in an 18" with a 4A flap. Thought it was a mistake but was told “Oh, my boss thought you needed a bigger flap, ride in it and see.” Rode in it for a couple weeks and was swimming it in. Plus it didn’t fit the horse. They did change the panels to try to make it fit but did nothing about the size. Told the rep I needed to exchange it for a smaller size and panels that fit the horse. Kept getting the run around: “we’ll see what we can do…” Finally just sold the saddle at a huge loss. Never ordering a custom saddle again.

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I’ve seen this happen with a different, well known brand but I won’t name names. I DO NOT think, whatsoever, that it’s okay to order anything but what the client has requested. I’ve seen multiple saddles ordered custom this way and then the customer’s were extremely unhappy because the saddles did not fit. It really blew my mind.

That being said, I’ve always disliked Devoucoux and haven’t even gone so much as to ride in one based on what I have heard. When I was in the market, it was flooded with Devoucouxs’ and that was kind of strange to me. A local shop said that they have a tough time selling them used and they sit for awhile. The Chiberta(sp?) (eventer here) is nice looking but I’ve heard horror stories about the fit. I’ve seen sponsored riders rave about them though, but I wonder if that’s backed by the fact that the tack was free :yes:

My experience with them is now nearly 10 years old, but I saw three people in my barn have terrible experiences ordering “fully custom” new saddles at the same time. None of them came fitting the horses, and the saleswoman wouldn’t fix it and even dodged their calls. It is totally possible that this was a bad rep who was unusual and/or no longer with the company. But I felt bad for those families, who spent a ton of money and didn’t get the product they were promised.

If I were going to order a custom jump saddle I would order a Stackhouse. All their saddles are custom and I have heard good things about them.

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Regarding size, the Devoucoux saddles run 1/2" smaller - I am 5’1" and have always ridden in a 16 1/2". My Devoucoux saddle, which I love, is a 17" and fits me perfectly. As I said above, it also fits my mare.