Jockeys globally relentlessly pursue the perfect ride. Historically, the elite participate in grandiose public events, which enhance horse racing’s profile among society’s upper echelon and the world. Fashion is as much a part of the experience as horse racing, considering etiquette guides requires specific dress codes for popular racing events and even the riders don jockey fashion. Horses also receive special attention to the outerwear on race day. Here are three ways that fashion plays an integral role in the horse racing sport.
No definitive rules govern Kentucky Derby fashion. Yet, it’s a bastion of spring ensembles. Women wear pastel suites and bold, colorful separates, which match head wear and accessories. Derby goers may flaunt dresses with floral patterns and slip on matching sandals. However, it’s the hats, which inspire thoughts of yesteryear. From the Southern tradition, a guest may complete the outfit with a spectacular hat, which is reminiscent of the simpler times. The parade of elegant, wide-brim hats or colorful head pieces set the stage for a day of extravagant aim’n fashion. Even men take part in the tradition, adding a little sensibility with eccentric to sublime masculine headgear, which creates the mystique of a fictional character. It’s all a part of the fantastic experience in which every participant dresses the part.
Not to be outdone, jockeys wear an elevated form of traditional riding gear, which has elevated from its humble roots to play a role in the day’s fanfare. Tweed jackets with conservative or bright colors, standard riding hats, and gloves serve as essential fashion for riders. Unique designs and leather boots complete the ensemble to ensure the jockey is ready to handle the challenging race ahead by choosing fashion, which is both comfortable and functional. Riding fashion is steeped in tradition with each jockey performing the time-honored ritual of throwing the jacket to the floor and stomping on it to drive away bad luck, immediately upon receiving his racing wear.
Horses are the focal point of the day and equestrian style is evolving with the times. Stylish equine fashion includes sleek bonnets, sheets, and saddle pads, giving the horse an air of sophistication. These stylish elements are also functional. Sheets help keep the horse clean. Saddle pads hold in warmth and increase blood circulation to relieve any pain or strain. Bonnets protect a horse’s ears from the sun and flies. Functionality and style in equine apparel pays off, as strong, muscular four-legged horses strut regally to the starting line. Spectators are generally excited to see each racing horse’s, which has been specially chosen for the event. High standards of fashion for horses continue to impress crowds who seek to view the finer things in life. Popular labels work diligently to create designs, which accentuate the grace and elegance of equestrian fashion for all participants.