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What to wear for an eventing competition


  • You’ve signed up with British Eventing (BE), you horse is fit and you’re ready to jump out the start box, but do you know what to wear for affiliated eventing? Correct dress at competitions depends on the level at which you are competing. The rider’s turnout for the dressage and showjumping is based on traditional hunting attire, which is modified for the cross-country. For unaffiliated eventing, the guidelines are based on the affiliated rules – skip to the bottom to find out what’s expected.

    What to wear for affiliated eventing

    Hats

    Protective headwear must be worn by anyone mounted at a BE competition, with the harness correctly fastened.

    • All hats must be tagged with a visible current BE (or Pony Club/British Riding Clubs) tag.
    • The hat must meet one of the following standards:
      • – British and European: PAS 015 (1998 or 2001) or VG01.040 2014-12 with BSI Kitemark or Inspec IC Mark
      • – American: ASTM F1163: 2004a onwards with SEI Mark, SNELL 2001 or 2016
      • – Australian and New Zealand: AS/NZS 3838 2006 onwards with SAI Global Mark
    • Cross-country headwear: must have no peak or peak-type extensions. Protuberances above the eyes limited to 5mm max and must be smooth or rounded in nature. A removable hat cover with light flexible peak is permitted.

    Spurs

    • Optional at all levels.
    • Must be smooth metal, blunt and incapable of wounding a horse.
    • Shank must be no longer than 4cm long and must point to the rear and downwards.
    • Metal spurs with round plastic, metal or rubber knobs are not permitted.
    • Rowel spurs are permitted but not in young horse classes.
    • Tines and Spursuader spurs are not permitted.

    Other

    Stocks should always be tied properly and long hair should be secured appropriately. Jewellery can increase the risk of injury and so competitors are advised to remove it.

    What to wear for eventing dressage

    At advanced; advanced intermediate and intermediate championships, competitors should wear:

    • Protective headwear in black or dark blue
    • Black or dark blue tailcoat
    • White stock or tie
    • Gloves
    • Plain black boots or full grain smooth black leather gaiters with matching boots – with white, fawn or buff breeches
    • Topped boots with white breeches
    • Or uniform with protective headwear

    Intermediate and below:

    • Protective headwear in black or dark blue
    • Jackets may be any single conservative colour in muted tones. Subtle pinstripes, piping and coloured collars are permitted. Tweed should not be brightly coloured or boldly patterned.
    • Navy jackets with red collar and white piping are reserved solely for British team members.
    • If a waistcoat is worn, it must be in a conservative colour with muted tones.
    • Long or short-sleeved shirt that fastens at the neck (white, cream or conservative muted colour)
    • Tie, American collar or correctly fastened stock.
    • Gloves
    • For intermediate: plain black boots or topped boots or full grain smooth black leather gaiters with matching boots with white, buff or fawn breeches.
    • Below intermediate, riders can wear brown boots or brown leather gaiters with matching boots, with buff or brown breeches.
    • For ONu18 classes, riders under the age of 16 may wear jodhpur boots with matching plain black or brown half chaps.
    • Or uniform with protective headwear.

    Things to note

    Whips are not permitted in any form during the dressage test. One whip, no longer than 120cm including lash, maybe carried while riding on the flat.

    The type of bib number worn is at the discretion of the organiser. Competitors may need to produce their own bib number.

    What to wear for the showjumping phase

    At advanced; advanced intermediate and intermediate championships, competitors should wear:

    • Protective headwear in black or dark blue.
    • A black, dark blue or red coat.
    • Stock or tie.
    • Plain black boots or full grain smooth black leather gaiters with matching boots – with white, fawn or buff breeches.
    • Topped boots with white breeches
    • Or uniform with protective headwear.

    At intermediate and below, including novice and below championships, riders should wear the same as for their dressage test.

    Things to note

    Competitors under the age of 16 in BE80(T), BE90, BE100, Ou18 and ONu18 sections may wear half-chaps with matching black or brown jodhpur boots.

    One whip, maximum length 75cm and not weighted, may be carried for the showjumping phase.

    As per the dressage, the type of bib number worn is at the discretion of the organiser. Competitors may need to produce their own bib number.

    What to wear for cross-country

    Competitors should wear a sweater, shirt or base layer — ideally with long sleeves — white, buff or fawn breeches, plain black or topped boots or black leather gaiters with matching boots.

    Safety wear

    At all levels, protective headwear with a cover should be worn.

    Body protectors are mandatory and must be British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) approved, labelled as Level 3 with the year 2009 or 2018 shown on the label. Exo Body Cages can be worn but must be declared to the event secretary before going cross-country.

    Inflatable/air jackets are optional, but must be worn over a a permitted body protector for the cross-country phase. However, they can be worn for showjumping and dressage without the body protector.

    Things to note

    One whip, maximum length 75cm and not weighted, may be carried for the cross-country phase.

    Bib numbers must be worn and be clearly visible from in front and behind.

    For competitors in international classes, consult the FEI rules.

    What to wear at an unaffiliated eventing competition

    You won’t go wrong if you adhere to the affiliated rulebook, as described above. However, the dress code tends to be more lenient at local unaffiliated shows. Whatever the level of show, you’ll want to be smartly turned out in jacket, jodhpurs/breeches and stock or tie for the dressage and showjumping phases. For cross-country, a body protector is mandatory and you can choose your cross-country colours. Long sleeves are recommended.

    Your best best is to stick to the list above, and if you want to wear something different – for example, different coloured jodhpurs – contact the show secretary to check that it is permitted. You will also need to find out what sort of bib numbers are required – some shows provide bib numbers, others will ask you to print them out at home.

    Two items that are essential whatever the code, are a riding hat and a body protector to the appropriate safety standard. Hats should be:

    • British and European: PAS 015 (1998 or 2001) or VG01.040 2014-12 with BSI Kitemark or Inspec IC Mark
    • American: ASTM F1163: 2004a onwards with SEI Mark, SNELL 2001 or 2016
    • Australian and New Zealand: AS/NZS 3838 2006 onwards with SAI Global Mark
    • Cross-country headwear: must have no peak or peak-type extensions. Protuberances above the eyes limited to 5mm max and must be smooth or rounded in nature. A removable hat cover with light flexible peak is permitted.

    Body protectors must be British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) approved, labelled as Level 3 with the year 2009 or 2018 shown on the label.

    If you wear use an inflatable/air jacket, for cross-country it must be worn over a permitted body protector.

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