A bold decision by BSJA may see end for traditional riding jackets in show jumping

An innovative decision by the BSJA to introduce non-traditional jackets to the show jumping arena may signal an end for the use of traditional riding jackets in the sport.

Riders competing in Daewoo Grand Prix qualifying competitions during the 2002 season will do so wearing blouson-style jackets with their names emblazoned across their backs.

The BSJA has taken a lead from cricket and football in what is a revolutionary move for equestrian sport. It hopes that the new jackets will help members of the public identify riders more easily.

“All riders in the Daewoo series have been given a jacket on behalf of our sponsors and the BSJA,” says BSJA marketing officer Jackie Knightly. “We are trying to bring our riders closer to the public.”

The jackets are available in threecolours to help viewers distinguish between riders of different levels. Nations Cup riders will wear royal blue jackets with red and white piping, while national riders have navy jackets with white piping. Young riders will sport red jackets with white piping.

The new innovation has got the thumbs up from young rider Robert Whitaker. After competing in the first class in the Daewoo series at the Royal Bath & West Show, Robert said: “The best thing [about the class]was the new jackets. They’re pretty trendy: much better than the old fashioned coats we usually wear.”

Riders will also be wearing the jackets in the Grand Prix at the Royal Cornwall, South of England, Royal Norfolk, Great Yorkshire, Royal Welsh, New Forest and Shrewsbury shows.

If well received, the BSJA says the jackets may become official competition clothing for riders in future national show jumping competitions.

For more information contact the BSJA (tel: 02476 698800) or visit www.bsja.co.uk

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