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Hunt coat colors?

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  • Hunt coat colors?

    Are there rules as to what color coat a person can wear and when? Are there preferences? I'd like to find out what's appropriate in the ring and when, please.
    Shop online at

  • #2
    Search for 'attire' in the rulebook http://www.usef.org/documents/ruleBook/2009/15-HU.pdf --
    "I never mind if an adult uses safety stirrups." GM


    • #3
      The rulebook is an excellent guideline, however, it doesn't really help when a rider is in a modern tack store trying to figure out what is appropriate for your average hunter class. For instance, while a scarlet coat is allowable under the rules, you'll certainly be hard pressed to find a rider wearing scarlet in the hunter ring.

      For hunters:

      Formal Attire. Riders are required to wear scarlet or dark coats; white shirts with white stock; white, buff or canary breeches and protective headgear.
      "Formal" attire in hunters refers to a classic. For this you'd wear a navy coat, white shirt, and tan/pukey beige breeches. Some (preferably adult) riders will choose to wear a shadbelly. Whites are allowable but not done, except in a jumper classic.

      For jumpers:

      Formal Attire. Black, blue, green, grey, scarlet or similar coats are permitted; white or fawn breeches; a white tie, choker or hunting stock, and a white or lightly colored shirt must be worn. Shirts must have a white collar and white cuffs
      One would wear a navy or maybe a black coat in an equitation class.

      There's a bit more leniency in your average hunter classes - "dark" is generally a good rule but sometimes you'll see a windowpaned or nicely patterned lighter wool coat. There are some pretty patterns and windowpanes in shades of blue, gray, brown, olive, etc that are perfectly fine.

      Pick something that looks nice on your horse and matches your shirt, and preferably is a nice color on you. A color that you'd wear to a dressy business meeting is a good rule of thumb. Again, a nice dark navy is appropriate for everything, and wool is ALWAYS a better choice than a poly-blend, which sometimes can look shiny or cheap.
      They're small hearts.


      • #4
        Don't ask me about preferences -- My favorite coat is still my beige herringbone, and that is a few years out of style -- Even my dark olive and dark brown are a bit dated -- The fashion conscious have been in black this season and last and use navy for their spare coat --

        I've seen guys wearing scarlet in hunter derbies and classics --

        There are a ton of threads on here about show clothes ... just search for them -- Flip through some current issues of COTH and you'll see what's 'in' on the A circuit -- Flip through some issues that are 1-3 years old and you'll see what's worn on the local circuit in my area --

        I imagine it's somewhat regional too -- I know the purple dressage coats never made it to the East Coast, but I heard they were big in CA a few years ago -- What area of the country are you in?
        "I never mind if an adult uses safety stirrups." GM


        • #5
          A classic navy never hurt anyone! You can wear navy on pretty much any horse. Grey is nice too, but also depending on the horse's color. I personally think that colors like beige and green can only be pulled off by certain people on a certain colored horse(I wouldn't be one of them!).


          • #6
            Navy is always a good choice That being said I adore my grey jacket with purple
            No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle. ~Winston Churchill
            For Hope, For Strength, For Life-Delta Gamma
            www.etsy.com/shop/joiedevivrecrafts Custom Wreaths and Other Decorations


            • #7

              you can wear a polo shirt in a regular class. in a classic I like a black or navy jacket with a piping on the collar (the Euro jackets are really in right now, black or navy with four buttons, velvet collar and piping.) white breeches, white shirt.


              plain navy. plain navy. plain navy. NOT black/ grey/ green. NOT fancy buttons. NOT piping. NOT windowpane. plain navy. Did I say plain navy?


              You can wear light colors if you like (I do ) My fave is tan with a pale pink windowpane, pale pink shirt. I also loff the light grey on a light grey horse, with a ivory shirt! yummy... I have a light light light blue (almost baby) that I wear with a shirt of the same color, it looks delicious on a chestnut. (I don't have one ) But black and navy are always popular. Green is OUT this year, I think brown is on it's way out too.
              When the boogeyman goes to sleep, he checks the closet for George Morris. -mpsbarnmanager


              • #8
                Originally posted by Alterrain View Post
                I think brown is on it's way out too.
                Boooooo!!!!!! I love my really dark brown coat...looks snappy with a lilac shirt.

                vbunny, you cannot go wrong with navy. It will always be a classic and, as others have said, looks great on all horses. It's appropriate for hunters, eq, and jumpers. And if you want to snazz it up a bit, you can wear it with different show shirts - white, pink, light blue, lilac, and pretty blue prints (checks, stripes, etc).
                ~ Citizens for a Kinder, Gentler COTH...our mantra: Be nice. ~


                • #9

                  You can wear any dark colored or scarlet hunt coat. Navy is preferred though. As for breeches you can wear white, khaki, tan or canary breeches. You can wear colored show shirts at lower rated shows but B rated and up they prefer you to wear a white show shirt.


                  • Original Poster

                    Why do the rules quoted say white shirt when I almost never see one? I usually see colors and even patterns, like faint stripes or a check.

                    Thanks everyone, see so many lovely colors in the rings and I was never sure if there were rules (as in "no white after labor day") or whetehr it was personal and maybe weather related.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by vbunny View Post
                      Why do the rules quoted say white shirt when I almost never see one? I usually see colors and even patterns, like faint stripes or a check.

                      Thanks everyone, see so many lovely colors in the rings and I was never sure if there were rules (as in "no white after labor day") or whetehr it was personal and maybe weather related.
                      White shirts are required only for formal attire. The prize list will tell you if formal attire is required...generally for classics.
                      ~ Citizens for a Kinder, Gentler COTH...our mantra: Be nice. ~