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Rules for Competitors

These guidelines are for both Judges and Competitors to ensure we are all working towards the same standards to create a fairer way of judging and competing

1. Hats to BRC current standards must always be worn when mounted by ALL junior riders (under 18 years), with the chinstrap secured. Top hats, bowlers and costume hats may be worn by adult riders, and a disclaimer must be signed if you choose not to wear a safety hat. The Society shall accept no responsibility for riders choosing NOT to wear an approved hard hat. Please refer to the shows own rules which may require ALL riders to wear safety headwear and overrule the rules of The Society. Hat bands create a more elegant look if made to match the costume however, some people are very creative with over-hats but they can look out of proportion with some costumes.  Judges should never mark down for the use of a safety hat. 

2. In hand classes require a walk 'go round' and an individual show (a short figure of eight at walk).   Ridden classes include a walk and trot ‘go round’. The class will be judged with competitors at walk and trot with consideration to ability, on both reins. Canter may be shown in the individual show, but it is entirely at the rider’s discretion. Trot can be executed in sitting or rising trot and riders will not be marked down for rising to the trot. 

3. Plumes are not permitted on horse’s heads as these were traditionally used for funeral and circus work only.

4. Concours d'Elegance is a costume competition (not fancy dress or ‘cosplay’) and it is judged on the overall picture of elegance, perhaps depicting a film, painting or period drama. Costume, tack, rider and horse/pony will be taken into consideration.

5. Participants enter individually and if an unmounted leader is required, he/she may wear correct costume for the period and their role.

6. Inspection of the costume and horse tack will take place when the class is lined up. Details such a silhouette, fabric (colour, trimmings, weight and materials) appropriate style and drape will be examined. Period make-up may be included to help create the ‘look’. Appropriate accessories may include jewellery, hairstyle and headwear, footwear, etc.


7.  Veils are acceptable as the overall look is often designed to create to look of a lady riding side saddle.  Veils should be worn correctly and only with an appropriate hat silk top hat or bowler.

8.  No jodhpurs or boots should be visible unless they form part of the costume.

9. Horse Tack: Bits and saddles MUST be safe and fit the horse. Any suitable tack is acceptable, and you may wish to use appropiate tack to enhance your costume. Decorated and embellished browbands are acceptable for any type of horse/pony. The welfare of the horse and safety of the rider is paramount.

10. Costumes should be tasteful, traditional and have the wow factor. No flesh should be on show ie no bare arms or cleavage. Concours is meant to replicate wearing your ‘Sunday Best’. 

11.In hand classes: Competitors should enter the arena on the left rein to enable the judge to get a clear view of your costume and not be obscured by the horse or pony.

12.The Judge’s decision is final. All classes are judged on the overall picture of elegance.

Please remember that the possession of a sense of humour, fair play and good sportsmanship are mandatory for all involved at these shows. Please try and remember that a smile and a good word demonstrates the height of humility and good manners, which are always in fashion.

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