Any Color Coats Allowed at US Equestrian Dressage Competitions, Riders No Longer Restricted to “Dark” As of Dec. 1

8 months ago StraightArrow Comments Off on Any Color Coats Allowed at US Equestrian Dressage Competitions, Riders No Longer Restricted to “Dark” As of Dec. 1
Susan Dutta in a tailcoat that in 2020 was more colorful than most “dark” attire required by the soon to be outdated dress code. File photo. © 2020 Ken Braddick/

Nov. 3, 2021

Dressage riders at United States Equestrian competitions will be able to wear coats of any color as of Dec. 1, in a move to “modernize” the traditional dress code that has required “dark” coats and jackets for all but freestyles.

The new rule specifies: “A short riding jacket or cutaway coat (modified tailcoat) with short tails is permitted at any level of competition. A tailcoat is permitted in all classes above Fourth level.

“Any single color jacket or tailcoat is permitted and may have subtle pin striping, checks or tweeds. Striped or multi-colored jackets or coats are not permitted. Tasteful and discreet accents, such as a collar of a different hue, modest piping, or crystal decorations, are acceptable.”

The new dress code, the federation said, is designed to give “riders many more choices and flexibility, to suit their modern tastes, fabrics and color choices for the competition arena.”

The rules will apply to all classes and levels, including championships, at USEF-licensed/USDF-recognized dressage competitions.

FEI (International Equestrian Federation) rules apply to FEI recognized dressage events, CDIs.

Perhaps the most arresting international coat color has been bright orange adopted by the Netherlands for its teams.

Marlies van Baalen of the Netherlands in distinctive orange coat riding Go Legend at the European Championships in September. File photo. © 2021 Ken Braddick/

White, light or dark colored breeches or jodhpurs are permitted in competition, the new federation rule states. Bright colors or patterns are not permitted. Contrast piping is allowed, the new federation rules state.

White or light colored gloves are recommended and any solid color is permitted at Fourth Level and below.

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