In two weeks, it’s the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event jog! Here are some tips to prepare for the trot up from our partners at E-Venting – photos by Will Baxter:

I’ve been lucky enough to attend quite a few Three Day events over the years, and the trot-ups have always been a source of terror if I’m competing, and a bit of nail-biting entertainment if I’m not.

HOW laid back?!

HOW laid back?!

Too cool for school

Too cool for school

“Please present your horse straight. Go again.”

“Please present your horse straight. Go again.”

For certain riders, it is the perfect excuse to model in their very own fashion show with a guaranteed captive audience, albeit only for about 60 seconds total. Big-name Designer labels have even featured in the past.

Since I am almost invariably my own groom, the thought of letting my horse (however beloved, coddled and appreciated s/he may be) slobber, froth or shed hairs on anything Designer, always totally precludes that option. And if I recall correctly, the rider who managed to wangle a genuine Chanel suit for the trot-up then suffered a hideous run of bad luck. Frustrated Fashionistas, beware…

At the other extreme are the ones who go for randomly Bright and Bold, which can be very nice of course. Or the sometimes-startling Wardrobe Lucky Dip option (grab the first 4 things you found in the dark, and wear them, no matter what.)

These riders can’t possibly claim to be colourblind, as they’ve gotten up the grades – so obviously they were able to tell Orange from Pink from Yellow, and Blue from Green, at speed.

Maybe it’s a ‘do anything for a bet’ thing? Repeat offenders – you must be getting rich by now, surely… but I can’t wait to see what you wear at Badders!

There’s also the rather nice Surprise Invitation To The Royal Wedding Ensemble. Smart, chic, and quite exceptionally co-ordinated. This is not necessarily restricted to the girls, by the way.

What about the Over The Top Nationalistic look?  At some championships this is de rigueur, thanks to Team Outfits. Team USA’s Ralph Lauren International Golfer look at Greenwich was rather interesting…

Phillip Dutton, Will Coleman and Boyd Martin modelling the official closing (white) and Opening (blue) ceremonies' outfits - photo courtesy Phillip Dutton Eventing

Phillip Dutton, Will Coleman and Boyd Martin modelling the official closing (white) and Opening (blue) ceremonies’ outfits – photo courtesy Phillip Dutton Eventing

Uh oh, that’s looking dangerously like National Costume, Ingrid.

Uh oh, that’s looking dangerously like National Costume, Ingrid.

And of course we all love an akubra (Australian hat), since thanks to Matt Ryan’s herculean efforts they’re now as frequently seen in the fields of Great Britain as flat tweed caps (and a lot more practical too). I hope he gets a percentage every year from Australia’s Exports Division, as he must be their most significant overseas ambassador!

Peter Atkins and HJ Hampton at Rolex 2010 - photo by Tracy Porter

On the other side of the pond, it’s Peter Atkins – photo by Tracy Porter

We should probably draw the line at lederhosen – don’t want to scare the horses and all that. Just be glad we don’t have any Maori Three Day Eventers doing the Haka, since I think  that really would have them running for the hills… Oh God, mustn’t give Todd, Nicholson, Paget and co any ideas to further intimidate the opposition…

Jonathan Paget and Clifton Promise - photo by Calina

Jonathan Paget and Clifton Promise – photo by Calina

Hmm, hold on a minute… don’t the Maori warriors do the Haka nearly naked?! Now there’s an image you’ll never get out of your head. You’re welcome.

Back to reality, trot-up options for the men do sometimes seem a bit boring, unless we’re lucky enough to have anyone Scottish and Proud in the line-up, ideally on a windy day… and I never have discovered whether that’s a myth or not.

Much safer, there’s the formal but uninspiring ‘job interview at a bank’ look, sometimes cheered up by a jazzy tie (to match xc colours, natch), or the ‘chinos and jacket, spiffing day on the Riviera, what?’ ensemble (okay, that’s my favourite.) Of course, for either gender, the ultimate winner (if you’re entitled to wear it) is uniform. Can’t really go wrong there, automatically smart, well-tailored and flattering. Yes, please!

They’re in perfect balance as well as in step. Bless.

They’re in perfect balance as well as in step. Bless.

At the other end of the scale, for some of the laydeez, the name of the game seems to be How Best To Distract the Ground Jury From Closely Scrutinising My Horse. Starting with enough make-up to make Dita Van Teese blush, adding a serious push-up bra, multiple socks shoved in it if necessary, then undoing an extra top button or three, and wearing ‘fanny pelmet’ length tweed, are the time-honoured ways of attempting to achieve this. Dolly Parton would be so proud.

Straightness is essential, by the way. From a certain angle a horse curved around you as you fight for control can look lame. Argh, the dreaded four letter word.

You will go straight, or else…

You will go straight, or else…

Whoa pony, whoa!

Whoa pony, whoa!

To be continued…

Kerry

e-Venting logo