10 April 2022

Buyer’s guide to competition jackets so that you look great and feel confident in the saddle

Buyer’s guide to competition jackets so that you look great and feel confident in the saddle

When you’re wearing the right competition jacket, you’ll look and feel great, and your confidence will rise too. Here’s all you need to know to find the perfect one for you.

If you’re looking for a new competition jacket the choice is vast – no longer are you restricted to just a plain black or navy, or a brown tweed. Competition jackets are available in different styles to suit different body shapes and all manner of colours so you can colour coordinate with other pieces of clothing, or saddle pads.

It’s also important not to forget that you do need to wear the correct type of jacket for the discipline in which you are competing. Read the rules so you’re not caught out on the day. You’ll have enough to think about without being told the jacket you are wearing isn’t allowed.

Fashion meets function

A big change in competition jackets in recent years is the use of modern technical fabrics that make them more comfortable to wear, flattering and easy to care for.

These materials have a bit of stretch to them that allows you to move without feeling restricted. There are other benefits to buying a jacket that’s made from a technical fabric too. These include being breathable and water resistant, and — probably most importantly — they are machine washable.

Tweed jackets are worn for showing and lower-level eventing

How to select the right jacket

When you are choosing a competition jacket consider which disciplines you compete in. There are three main types of jackets available:

1 Tweed

Tweeds are also known as hacking jackets and are traditionally worn out hunting before the season’s opening meet. This type of jacket is also worn for many showing classes and for the lower levels of eventing.

This classic country style of jacket is made from either pure wool or a wool blend. It’s cut to give a flattering tailored fit. This style of coat usually has double rear vents and three buttons down the front.

Other detailing can include a velvet collar and pocket flaps.

Shorter jackets are popular for showjumping

2 Showjumping

The style of jacket most often seen in the showjumping arena is slightly shorter than a tweed jacket and may have three or four buttons down the front.

They are typically made of breathable, lightweight, stretchy fabrics and often don’t have a lining. This type of material provides a great range of movement — just what’s needed when you’re showjumping.

For a neater appearance, these jackets can have a front zip hidden behind the buttons and other features such as mesh panels to aid breathability.

3 Dressage

Dressage styles are changing in favour of stretch materials for greater comfort

A dressage jacket is usually a little longer than a showjumping jacket. Again, modern materials are being used for a more comfortable fit.

Subtle style touches can be added, such as contrast colour collar and a hint of bling. There are also some different styles available, such as a cut-away jacket.

Check the fit

A well-fitting competition jacket should be flattering and must fit comfortably, giving a streamlined silhouette without restricting your movement. Here are a few tips to check your jacket fits you well:

  • The shoulder seams should line up with the edges of your shoulders to prevent pulling over the top of your arms.
  • Check that you can move your arms freely without feeling restricted across your upper back, shoulders, and upper arms.
  • Ensure the jacket lies flat across your back without any wrinkles.
  • It should lie flat across your chest with no puckering at the buttons.
  • Cuffs should be on your wrists. Bend your arms to mimic your position in the saddle — the sleeves should end at the top of your wrist.
  • The waistline should sit on your natural waist to give a tidy outline.

Shop for competition jackets

Equetech Launton Deluxe Tweed Riding Jacket

RRP £159.50

Colour: Green herringbone

Sizes: 32in-50in


This classically styled show jacket is made in a beautiful green herringbone tweed with staggered navy and red over checks for a unique look.

Other features include flap pockets with concealed zip pockets, a rich gold Equetech jacquard lining, navy fabric collar and pocket jets, and double back vents.

Ariat Galatea Asteri Show Coat

RRP £240

Colour: Show navy

Sizes: 6 -18


This machine washable show coat is for those who love a bit of bling. It features bright zippers and buttons, rhinestone accents at the back of the collar, and vegan leather silver matte piping on the lapel.

The breathable stretch fabric will keep you comfortable all day long and panelling ensures you look great.

Aubrion Saratoga Jacket

RRP £119.99

Colours: Green check, navy/ maroon check, brown tweed, red/yellow/blue check, copper check

Sizes: 30in-46in


A classically tailored tweed jacket cut to give a flattering fit. This jacket is available in a selection of different wool-mix tweed checks so there is sure to be one to complement your horse’s coat colour.

To give you that winning edge, the jacket features a velvet trim collar and pockets, double rear vents and horse button details.

Mountain Horse Glory Event Jacket

RRP £109

Colour: Navy

Sizes: XXS-XXL


This stylish, lightweight, high performance competition jacket is made with stretch material with a three-button closure and a hidden front zipper for a smart finish.

The easy care fabric is durable, and other features include two front pockets and rear vents for extra comfort when you are riding.

The contrast detailing on this jacket gives it a different look and will help you stand out from the crowd.

Harry Hall Stoneleigh Ladies Riding Jacket

RRP £235

Colour: Green tweed

Sizes: 34in-38in


A traditional style that’s designed with a flattering cut. Made from UK-manufactured cloth and tailored in the UK, this jacket has two rear vents for freedom of movement in the saddle, detailed fox head buttons and flapped pockets.

The smart green tweed is complemented by a handcrafted navy-blue velvet collar.

Dublin Casey Tailored Jacket

RRP from £69.99

Colours: Black, navy

Sizes: 8-20


A tailored competition softshell jacket that is water repellent and breathable. The stretch fabric allows freedom of movement, so you stay comfortable when you’re riding.

This jacket is fully lined and machine washable. It is finished off with a stylish button detail on the front and sleeve cuffs.

There’s also a hidden centre zip closure for a neat fit, plus a hanger and garment bag is included.

Allison Lowther

by Allison Lowther

Allison is Your Horse's freelance gear editor and a freelance writer. She has been a part of the Your Horse team for more than 10 years and is the best person to ask when looking to replace an item of your horsey gear. Allison owns two horses: a mare called Wish who competes in dressage and Jester, a retired eventer.

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