Farewell Top Hats–Lars Petersen Last Rider to Compete in Top Hat Before International Ban

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Wearing a top hat, Lars Petersen on Svelegards De Luxe in the Global Dressage Fall Festival CDI3* Grand Prix. The former Danish Olympian became the last rider to compete in a top hat in an international competition before the traditional headwear is banned in favor of helmets on Jan. 1, 2021. © 2020 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

WELLINGTON, Florida, Dec. 11, 2020–The top hat is out of international dressage with former Denmark Olympian Lars Petersen on Friday becoming the last rider in the world to compete with the traditional headwear.

Lars, who lives in Wellington and now rides under the Stars and Stripes, wore a top hat in the CDI3* Grand Prix at the Global Dressage Fall Festival, that is the last international dressage event on the calendar for 2020. Top hats are banned effective Jan. 1, 2021, with safety helmets only allowed in competition.

Lars wore his first top hat in competition as a junior rider at a competition in Norway at the age of 17.

Now 55 years old he rode Svalegards De Luxe in it for the last time Friday. Fittingly, he retired from his ride.

Wearing a top hat, Lars rode for Denmark at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, the 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2014 World Equestrian Games, was reserve champion on Cavan at the 2002 World Cup, one of three finals in which he competed, as well as three European Championships.