Friday 26th of February 2021

Are you competition ready?

The 2016 British Eventing (BE) season is underway, but with a change in the rules regarding horse riding boots in dressage and riding hats in all categories this year, are you really competition ready?

Here’s a quick update on the BE rules for rider attire in the show-jumping, dressage and cross-country categories:


Riding Hats

There’s been an amendment to the rules regarding headwear this year.

This season, anyone, competitor or not, who competes with a horse at a BE event must wear and properly fasten their riding hat. The only exception to this rule is Advanced and Intermediate Championship class dressage riders who have the option of wearing a top hat.

If the hat should come off during a dressage test, riders must dismount and retrieve it or ask someone to pass it to them, failure to do so could result in elimination from the competition.




For dressage and show-jumping, black or dark blue riding hats or protective headwear must comply with safety standards and include a PAS 015* or VG1 01.040 2014-12* stamp, plus a BSI Kitemark or Inspec IC Mark.

For cross-country events, covered, ‘jockey skulls’ without peaks or trims greater than 5mm must be worn, as must British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) approved body protectors that have been manufactured since 2000.

Air jackets can now be worn for added protection in any event but cross-country competitors should wear theirs over the mandatory body protectors.




Riding Boots

The rules regarding horse riding boots for dressage have been relaxed this year.

Previously, all dressage boots had to be long black or brown, or short with matching leather gaiters. This year, colours and patterns are allowed as long as the boots are made for riding, they are tastefully designed and they primarily feature conservative colours and muted tones.

There are no changes in the boot rules for cross-country and show-jumping riders. Long black, topped, or short boots with full-grain smooth leather gaiters should be worn with buff, fawn or white breeches.


Jacket requirements vary between events. Black and dark blue are the general standard in all categories but show-jumping competitors may wear red, while novice or intermediate dressage riders can wear tweed. 
One of the advantages of tweed is that it doesn’t have to be worn with any specific colour stocks or ties so riders have a little freedom to play around with style and personalise their look.

The only rules regarding stocks and ties is that they are always tied properly and that advanced dressage riders only wear white.

Whips, spurs and air jackets are all optional, but specific regulations apply to them as well as the use of any sponsorship logos which may need prior approval before competing. You can find complete details of the regulations regarding attire and every aspect of each event in the BE rule book.

The British Eventing season runs until October and there are still plenty of opportunities for new entrants in all categories at locations across the UK so book your spectator tickets or sign up and get involved!

You may also like…

Join us on Facebook

Follow on Twitter