There are a lot of rules in the world of hunter jumper competition. We looked into the rulebook to find out the answers to our customers most common questions. Let’s make sure you are looking your best, and following the rules at your next horse show. These answers and excerpts are from the USEF Rulebook as of 2023.
What can you wear in the Hunter Ring?
The following rule should guide your decisions on what to wear in your hunter division classes:
“HU107 Attire:Conventional attire following the tradition of fox hunting is encouraged and preferred. It is further recommended that the rider’s attire does not distract from the performance of the horse and rider.”
What kind of hunt coat can you wear in the Hunter Ring?
What does fox hunting tradition mean? The hunt coat colors seen in the fox hunting world are black, navy, green or grey. Our advice is to pick a coat in this color scheme and that is free from any ‘bling’ that would be distracting.
HU107 Attire: Formal Attire. Riders are required to wear scarlet or dark coats.
This applies to specialty classes like hunter derbies or hunter classics.
What kind of boots can you wear in the Hunter Ring?
Although there are no specifics around boots, the typical is a black tall boot with no flashy adornments. Another important point here is to make sure your boots are in good condition and clean (as possible) before entering the ring. Although this isn’t a rule it is an important custom to have clean and functioning equipment.
What kind of helmet can you wear in the Hunter Ring?
The main rule around helmets is that you have to wear one! Typically helmets are dark in color and a velvet, microfiber or smooth composite material. Currently the most popular models are those made by Samshield, Kask and KEP but styles are always changing.
What kind of breeches can you wear in the Hunter Ring?
Breeches may be buff, canary, tan, rust or white.
The most popular colors of the moment are buff and tan. White breeches are seen in more prestigious classes or in the jumper rings.
What can you wear in the Jumper Ring?
The short answer is that is depends! It depends on the level of formality in class. Not sure what you should wear in your jumper class? Asking a trainer or show steward is your best bet. When in doubt, wearing the more formal attire is a safe option. Here are the rules for jumper ring attire from section JP111 Tack and Attire of the USEF Rulebook:
What kind of Coat can you wear in the Jumper Ring?
The kind of coat you can wear varies depending on the class. Some classes don’t require a coat at all and some require coats of certain colors.
“Formal Jumper Attire: Dark, muted or similar colored, or red (scarlet) coats are required; team or
sponsored coats of different colors are also permitted;
Proper Jumper Attire: Coats of any color are required
Standard Jumper Attire: Coats are not required”
What kind of breeches can you wear in the Jumper Ring?
Again, the kind of breeches you can wear varies depending on the class. Some classes don’t require a specific color at all and some require breeches of certain colors.
“Formal Jumper Attire: white or fawn breeches;
Proper Jumper Attire: Breeches must be light color
Standard Jumper Attire: Breeches of any color are permitted”
What kind of shirt can you wear in the Jumper Ring?
Once more, the kind of shirt you can wear varies depending on the class. Some classes only require that the shirt has a collar and some classes require a white choker collared shirt.
“Formal Jumper Attire: A white tie, choker (unless the shirt, by design, has the chocker built in for its intended use) or hunting stock, and a white or lightly
colored shirt must be worn. Shirts must have a white collar and white cuffs. Shirts must be fastened at the neck and tucked into breeches.
Proper Jumper Attire: Shirts, light in color, must be tucked into breeches and fastened at the top of the neck. Ties or chokers of any color must be worn (unless the shirt, by design, has the choker built in for its intended use).
Standard Jumper Attire: Shirts (polo shirts are permitted) must have collars and sleeves (sleeves may be either long or short), and must be tucked into breeches. Sleeveless shirts and shirts with exposed hoods are prohibited.”
What can you wear in the Equitation Ring?
The equitation ring follows many of the same rules as the hunter ring competitors. However, it is common to see equitation riders choosing more formal options. The rulebook states:
EQ106 Appointments “Conventional attire following the tradition of fox hunting is encouraged and preferred. It is further recommended that the rider’s attire does not distract from the performance of the horse and rider. Judges shall not eliminate a rider for inappropriate attire except for safety. “
What kind of hunt coat can you wear in the Equitation Ring?
The rule here is ‘traditional fox hunting’ but most competitors opt for the more formal options. Therefore navy and black hunt coats are what you will find in this division.
What kind of helmet can you wear in the Equitation Ring?
“Protective headgear. All riders must wear protective headgear. See GR801.2. While competing in a class, if a rider’s chin strap becomes unfastened, the rider may stop, re-fasten the chin strap and continue their performance without penalty or elimination. A judge may, but is not required, to stop a rider and ask them to refasten a chin strap which has become unfastened, again without penalty to the rider. Headgear must be free from non-traditional adornment.”
Again the most important rule hear is you have to wear one! Helmets seen in the equitation ring are generally black in color and free from any flashy elements that may be distracting.
What kind of breeches can you wear in the Equitation Ring?
“Breeches may be buff, canary, tan, rust or white.”
The most popular colors are buff and tan. An important point here is to make sure your breeches are clean and well-fitted. Try to avoid the inevitable breech stains as much as possible!
What kind of shirt can you wear in the Equitation Ring?
“Shirts must have a choker, similar collar or tie. When management permits Hunter/Jumping Seat Equitation riders to ride without jackets, riders must wear traditional, short, or long-sleeved riding shirts with chokers or ties.”
Although there are no restrictions on color, it is most common to wear a white shirt in equitation classes.