Royal fashion is still on display and very much in vogue among competitors at the annual Royal Winter Fair – Horse Show in Toronto. On Friday November 3rd 2017 Street Chic went inside the Horse Palace on the Exhibition Grounds to get a glimpse of the people inside North America’s foremost indoor equestrian event.
The Horse Palace is a modern stables complex built around an indoor riding ring, and this sand bottom arena is one of four competition venues at the show. The two-story building is cut into rows of stalls and accommodates about three hundred and fifty horses. Various riding stable businesses set up shop to buy and sell hay, riding gear and the same horses for sale in Horse Canada magazine. All through the building visitors can spot celebrities including our nation’s past and present Olympians, and other top caliber riders and their celebrity horses. The Royal Horse Show offers these professionals the highest level competition in Equestrian sport – specifically Show Jumping, Indoor Eventing and Dressage.
Below is Dee Scott from Forest Hill Farm wearing her riding attire. Her outfit may look uniform to the untrained eye, but equestrians are particularly stylish people and seek brand labels and the latest fashions just like other athletes.
This young rider is wearing Tucci Boots, Struck Breeches and an R.J. Classic riding jacket.
Struck Apparel are leaders in the search for more comfortable riding clothing. This rider told us that these were her favourite riding pants because of the fit. The company sponsors many equestrian riders and competitions to help research better products and they were among the many exhibitors with goods on display and for sale in the Exhibitor hall opposite the Ricoh Coliseum..
R.J Classic Jacket Softshell Collection combines traditional styling with athletically inspired fabrics to create the ideal show coat for riders of all levels. The machine washable lightweight softshell fabric is soft and stretchy. The garment has a mesh body lining for additional comfort. This style features three front buttons, double vented back, and two front pockets and retails for approx $75 CAD.
Dee was wearing her Tucci Boots and they aren’t cheap – even used riding boots can cost over $1000
This rider’s Sam Shield helmet would cost approximately $150 retail. The Shadowmatte Pro is made of a fancy poly-carbonate composition with a reinforced chin strap. The entire outfit would retail for between $1800 and $2400 with the boots being the most expensive ingredient.
The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair takes place every November in the City of Toronto.
Even though this venue was the scene of an intense competition, some of the riders on the teams were dressed for more recreational riding. Traditional tweed jackets look great when hacking, and pair up perfectly with a classic pair of jodhpurs. Men and women wear coloured ties to finish off their outfits.
Some of the more prominent equestrian fashion retailers at the show included Cavalier Equestrian, Greenhawk, and Pleasant Ridge. All of these stores are essentially the Canadian wholesale distributor of English and Western equestrian equipment, most of which is made in other countries and the best stuff is usually handcrafted in Europe.
Below is Linda with her daughter Kerry Lin Mercer wearing her Tredstep Symphony Style Show Competition Jacket – Navy which cost $210.61 CDN when purchased new on their website. She also has Tredstep Solo Pro Riding Socks, which are CAD 16.19 and Tredstep Dressage Pro Competition Gloves – in black which are CAD 58.92 new.
The red poppy broach is not compulsory, but omnipresent all the same. The red poppy has been used to commemorate fallen soldiers (among the Allies) since World War I, and although its not part of the official dress code (it would lose all meaning if it was obligatory), the poppy is seen on EVERY competitors’ riding attire because horse culture is inextricably intertwined with martial rituals, AND because it looks terrific on navy coloured wool riding coats.
The horse owners come dressed for success and wear designer clothes at all times – even when getting their horses’ shoes changed for competitions, at the farriers shop on site.
Equestrian is a lifestyle as much as a sport. The riding arena is filled with fashion items from Arista Equestrian, F.O.A.L Equestrian, Greenhawk Vancouver Island, and Victoria Saddlery.
Here is a story published in Toronto Guardian which explores the sunshine and good vibrations inside the Horse Palace during the annual Horse Show.