Trends and differences between disciplines
I’ve been so lucky to have worked some high profile riders and their sponsors and would say that Eventing currently brings me the most work. I have to say that I have nothing but respect for the riders who have to be good at all THREE phases 😬⠀
The Event Riders original saddlecloth favourite Griffin Nuumed is still very popular however since taking over sponsorship of some of the larger brands, Le Mieux is rising in popularity in this area and Premier Equine is also making an appearance since increasing their range.
As many professional event riders have several sponsors there has been a trend towards putting all the sponsors on the back of their jackets in order to provide equal exposure for all when they can only wear one branded saddlecloth at a time! I’m proud to say that this originated from a project I did for Laura Collett and has really taken off 🙌
So anyone wanting advice regarding branding for BE or tips on how to promote several sponsors at once, such as social media ideas - please do get in touch. ⠀
The Le Mieux saddlecloths clearly dominate in this sector and why not as the choice of Carl and Charlotte? Their white cloths are fit for purpose and adorned by almost all the top riders. Le Mieux have also totally nailed the ‘matchy matchy’ trend in dressage and with new seasonal colours being released this trend is unlikely to go away. Plus their expansion into more rider wear is also proving popular as these can also be matched to the seasonal saddlecloth and bandages colours 😍 (and also embroidered)⠀
A relatively recent change made in the 2019 rule book covers the types of rugs that are permitted to be worn in the warm up arena at competitions. The rule states that ‘only rugs designed for riding can be worn whilst warming up’. - so in simple terms, competitors can now only ride in exercise rugs whilst in the warm up arena. This provides another opportunity to promote a sponsors logo as it can be much larger than on a saddlecloth and so whether a waterproof one or fleece / cooler material, the exercise rug should not be overlooked as a photo opportunity for a social media post! 🙌⠀
Dressage is probably my smallest market at the moment so I need to lengthen my stirrups and channel my inner Charlotte to try and grow the business in this area!⠀
As a wannabe showjumper myself, I have all the gear and no idea 🙄!! Fleecy tendon and fetlock boots, bespoke saddlecloths with matching ears, diamanté brow band, fluffy girth sleeve - you get the picture...
Showjumpers are not particularly aligned to any one brand of saddlecloth so unlike dressage their isn’t one dominant ‘go to’ brand.
Unlike British Eventing and Dressage there is a lot more scope (no pun intended) for colour choices and this is where the bespoke market really comes into its own!
Whilst the Event riders are catching onto the idea of stable drapes a lot more now, showjumping is where they dominate and they are a great way to publicise your brand or to show off your sponsors, especially if you have several or if one day is a feed company, which can be notoriously difficult to promote with spontaneous photos.
There are now lots of ‘off the peg’ stable drapes in useful colours such as black and navy they don’t break the bank - once embroidered with sponsors logos or your own name and website etc, these look really good 👌🏻
Bespoke items really let you create something truly unique and are a great way of standing out from the crowd. Whether they are monogrammed with your initials or produced in your sponsors colours, the options are vast! Matching saddlecloths, ears, rugs, stable drapes, grooming / bandage bags and stall guards = super smart 😍
To discuss bespoke options or anything else, please do get in touch!
Like racing, the polo sector is already dominated by several suppliers much bigger than me - so it’s a tough cookie to crack! However I am lucky to be close to both Cirencester and Beaufort polo clubs.
Nothing looks better than a pony line of matching rugs in bespoke colours 😍. Likewise team saddlecloths really elevate the smartness levels and the humans aren’t forgotten as jackets and gilets are often required during our ‘British Summertime’ ....
Polo players don’t appear to favour any particular brand and tend to use a GP shaped cloth. The embroidery can be larger than allowed for Dressage, Eventing or Showjumping however the saddles and polo players legs need to be taken into account!
So far my main business has been supplying Best Playing Pony rugs, which have been made in bespoke colours and vinyl printed. I have also supplied branded caps and saddlecloths for sponsors and jackets, hoodies and beanies for my polo playing neighbour - who clearly feels the cold!
PONY CLUBS & SCHOOLS
Growing up the Pony Club was integral to my childhood and I have fond memories of Pony Club Camp, mounted games (I was rubbish) and being in the showjumping team. Competing at Hickstead and making it into the main arena was a dream come true! ⠀
The NSEA have further helped youngsters to be part of teams across the disciplines and represent their schools - which is great. ⠀
With regards to saddlecloths, the most popular choice for teams is the Rhinegold GP cloth. It is excellent value, comes in pony, cob and full size and looks great embroidered. ⠀
For jackets the Regatta Dover blouson is a winner. Again it’s excellent value, practical (as it is actually waterproof) and good for riding. It comes in a good choice of colours and sizes from adults down to toddlers. ⠀
For the last few years I have supplied the commemorative hoodies for the Regional Pony Club Championships at Rectory Farm. Coming up with a new design each year ha been challenging but I really enjoy it. Last year I sponsored the Championships as well so there was a lot of Stitched Equestrian Prizes 🎉 ⠀