The best summer show shirts for horse riders are comfortable, breathable, and made from material that will wick moisture away from your skin. Riders whose compete in sports that require jackets to be worn at all times, regardless of the temperature, may prefer a sleeveless shirt, while those who are allowed to remove their jackets as long as their shoulders are covered, are likely to prefer a shirt with a short sleeve. Collars are also dependent on your discipline, with a shirt collar required for those wearing a tie. Stand-up collars are ideal for those riders needing to wear a stock, so they need to sit flat and comfortable against the neck. Bulky zips or buttons are to be avoided on stand up collars, unless you are able to compete without a stock, when more fancy collars can come into their own. It is worth checking the clothing rules of your governing body before making a purchase.

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Horse & Hound has been working with a number of professional riders, trainers and yards to put a range of products to the test in a busy yard environment. And here are the results…

Meet the product testers

The summer show shirts in this group test were trialled by Jo Rimmer and her team. Jo is a former school teacher, who has produced a number of horses up to CCI3* level. She now combines competing with producing young horses and training riders of all ages. She is based at Fontmell Parva, Dorset, alongside her daughter Jess. The yard has a reputation for high standards (horses) and high spirits (staff).

Horse & Hound’s pick of the best summer show shirts 2018


* BEST IN TEST/BEST VALUE: WOMEN’S *

Noble Outfitters Gwen Short Sleeve Performance shirt

Noble Outfitters Gwen Short Sleeve Performance shirt reviewRRP: £29.95

“I absolutely love this shirt. It kept me very cool in the heat wave and was super soft to wear. I liked how stretchy the fabric was without feeling slimy. I think will be wearing this shirt all year round as well as on the sofa at home.”

10/10

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* BEST IN TEST: MEN’S *

Equetech Men’s Waffle Competition Shirt

Equetech Men’s Waffle Competition Shirt reviewRRP: £46.95

“This is a very smart looking shirt, which is breathable and quick drying. It was a pleasure to wear all day in the heat. A tie fitted nicely in the collar and buttons down the front looked really stylish. Very hard to fault as a summer competition shirt.”

9/10

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* BEST VALUE: MEN’S *

Felix Bühler Men’s Functional Competition Shirt Lyon

Felix Bühler Men’s Functional Competition Shirt Lyon reviewRRP: £29.90

“This shirt fitted really well as it wasn’t too tight or too baggy. It proved to be lightweight, breathable and ideal for the summer months. I really liked how smart it looked when competing without a jacket on. This is a good quality shirt that won’t let you down and is very reasonably priced.”

9/10

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Horseware Polo Lola show shirt

Horseware Polo Lola show shirt reviewRRP: 54.95 euros

“This is a very comfortable shirt that kept me very cool even in the hottest of temperatures, but I would have preferred it to have had sleeves. But it is a good value shirt that will keep you cool when worn under a jacket.”

8/10

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Mountain Horse Brilliant Event Top

Mountain Horse Brilliant Event Top reviewRRP: £6.50

“This top was very breathable and was great to wear in the very hot weather. It was very comfortable under a jacket, but also looked very stylish and performed well without one. I really liked how the zip wasn’t obvious and overall its simple design gave a chic and clean look. I really liked that this shirt made me feel like I was wearing a simple t-shirt while being breathable and cool, but I felt the £65 price tag is a little steep.”

7/10

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Back on Track Slim Fit T-Shirt

Back on Track Slim Fit T-Shirt reviewRRP: £45.00

“This shirt was worn for a first ride back after dislocating my AC (acromioclavicular) joint and it proved very comfortable against the sore and tender shoulder area. This shirt is breathable and kept very white after going through the wash. I liked how comfortable it is to wear, but think it falls between being too smart for everyday use, but I’m not convinced it’s quite smart enough for competition wear.”

7/10

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Aztec Diamond Diagonal Show Shirt

Aztec Diamond Diagonal Show Shirt reviewRRP: £40.00

“This shirt was very comfortable to ride in and was very breathable with a good fit. For a shirt to wear without a stock, the zip did work well, but it meant it was more suited to the showjumping ring than the dressage arena. As an all-round shirt suitable for every discipline, I think buttons would be more suitable, but it is a very comfortable and easy to wear shirt.”

6/10

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Caldene Ainwick show shirt

RRP: £37.00

“I found this material creased verCaldene Ainwick show shirt reviewy easily and so proved rather impractical to take to shows. This shirt did look very smart when freshly pressed, but it didn’t wash particularly well and I didn’t find it breathable to wear on very hot days. It is also sleeveless and therefore had to be worn under a jacket. But it is flattering and smart. Best suited to someone who competes in the show ring, as it’s smart and traditional.”

5/10

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Horse & Hound is in the process of testing a wide range of equestrian kit, clothing and equipment, the results of which will be published on HorseandHound.co.uk

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