Want to look the part out showjumping? Here’s what to wear…

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  • Your showjumper is all set for his debut show, but do you know what to wear for showjumping competitions? There are strict rules on dress code in British Showjumping affiliated competitions, but for unaffiliated shows, guidelines tend to be less stringent. Skip to the bottom to find out what is expected at unaffiliated showjumping events.

    What to wear for affiliated showjumping competitions

    Competitors must be dressed in correct riding clothes, including jackets, whenever they enter the arena.


    • Competitors may wear traditional-style tailored jackets, including hacking jackets, or new-styled jackets.
    • New style jackets are subject to various regulations:
      • – they must be fully zipped up in competition.
      • – up to three sponsor logos can appear on the right sleeve, all three contained within 6x14cm, and one logo on the breast pocket (3x4cm)
      • – riders’ names may appear on the back of the jacket in upper and lower case letters, using the type face Cosmos Light and Arial, with letters 4cm in height.
    • The following jacket colours are reserved for members of the British Nations Cup Team or Championship Team, or with a Union Flag on the breast pocket:
      • – dark blue with red collar and white piping
    • Members of the Armed Forces or Police Force may wear their uniforms.
    • In hot weather, riders may be allowed to compete without jackets at the judges’ discretion, wearing shirts with either long or short-sleeves, and ties firmly secured.


    • May have short or long sleeves, and must be done up properly.
    • Shirts must have white collars, and long sleeves must have white cuffs.
    • To be worn with ties or hunting stocks.
    • Ladies may wear shirts with high white collars, and without a tie or stock.
    • Coloured ties or stocks may be worn with hacking jackets.
    • Junior members who are also Pony Club members may wear the Pony Club tie regardless of jacket colour.


    • Must be white, pale yellow, beige, grey or fawn coloured.
    • Black and navy are not permitted.


    • Traditional style riding boots.
    • Permitted colours are:
      • – Plain black, or black with mahogany or patent tops.
      • – Plain brown, or brown with patent tops.
      • – Plain navy, or navy with mahogany or patent tops.
    • For juniors, traditional style leather jodhpur boots in plain black, brown or navy may be worn with leather gaiters cut in the traditional riding boot style, or half chaps.


    • Optional

    Body Protectors

    • Optional, including air jackets.

    Not permitted

    • Polo necks
    • Chaps
    • Half chaps, except for junior riders (as detailed above).
    • Video recording or camera equipment is not permitted to be worn when mounted anywhere on the showground.


    • Protective headgear must be worn at all times when riding, with the harness securely fastened.
    • Hats must meet one of the following standards:
      • – British: All PAS (1998 or 2011) 015, VG1 – provided they are BSI Kitemarked.
      • – European: VG1 – provided they are BSI Kitemarked.
      • – American: all SEI ASTM F1163 04a onwards and SNELL E2001 and SNELL E2016.
      • – Australian and New Zealand: AS/NZS 3838 2006 onwards.


    • No spurs of excessively severe design.
    • Only dummy, rollerball, impulse, rowelled, hammerhead or Prince of Wales spurs are permitted.
    • Rowelled spurs if worn, must have smooth rowels, with a diameter of no less than 1cm and no greater than 2cm, with a minimum width of 1.8mm. The rowels must sit in the vertical plane; horizontal rowels are not allowed. Rowels are not permitted for ponies.
    • No spurs with interchangeable/removable shanks.
    • No spurs necks set on the inside of the heel
    • No spurs with roughened or cutting edges.
    • No serrated spurs.
    • Overall length of spur should not exceed 4cm (measured from back of boot to end of spur). For ponies, this should not exceed 2.5cm.
    • Spurs should be of smooth material (metal or plastic).
    • Shank must be blunt and point only towards the rear.
    • Only one pair of spurs should be, traditionally fitted with the curve of the neck of the spur pointing downwards.
    • For pony classes, spurs with necks must not exceed 2cms long, and they are not to be pointed, sharp or rowelled
    • Plastic spurs are not allowed


    Jewellery worn anywhere on the body can increase the risk of injury and competitors are strongly recommended to remove all jewellery. Likewise, it is recommended that long hair should tidy and appropriately secured (tied back and/or hairnet) in the interest of safety.

    What to wear at an unaffiliated showjumping 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. For example, adults will often be permitted to wear jodhpur boots and gaiters rather than a traditional long riding boot. Whatever the level of show, you’ll want to be smartly turned out in jacket, jodhpurs/breeches and stock or tie.

    Your best best is to stick to the list above, and if you want to wear something different – for example, short boots and chaps – contact the show secretary to check that it is permitted.

    One item which is essential whatever the code, is protective headgear to the appropriate safety standard:

    • British: All PAS (1998 or 2011) 015, VG1 – provided they are BSI Kitemarked.
    • European: VG1 – provided they are BSI Kitemarked.
    • American: all SEI ASTM F1163 04a onwards and SNELL E2001 and SNELL E2016.
    • Australian and New Zealand: AS/NZS 3838 2006 onwards.

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