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SHOW

APPAREL

TRENDS Owning The Show Ring by KARA LARSON

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hether you’re in the show ring or in the real world, fashion trends are constantly evolving, leaving the scene as quickly as they entered, and interpreted differently based on personal taste, style, and situation. In the Arabian show ring, the wide array of classes not only allow for all kinds of people and abilities to join in on the fun of showing, but it also allows for a variety of interpretations of the rules on apparel in the USEF Rulebook for each class in the Arabian division.

beige or brown jacket with matching jodhpurs. Day coat with jodhpurs also permitted. Boots and derby, soft hat or protective headgear required. Protective headgear may be worn without penalty. Contrasting hats, vests and/or ties are acceptable. Richard Wright, a national judge and longtime trainer, offers an interesting point of view about what your show ring outfit might “say” about you as a rider and showman. “I do think that adding a bunch of rhinestones to an outfit can make you look desperate. From a judge’s perspective, garish attire either speaks of insecurity or a lack of confidence in the judge’s ability to see you. And really, neither one is really the impression you want to give. All showing involves unspoken communication.”

Beginning in the rulebook itself, this article references exactly what is said about each division’s rules on appointments in the show ring—specifically show attire. Knowing the rules and regulations and where penalties are warranted should In expanding on this “unspoken communication,” Richard be a vital part of showing, considering how much time, compares showing to a job interview. “You’re applying for the energy, money, and thought goes into choosing outfits, job of first place rider. Your demeanor and your turn out are being properly turned out, and truly dressing the part of a ways to communicate quality and competence to the judge.

“Dress shabbily and they remember the dress;

DRESS IMPECCABLY

and they remember the woman.”- Coco Chanel showman. However, it seldom is. Here to give insight into You want someone to think you’re competent, not flashy, not one of the most important aspects of showing are some overzealous, not cheap. For a job interview, you would wear of the leading trainers, judges, amateurs, and vendors in something fairly conservative and businesslike that gave the Arabian show industry. With their help and advice, the interviewer the impression that you were absolutely you’ll know exactly how to leave a strong impression on capable, but not somebody who was a grandstander. The the judges, while gaining the comfort, know-how, and same principles apply to the show ring because of the confidence every exhibitor should have in the show ring. impression you’re trying to communicate to the judge.” ENGLISH/COUNTRY PLEASURE According to Article 120 in the English pleasure section, “Informal saddle seat attire is required; no hunt attire. Suggested are conservative colors such as black, blue, grey,

Another important consideration is whether you’re dressing for country pleasure, English pleasure, or park. “Based on the criteria for the class you will be showing in, you should choose the type of apparel that will further the overall impression appropriate for that division. If it’s a country pleasure class, you’re trying to look more as one unit and create an impression of quiet symmetry. While in a park class, you could go for a stronger and bolder look.” Yet, for Richard, the English division is just not the place for rhinestones.  “I understand that everyone wants to be unique, but to me, you can be unique without going over the top. I think it’s such a distraction from a beautiful horse.  But, not everyone feels that way and I have never, regardless of what I felt about the clothing, penalized someone in their placing because of it.”


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