Monday, April 13, 2015

Horse Showing: USEF Attire Rules in the Jumpers

There seems to be the assumption that in jumperland it's anything goes.  It's where  you take the hot crazy horses that can't make it as a hunter, you run around the ring like you are on fire (because it's timed yah know), and you can wear whatever you want.  If you show on the A rated circuit you know this is not true.  There is a skill level needed in the jumpers which gets tougher as the jumps go up and USEF clearly states what is acceptable attire.

Some of you may be like me and actually read the rule book when it comes out each year.  I like to know about the rule changes, and there are often many.  I've been doing this a really long time so I've seen the evolvement of rules and sometimes it does get confusing on what's allowed these days.  In addition to checking USEF website the prize lists for the show will also print the attire allowed.

Here is what USEF a states:
9. Attire
a. Formal Jumper Attire. Dark, muted or similar colored, or red (scarlet) coats are required; team or sponsored coats of different colors are also permitted; white or fawn breeches; 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. Boots are required. Half chaps are permitted as long as the color matches the paddock boots being worn.Members of the Armed Services or the police may wear the service dress uniform with protective head- gear. (See General Rules, GR801.2)
b. Proper Jumper Attire. Coats of any color are required. Breeches must be light color (white, fawn or canary). Pastel and dark colored breeches are not allowed. 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). Boots are required. Half chaps are permitted as long as the color matches the paddock boots being worn.
c. Standard Jumper Attire. Coats are not required. Breeches of any color are permitted. 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. Boots are required. Half chaps are per- mitted as long as the color matches the paddock boots being worn.
d. In extreme weather conditions, the use of jackets, sweaters or raincoats can be allowed by management and/or permission from the Jumper Judge/s. Permission must be granted before entering the competition ring.
e. In cases where the above requirements are not followed, the penalty will be either a possible warning (for the first offence) or elimination. BOD 1/12/14 Effective 12/1/14

The prize list will indicate which attire is required for each class/division.  Typically the classics I enter are formal attire.

My division classes are standard attire.  For larger shows like HITS I will typically wear a coat and my tan breeches.

Sometimes I go a little more casual and wear a show shirt and no coat or a polo shirt.
This just made me realize I have a lot of pink shirts.

Or a sweater if it's cold.

And in Florida we consider cold weather to be extreme weather conditions so we wear a jacket.

All of these are acceptable outfits by USEF a standards.  Times have changed and although I do not believe showing in breeches other than white or tan, it is acceptable to now show in colored ones.  I also don't think it is ok to wear half chaps.  I might be thankful should I ever have a boot malfunction at a show and need to, however I feel if you are showing at the rated level you should invest in tall boots.  I am pretty certain my trainer would not allow this either.  Although I like blue and black coats I am a tad in love with the light blue ones.

Maybe if a get sponsored by a clothing company like Reed Kessler I will get one.

This is your basic run down of attire.  I will bring you some more break downs of jumper rules in the future.  I'm also open to suggestions of jumper topics if there are any rules you are confused on.


  1. THANK YOU for this post! I agree with everything you've said, especially the part about loving the French blue jackets :)

    For me, jumper dress code is a little less strict (in comparison to hunters or dressage), but that also doesn't mean that you can look like a slob. For the 2 shows I did last year, I wore a black technical shirt tucked into my tan breeches, and at the other, I wore a black sweater with a white polo underneath, tucked into my tan breeches. However, I saw some people that wore button-up shirts that were baggy and ill-fitting, and one girl wore a pink shirt so light that you could see her black sports bra through....NOT appropriate. Also, just because you wear a show shirt tucked into your breeches, doesn't mean you can sloppily roll the sleeves up, or unbutton it low enough to expose cleavage. I didn't know that the USEF does allow half chaps, but I agree with you: we all should invest in a pair of tall boots. I feel like some people think that "its the jumpers, anything goes," yet there ARE rules about dress code that (should) keep everyone looking professional and appropriate.

  2. I also don't think half chaps should be allowed. Also glad they kept canary in as a color to be warn. I loff mine.

  3. I'm so glad you posted this. Jumperland is new to me and I want to have fun with attire, but still follow the rules as if I were showing rated. Sounds like my beloved french blue breeches wouldn't fly at a rated show, ha!

    I've seen a lot of girls who show rated show with coats and unbuttoned collars, and it drives me NUTS. Completely unacceptable to me. Why even wear a coat?

    1. Your colored breeches are acceptable under standard attire. This is most of my classes except the classics are generally formal.

  4. Super interesting!!! I would have never guessed there are different levels of attire. Thanks for the info :)

  5. Thank you thank you for posting this! I'm also new to Jumperland, and I definitely want to make sure we're dressed appropriately.

  6. i didn't realize there was a separate 'formal' category but it makes sense. also, i hate the idea of showing in half chaps... except i totally did it when i realized my tall boots didn't fit any more, oops! at least they matched the paddock boots? (and it absolutely was NOT a rated show haha)

  7. Good post! This segment is from Section JP111 in the USEF rulebook. =)

  8. I think it strange though that they don't have a section dedicated to hair and helmets. I know it sounds silly, but every time I see a jumper with their hair in a long flowy ponytail the hunter princess in me shudders in disgust. Ok maybe thats exaggerating, but it just looks sloppy.

  9. Thanks for posting this. I am loving your whole showing/jumpers series!