Yesterday we talked about a change with USEA that reformulates how points are tabulated… now lets talk a little about rule changes! Specifically – the ones regarding dress.
The changes to the eventing rules were announced a few weeks ago, and their dressage dress code updates look like this:
- DRESSAGE TEST.
a. Horse Trials (Beginner Novice through Preliminary)—protective headgear—any color helmet will be allowed; tasteful and discreet accents such as a different color or modest piping or crystal decorations, are acceptable, including National Flags; Coat—any single color jacket will be allowed, including tweeds and pinstripes, tasteful and discreet accents, such as a collar, cuff, lapel, piping, of any color, or crystal decorations, are acceptable. Tail coats are not permitted; Shirt— of any color and design, tasteful and discreet accents, such as a collar, cuff, piping, are acceptable with stock and pin, or choker, or tie; Gloves (if worn)—dark color, tan, beige or white; Jodhpurs, Breeches—light color or white; Boots— black, brown, or other dark hue, modest piping of a different color is permitted, field, jodhpur or a black or brown full grain smooth leather leg piece and matching leather boots. Chaps and/or half-chaps are not allowed. Members of armed and police forces, service dress, regulation headgear and spurs in accordance with EV114.
b. Competitors at Beginner Novice through Modified may compete without a jacket. In such cases, shirt – long or short sleeved with collar and without neckwear, any color and design; tasteful and discreet accents, such as a collar, cuff, piping, is acceptable, neatly tucked into riding breeches.
c. Horse Trials (Intermediate and Advanced) As above, with the exception gloves and coats required. Tail Coats permitted. Members of armed and police forces, service dress with gloves, regulation headgear and spurs in accordance with EV114. Members of armed and police forces, service dress with gloves, regulation headgear and spurs in accordance with EV114.
Basically it made any color coat or helmet acceptable, rather than specifying colors or tones, and gave you more options all around for colors and whether or not you have to wear a jacket. It didn’t really get a lot of chatter amongst the eventing crowd that I saw, mostly just some “oh cool”s in passing.
And then this week USDF announced some rule change proposals that would be similar – any color coat, and also the possibility of dark colored breeches.
And omg. I think I’ve seen people discussing and/or arguing about this on every social media platform by now.
Most people seem to be in favor of it, especially the coats. But there’s also a lot of pearl-clutching from some of the self-proclaimed “traditionalists” (I’m starting to hate that word). Some of them are a little spun up with visions of how everyone will be wearing yellow and lime green and hot pink coats and it’ll be SO DISTRACTING. But um, let’s be honest, 1) nobody is really gonna wear that, 2) some of them are already so covered in bling and/or patent that they’re basically a mirrored surface – colored jackets aren’t worse than that. Ok, maybe two people will roll out a crazy color coat or something. Most folks will just keep on keeping on with what they’ve got thought or maybe there will be a splash of boldness here and there. No one will die from it, I promise. Just avert your eyes. We’re all used to doing that anyway.
The breeches seem to be getting more of a mixed reception. I personally think allowing dark breeches would be great, but then again despite the fact that I am a lover of navy and white, I am not a traditionalist. Despite how much I prefer my whites to tan, if it was widely accepted to wear dark breeches you’d never see my cellulite ass stuffed into white breeches again. And if it were really up to me I’d get equestrians into some actual modern athletic apparel like every other sport in the world. Maybe we’d look less like butlers.
But anyway – some dark gray or navy or black breeches don’t seem like the end of the world to me either. There IS some precedent for the look, after all, with military uniforms.
Not to say that a lot of people would go with a monotone, but dark breeches in the show ring aren’t completely unheard of. There’s certainly nothing more traditional than military dress.
I think the great thing about these rule changes it that it gives people more options. More options to buy what they actually like, more options to feel comfortable and happy with what they’re wearing, and more options on what to buy and how to spend their money. Want to keep wearing your black and white? Great, no problem. Want to go get that coat you’ve always wanted but couldn’t wear? Do it, girl, YOLO. Want to burn your white breeches in a fire pit and never have to wear them in public again? Well… maybe wait to see what rules actually pass first.
Me though, I’m all for it. Even if I’m sitting over here in my corner clutching my navy and being boring.
What are your thoughts on the rule changes or rule change proposals? Would you buy a “wild” colored coat or wear dark breeches if you could?