Maybe I’ve been in Europe for too long, but I’ve really grown fond of two things that would’ve put fear into my heart during my North American ‘A’ circuit days – bright and bling. I mean let’s face it, when I step into the show ring, the loudest statements I make are a bit of bling on the fly veil (who doesn’t these days?!), saddle pad and the little glitter stripe on my CO AYR8 Leather Look. But at home? Look away George Morris!
Here are my favourite picks from Spring/Summer ’14 that may just toe the line between clashy and classy.
1. Pikeur ‘Badira’ breeches
These breeches make a statement and since they’re by Pikeur you know they’ll last longer than they’ll be on-trend. They kind of have an intergalactic flower theme going on and I’m just so down for that.
2. Eurostar Laura Infinity breeches
These breeches from Eurostar feature the lycra ankle cuffs, so no need to worry about your Zocks getting ladders from velcro. They also feature a choice of stamps or paisley so there’s something for every taste and as Chelsea put it: “The print would hide any stains”
3. Eskadron Next Generation
I love everything about this season’s Next Generation line from Eskadron. From this loud Union Jack print to street art inspired bell boots and saddle pad, it brings a bit of fun into the stable.
4. Animo Cayman fly veil
While most competitors opt for the traditional knit fly veil, Animo has introduced these sporty ears made of a lycra type material. This one has beautiful stitching and a row of bling. You’ll stand out from the crowd – do you dare?
5. Samshield V-Skin gloves
If I’ve overwhelmed you with all this Euro bright gear, here’s a little something more conservative. These are supposedly the next generation in grip with a combination of perforated leather, lycra and suede for breathability and a luxurious feel. The bling accent is nice too!
6. Animo ‘Now’ breeches
If you’re sick of plain diamantés and Swarovski crystals, Italian trend-setters Animo offer something a bit different with their ‘Now’ breeches. They even have a competition jacket to match!
7. Dolla Dolla Bills Y’all
Unleash the inner hoodrat in you and don these Animo breeches. They may cost you the price of a small car, but who wouldn’t want to be seen in these?
8. Jin Karat Stirrups
If anyone wants to propose to me, don’t even bother with a ring. I want these. Nice solid base for a good lower leg, and made of 24 karat gold, with Swarovski Elements crystals on the side. All for about £650 (the price of one month’s full board here, or rent for a closet in Central London).
While you may never step foot in the ring or even the showground wearing any of these things in North America, just know that in Europe, we’re having a blast with fun colours – and everyone’s okay with it!