Equestrian Competition Clothing - British Eventing
Confusion about what to wear for British eventing is common, so don't worry if you're feeling completely lost. Is it correct to sport a stock or a tie for dressage? Can boots and leather gaiters be worn, or do I require long leather boots for showing? Is tweed acceptable or do I need a black jacket to compete in show jumping? These are all questions you may be asking yourself (or the Internet!) as you prepare for an upcoming competition. Here's a quick rundown on what equestrian competition clothing to wear for the different disciplines of British eventing.
As you may already know, British eventing has pretty strict rules on what to wear for the sport. This is partly due to safety, but it's also to ensure that riders keep in line with the sport's original dress code (this was based on hunting attire).
The dressage phase of eventing permits hunting dress. However, if you're competing at the Advanced level in three day event or Intermediate level or above at a one day event, you will have to wear a tail coat and top hat in navy or black (preferably black). Riders competing at other levels are encouraged to wear either a navy or black show jacket along with a white stock and fawn breeches. Your footwear should be long plain black leather boots or smooth black gaiters along with matching jodhpur boots. If you're competing at novice or a lower level, you can wear a tweed coat with a stock or tie that's smartly coloured, along with brown or black full leather boots or gaiters. You must wear gloves, however, you're free to choose their colour.
BE show jumping
The show jumping phase requires riders competing at an advanced level and at Intermediate Championships to sport a black, navy or red coat.
At intermediate level or below, a black, navy or tweed coat can be worn. This should matched with a plain stock shirt and stock, or a shirt and a tie with tweed. You breeches or jodhpurs should be white, fawn or buff. As in all other physical sports, it's important for riders to feel comfortable when competing whilst also looking stylish. You may find that breeches or jodhpurs look smart, but don’t always allow you to perform at your best.
BE cross country
Cross country is one of the most thrilling, yet dangerous sections of eventing. As such, safety is paramount is this discipline. Your hat must adhere to the required standard as it will be checked by officials before you're allowed to compete in the cross-country event. A British eventing symbol (such as the yellow tape) should be clearly visible and the harness must be fastened correctly at all times.
Body protectors are compulsory for cross country and it's important to note that without one you won't be able to compete. You should wear a shirt or sweater with breeches and boots or gaiters. A lot of riders choose to wear a stock whilst competing in this section of the event. Traditionally, a stock was worn in order to support the neck in the event that the rider took a fall.