New look bling in the ring

Say goodbye to black jackets, white jodhpurs and suede helmets, and welcome performance-enhancing fabrics, tie-dye, diamantes, faux crocodile and snake skins - and sunglasses for horses.

Kapiti Coast woman Janine Scott owns One Black Horse, regarded as the most fashion-forward equestrian-wear stallholder at Horse of the Year.

She said riders and spectators were branching out from traditional colours and fabrics, to embrace the rainbow of garments imported from Italy and Germany. "The high-tech fabrics seem to be really popular. All these new technical riding jackets have almost taken over the older style wool jackets you used to wear," she said. "Now you don't have to dry-clean anything, they fabric is layered a certain way so you can just wash them and hang them up they they dry really quickly, and they don't have a lining so there is no restriction for riders."

Helmets and boots were now in faux-crocodile prints, and harnesses made of snakeskin.

Polo wear was growing in popularity, with jeans, cargo and tie-dyed jodhpurs top sellers.

"Diamantes, they have also been in there, a little bit of bling goes a long way - the girls seem to like that."

For the horses themselves, reins and stirrups come in an array of colours and materials, and also have performance-enhancing qualities.

"There is the d30 intelligent shock absorption on the tendon booties for the horses when they hit the ground," she said.

Other hot items were Argentinian-imported sunglasses for horses, and a rainbow of crocheted ear covers.

"Stirrups you can have any colour you like, you can even have your own country's flag painted on it."



- Hawkes Bay Today

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