The In Gate: A Unique Approach to Luxury Equestrian Retail

The In Gate Bridles


By SARAH WELK BAYNUM

Jimmy Sardelli is a lifelong horseman with a knack for connecting with other horse lovers.

As the owner of The In Gate®, a luxury equestrian lifestyle boutique, he finds a true satisfaction in collaborating with customers.


“Nothing delights us more than seeing our clients over-the-moon happy with their horses, looking their best, and, in turn, feeling their best,” Sardelli tells The Plaid Horse. “We love to spend time with our clients, getting to know them, celebrating their successes, and laughing with them along the way.”


Horses have always been a big part of Sardelli’s life.


Born in upstate New York and growing up in central Ohio, he rode with some of the most prominent names and farms in the area. He even rode for Abigail Wexner and several other top equestrian owners after graduating from SUNY Morrisville with a degree in equine science and management.


However, it was during the ten years he worked in equestrian luxury retail that Sardelli began to realize there was a problem in the industry—and that he might just be the perfect person to solve it.

Jim Sardelli Showing at WEF. Photos by KIND Media

Filling a Need in the Equestrian Retail World


Sardelli managed one of the country’s top equestrian lifestyle boutiques called Malvern Saddlery, on the Philadelphia Main Line, and then spent over six years leading the equestrian division for Hermès. Working side by side with the world’s finest craftspeople in France and Italy, he brought high-quality items directly to his clients. There, he developed an even greater appreciation for offering these quality equestrian products while truly getting to know and understand his clients’ needs.


During his time in these retail positions, friends and customers would regularly seek Sardelli’s advice for everything relating to their equestrian lifestyle. From show clothes for themselves, to tack or products for their horses, to design ideas for their barns and homes, Sardelli was their go-to.


It was becoming increasingly clear to him that these customers needed more than just good service. They were asking for one-on-one expertise and advice. At this time, Sardelli was also aware that tack had not kept up with the changes in sport horse world. And so, he got to work.

Riders styled by The In Gate


Late one night, he found himself designing what would later become his first Hunter Bridle. He carefully crafted the bridle with exquisite, traditional details reminiscent of the old-school hunter bridles while refining sizing.


Building on that vision, Sardelli set out to offer curated collections of products beginning in 2021 as the horse world struggled to adjust to a new normal during the pandemic.

The In Gate quickly developed a mobile shopping experience that allowed discerning clients to browse a selection of equestrian items in a safe, private, and comfortable environment during that challenging time.


Today, the store continues to offer the finest items for the rider, horse, barn, and home.


“Our products are carefully selected based on years of industry experience. The client is at the center of everything we do. We believe in bringing a curated collection of products directly to our clients while offering them a no-stress experience and building life-long relationship—both in person and online,” says Sardelli.


“The relationships with our clients come from truly getting to know one another and it makes all the difference. We sell the highest quality items, and pride ourselves on collaborating with our clients to design bespoke items just for them. Every single item that is shipped to a client comes with a handwritten thank you note. We truly love our customers. Without them, there would be no business.”

The In Gate’s Personal Shopping Experience


Some of The In Gate’s clients know exactly what they want and are able to buy right off the rack. However, others want a more personalized shopping experience that is unique to The In Gate. “They might also prefer to design and personalize their own helmets, show coats, and boots,” says Sardelli.

“These customers typically also love custom embroidery on their show shirts and horse clothes or designing them with their barn colors. For this level of service, you need someone who will take the time to sit down and work through all the fine details in a friendly, no-pressure, and welcoming environment with someone they can trust.”

Rider styled by The In Gate

The Out Gate, which is The In Gate’s “outlet” section of their website, offers hidden gems, discounted items, floor models, and up to 75% off certain items. They also offer free economy shipping within the USA for items purchased through The Out Gate.

The In Gate Tack Collection


“While on a trip to England, I found an adorable tack shop and chatted with a craftsman who produces racing equipment. He then connected me with the craftsman that now makes our Coronation Collection,” says Sardelli. “I was actually in England during Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, and I contacted the bridle maker the following week. The first pieces came shortly before King Charles’ coronation—hence the name for the collection.”


Sardelli says he and his team are continuously innovating and improving their line: “We insist on the highest quality materials and the finest craftsmanship for our line with an emphasis on sustainable materials and practices.”


“We love to test new things and learn as we go. The Coronation Bridle is the evolution of our Hunter Bridle, and the Balmoral Bridle with hidden integrated blinders is the evolution of our Coronation Bridle. We also partner with top riders like Carleton Brooks and incorporate their feedback.”

In Person Shopping Experiences


In addition to their online shopping experience, The In Gate also has a number of in-person shopping experience locations.

“We’re really just getting started,” says Sardelli. “In 2024, we plan to attend a full schedule of horse shows such as WEF, WEC, Devon, Upperville, Lake Placid, and more. We love meeting people face to face in each of these locations.”


Shoppers can also find The In Gate at the Capital Challenge Horse Show, Washington International Horse Show, and several shows at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center, as well as at Pony Finals, The Kentucky Summer Classic, and the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show.


The In Gate even offers a personal barn or group shopping day experience. And a trunk show can be scheduled by appointment at their place or yours.

The In Gate Bridle

Returning Clients are the Secret to Their Success


“I think a big part of our success is that my current clients are returning with their friends, family, trainers—and smiles. On a regular basis, our products and services are suggested on social media, in chat forums, and in person,” says Sardelli.


“We’re incredibly thankful for our families and friends that have supported us through this journey thus far. We’re also grateful for every client that has entrusted us to deliver our exceptional products and services.”

Visit The In Gate online at shoptheingate.com and follow them on Instagram @the_in_gate and on Facebook @shoptheingate