JUDGING TURNOUT CLASSES Many people are under the misapprehension that turnout class is judged mainly on costume and saddlery, but this is not the case.
In a correctly judged turnout class, the horse gains the most points, riding ability comes second and then the costume and saddlery.
The following scale of points is used for the majority of turnout classes at our major shows: Conformation Manners and Paces Riding Ability Saddlery Costume Appeal 50 points 50 points 50 points 20 points 20 points 10 points At the Royal Shows they usually have more than one judge.
One judge may judge the conformation, soundness, manners and paces, and the other riding ability, saddlery, costume and appeal.
The smaller agricultural shows obviously could not afford to employ a judge just for various sections of a turnout, so they rely on one of the judges they have already employed.
At the other end of the scale you have the Garryowen Turnout, which is the most prestigious equestrian turnout in the southern hemisphere for lady equestriennes to enter, let alone win or place.
The Garryowen is judged by a panel of judges, all experts in the field they were chosen to judge.
One judge judges saddlery, one costume, one appeal, one riding ability, and one conformation, soundness, manner and paces.
So as you can see, to go out and spend a few thousand dollars on clothing and saddlery will certainly not win you a turnout.
There is a lot more to it than that.
You have to gain as many points in each section as possible.
Perfection is your aim, so firstly select a horse with good conformation, soundness, moves well and is well educated.
He must be well presented – very clean, shiny coat, pulled tail, trimmed mane and face, and hooves painted. TURNOUT ATTIRE The costume for turnout classes does not differ from the basic formal costume for male and female adults and children’s hacking costume.
However, attention to detail and the quality of fabric used in the apparel is a matter for special consideration. CORRECT FORMAL ATTIRE FOR ADULTS The ladies turnout attire for formal turnout comprises coat, vest, breeches, boots, hat, lanyard, shirt, stock and cane, gloves, spurs, boot straps, cufflinks, stock pin and pocket handkerchief.
The jacket should be black and made of pure wool.
The lapel should be hand stitched.
All buttonholes should be able to undo including those on the sleeves.
The satin lining should be dark in colour, black or dark grey. (The lining of the jacket should match the back of the vest in colour if the back of the vest is satin).
The jacket should have a lapel buttonhole in which a flower may be worn – but the only time a flower should be worn is for a memorial event.
The length of the jacket should be just long enough to cover the back of the saddle when the rider is mounted.
Not too long and certainly not a big flared skirt! It should fit well and not be too tight.
The coat should have three buttons on each sleeve.
The sleeve length should finish at the wrist when the rider’s arm is in the riding positions.
The vest should be of good quality wool – tattersal/houndstooth check.
Colour depends on the individual taste, as long as it is in keeping with the subtle, classic look.
The bottom button of the vest is always left undone.
When the jacket is done up, the top button of the vest should peep through the vee of the jacket lapel.
The back of the vest can be made of satin , but it must match the colour of the lining of the jacket ie be the same colour.
Breeches to be made of good quality non-stretch material ie cavalry twill.
The colour may be fawn, beige or canary.
Breeches should not be too tight, but look and be comfortable to wear.
The strappings can be self strappings or doe skin – doe skin for preference.
They must have a side zip and not a front zip for ladies.
Three buttons at the front of the knee should show when the boots are on and these buttons should have real buttonholes, all able to be undone.
The buttons should be small and very neat and blend in with the colour of the breeches.
All the obvious stitching should be hand stitched, such as the seam down the side and across to the knee, around the zip and the waistband and the strappings should be hand stitched to the breeches.
Boots should be made of high quality black leather, highly polished and firmly fit on the leg.
They should not be new, but be worn in and look and feel comfortable.
The top of the boot should finish just below the protruding bone at the side of the knee.
Boots that are too short look untidy, as do boots that are too big around the calf.
The toe of the boot can be round or squared, but I feel a round toe is more feminine.
The soles of the boots should be leather and stitched to the uppers.
Remember when buying boots that you buy them long enough, as you must allow for a certain amount of collapse at the ankle.
There are a number of companies who specialise in tailor made boots.
They are aware of these problems and can advise you of the pitfalls.
Boot straps are there to hold the boot up and stop it collapsing too much at the ankle, but most of our boots today have very stiff uppers and there is very little need for boot straps.
However, they are traditionally correct, so should really be worn for turnout.
The straps should be made of the same leather as the spur straps on the outside, but a light coloured leather, such as bone or cream, on the inside where they pass around the breeches.
Again, they should be stitched around the edge, with the same type of buckle as the spur straps, and when worn should sit neatly between the second and third button on the breeches.
Again, the straps should have a keeper for the overlap to rest in.
The buckles should sit a little off centre at the knee, directly in line with the buckle of the spur straps.
The hat is a black ladies bowler.
There are a couple of styles.
One has a wider brim and hasn’t as much shape in the brim, which is not desirable.
The smaller brimmed hat with a slight curve from front to back is much neater.
Bowlers for men and ladies are the same except for the size of the hat band.
The narrower band is for the ladies.
The centre of the brim at the back should have a stud through it with a small ring on the underside, to which the lanyard may be attached.
The lanyard is attached from the ring on the back of the hat to a loop inside of the back of the neck of the jacket.
Its function is to save the hat from falling on the ground if it accidentally comes off the rider’s head.
The length of the lanyard will depend on the height of the lady wearing the hat.
It should not hang halfway down the rider’s back, but be just long enough to give the rider freedom to move her head to any normal position without pulling on the jacket.
The lanyard has three moveable beadlike attachments.
The bottom and top beads are worn approximately two inches from the ends and the third one is worn just below halfway towards the jacket.
The shirt is a white cotton collarless shirt with long sleeves.
The cuffs are to be double cuffs with buttonholes for the cufflinks to pass through.
The neck of the shirt at the front should have no button, but buttonholes on either side to pass a stud through and attach to the stock.
The back of the shirt at the neck also has a buttonhole for a smaller stud to pass through and attach to the stock to keep it firm and in place.
Avoid shirts which are too baggy as they can make the outfit, when put together, look untidy.
So if it is a bit big, have it taken in.
The stock should be white cotton pique, not silk or polyester.
It should be well starched with no creases.
There is quite a knack in tying a neat, correct stock.
The things to remember are keep it flat and not bulky, and keep it very neat.
The centre of the stock has a buttonhole at the bottom of the curve in the stock, which attaches to the stud through the buttonholes at the front of the neck of the shirt.
There is an opening in the stock to enable one side of the stock to pass through – so pass it through.
Now the stock is wrapped around your neck once.
Make sure it is firm.
There is a small loop or buttonhole at the back of the neck which attaches to the stud at the back of the shirt.
Now you have the ends of the stock lying down either side of your chest.
Cross the stock over your chest at the neck.
Pull it through making sure it is flat, that should then be lying straight down the middle of your chest and the other piece lying across the right side.
Take the centre piece and fold it underneath itself and lay it across your left shoulder, then take the right piece and pass it through the loop you have just made, from left to right.
Pull that through nice and firm until you have your knot.
Tidy it up and flatten the knot.
Now take the ends that are left down and cross one over the other.
Neatly attach your stock pin, and there you are.
Easier said than done though! It does take quite a bit of practice and is very hard to do yourself.
Since the stock can make or break the appearance of the outfit, you would be best advised to find someone who would tie it for you.
Just remember to keep it neat.
Also make sure whoever ties it has very clean hands as they do soil very easily.
Place some tissues around your neck and cover the stock, as ladies make up has a habit of staining the top of the stock.
Remove the tissues before the event.
Incidentally, the stock for ladies, when finished, should pass right over left and gents left over right.
The cufflinks and stock pin should be identical and either plain gold or silver.
The cufflinks must have a small chain to pass through the shirt and not a rigid bar.
The reason for this is, should the rider take a fall, the rigid bar is more likely to cause injury to the wrist than a more flexible one.
They should be plain.
Perhaps initials, but no other ornaments.
The shape and size is a matter of taste, as long as they are neat and not too bulky.
The stock pin is made of gold or silver and very plain – no decorations (ie horse’s head, stirrups etc) just a plain bar.
When attached, the stock pin should pass through stock and shirt.
Traditionally, the pin was worn on an angle, but the most common way nowadays is straight across.
The gloves should be backed with string and each have a leather palm.
The colour of the leather palm should match the strappings of the breeches.
There should be a small button at the wrist of the gloves to close them.
The hacking cane should be 15 to 18 inches in length, plain leather plaited or pig skinned covered, and matching as closely as possible to the colour of the bridle and saddle, and carried one third of the way down from the top.
The spurs should be nice, fine, neat ladies stainless steel dummy spurs which fit the boot.
The spur itself should not be too long and is worn sloping downwards.
They are won on the seam of the boot at the top of the ankle, not down at the heel.
The spur straps should be black double leather and finely stitched around the edge.
The buckle should be quality and highly polished stainless steel.
An oval or a square buckle is correct as long as the buckles on your boot straps are the same.
The spur straps should be wide enough to fill the opening in the sides of the spur.
Not too narrow allowing gaps to be visible.
When worn on the boot, the buckle should sit very slightly off centre to the outside of the boot.
Five holes are desirable in the spur strap with the buckle done up on the third hole.
There should also be a neat keeper for the remaining spur strap to rest in to keep it neat.
I have found shoe repair stores or leather craft stores ideal to make these straps.
They make the exact size required.
The handkerchief should be small and made of lace and cotton.
It is carried in the right hand pocket of the jacket.
The rider’s hair should be neat and done up in a bun for preference.
A hair net must be worn.
Choose one the same colour as your hair, avoid bulky obvious hair nets.
No jewelry should be worn, and makeup should be subdued.
Lapel flowers should not be worn other than for a memorial turnout.
For the Garryowen, a white gardenia is worn and even then it must be neat and small.
Some girls wear large gardenias with lots of greenery – it is not flattering.
Remember to keep it all subdued.
Use good quality garments and accessories.
Strive for classic good taste and perfection. CHILDREN’S ATTIRE The shirt, tie, vest, jacket, jodhpurs, boots, hat, gloves, cane, tie pin, cufflinks and spur straps make up the turnout outfit for girls and boys under 17/18 years.
If you are serious about turnout, your jacket should be tailor made.
The expense is really not much greater than buying one off the peg, and you have the added advantage with a tailored jacket of being able to let it down and out as the child grows.
The colour you choose for a jacket is purely a matter of personal taste, and as a child’s turnout is classed as informal, you should not use black or dark blue.
There are many materials available and you only have to look through the tailor’s examples to find something that suits your child.
Nothing bright or gaudy.
Try to keep it all a little sedate in order than everything blends together with your horse’s colouring, your saddlery, and the rider’s colouring.
The lining of the jacket should blend with the colour of the jacket.
Once again, avoid bright colours such as red, white, gold etc.
Keep to the colours that are in the material.
For instance, if the jacket is grey, then the lining would probably look best in grey.
As far as the length is concerned, a jacked should neither be too long or too short.
The length should be sufficient so that it covers the back of the saddle when the rider is mounted.
Coats afforded too much length do look untidy and one too short can look both untidy and uncomfortable.
Pure wool is correct, however a material of polyester and wool blend if probably most suitable for our climate and doesn’t crush as easily as pure wool.
The jacket should have three buttons in the front, finishing at the waistline, and the bottom button, as a rule, is left undone.
If the coat sits well and doesn’t bunch up when the rider is mounted, then there is no reason why all buttons should not be done up, if you so wish.
However, most jackets no matter how tailored will wrinkle in front when the rider is mounted, and in this case it is wiser to leave the bottom button undone.
The sleeve length should ideally be to the wrist when the rider’s arm is in the riding position.
The buttonholes in the sleeves should be real and able to be undone.
No false buttonholes.
The shirt should be plain (not dark) and should blend with the jacket.
A nice stiff collar will sit neatly and look smarter than a soft limp collar.
The cuffs should be double cuffs and have buttonholes on either side to take cuff links.
The tie should be pain and preferably wool.
Again, with the vest it is best to choose a colour that will blend flatteringly with the rest of the outfit – perhaps a small houndstooth check or even a plain colour.
When worn with the jacket approximately ¼” of the vest should be visible under the lapels of the jacket, and the lining at the back of the vest should be from the same material as the lining of the jacket or the same material as the front of the vest.
It is very difficult to find a tailor who will make jodhpurs.
However, a number of companies have an extensive stock.
The colour again will depend on your outfit and there are three colours which seem most used – canary, fawn and beige.
Girls jodhpurs should have a side zip and the boys a front zip.
The jods are made of non-stretch material, they should have a very fine well concealed zip on the outside of the bottom of the jods, approximately 4 inches long to enable the foot to pass through.
The seam up the front of the leg to the knee and across to the side should be hand stitched.
Jodhpurs should be firm fitting, but not tight once the rider is mounted, and the bottom should have a cuff of approximately ¾” which sits neatly over the top of the boots without wrinkling at the knees.
The strappings may be either self strapping (same material as jods) or doe skin.
The former is by far the easiest to care for, and the strappings should also be hand stitched to the jods.
When you have your jods dry cleaned, ask the dry cleaner not to press in creases as they do for slacks, as a line down the back and front of the jods can look untidy.
Boots should be fine quality brown leather with a leather sole – worn in and not new.
The sole should be stitched to the uppers, not glued.
They should be highly polished and the soles painted with raven oil – brown or black.
A plain velvet regulation cap with harness is worn.
The colour of the cap will again depend on the colour of the outfit – black, blue or brown.
The little tails at the back of the hat should be stitched under the inside of the cap and not left down.
Traditionally, the only person permitted to wear the tails down were the hunt masters or the child of the farmer whose land across which the hunt was traversing.
Gloves should be string backed, with leather palms – colour again to blend with the outfit, not black or white.
The string back in cream, fawn or beige and the leather palms matching as closely as possible to the colour of the jods.
There are many saddlery shops with a wide range of gloves.
Stick to the best quality.
The colour of the hacking cane should match as closely as possible to that of your saddle and bridle and should be covered with either leather or pig skin.
The cane should be approximately 15” in length and be held a third of the way down from the top.
Tie pin and cuff links should match, the tie pin being a plain bar with no horse’s head or stirrups hanging from it.
Silver or gold are both correct.
The child’s initials could be engraved but keep it plain.
The bar should not be wider than the tie and is worn just above the ‘v’ at the top of the vest.
Cufflinks again should be subdued – small and neat and the colour of the tie pin.
They should have a chain attached that may be passed through the buttonholes and not a rigid bar as must cuff links have.
A rigid bar could be quite harmful, whereas a chain is more flexible and less likely to cause injury.
The spurs should be fine quality stainless steel dummy spurs, worn fairly low on the boot, with the actual spur facing down.
The spur straps should match the colour of the boot and be done up with a good quality stainless steel buckle, just a little off centre to the outside of the boot.
The remaining strap should not be too long, and should have a keeper for it to pass through and keep it neat.
The leather should be good quality and stitched around the outside of the spur strap.
The spur strap should be double leather.
Girls must wear a hair net.
Not one of the old heavy rather obvious types, but a very fine one that will match the colour of the hair.
The way in which the hair is done depends on the individual.
It may be a bun or a plait, whichever is preferred and as long as it is neat.
Boys keep your hair neat as it has a tendency to curl around the bottom of the cap and can detract from your overall appearance.
As I said at the beginning of this article, attention to detail plays a big part in the successful turnout competition.
Perfection is your aim, so keep everything clean and neat and it should match and blend harmoniously. A few don’ts – don’t wear jewelry, too much makeup, gaudy and bright colours and clothing that does not fit.
Boot straps are there to hold the top of the boot up so that they do not slip too much and get caught under the flap of the saddle.
Hand stitching on breeches and jackets is a tradition that has been maintained from the days before the advent of sewing machines when all clothing was made by hand.
There have been many changes over the years in both fashions and fabrics.
The costume nowadays is far more streamlined with stretch materials, suede seats and a wide range of colours for both breeches and jackets.
The modern fabrics are easier to clean and maintain and certainly cooler and more comfortable than the show enthusiast of old had to endure.
For hacking, apart from top level turnout, a person could attire themselves for a fraction of the cost of tailor made clothes by shopping around for good quality brands of jackets, breeches and top boots.
Small alterations of fit are easily made by a tailor as is the hand stitching.
By following the creed of classic lines and good taste it would be hard to go wrong.
The correct cut and fit of riding clothes is important for the total look of neatness and correctness as well as being a matter of personal pride.
The better the look, the better the feel, and the better we show the horse off. SADDLERY FOR TURNOUT The saddlery is the same for Formal and Informal Turnouts.
The saddle should be one of the many available designed especially for Turnout.
Basically, it is a Dressage saddle, but its finish is different, as it will be covered in a fine, soft leather and the flaps and the stirrup leather keepers are stitched.
All the dees and buttons are covered.
The saddle has short girth points, which should be stitched and numbered.
The girth is a three-fold Fitzwilliam girth made of leather matching the saddle in colour.
When done up, the girth should be buckled on the same holes on either side.
The stirrup leathers should match the saddle in colour.
They should be double leather and should be stitched.
When set at the rider’s length, the leather should pass through the keeper towards the back of the saddle and finish level with the back of the saddle flap.
The stirrup irons should be a matched pair, of stainless steel, each a two-bar, flat-edged stirrup with no treads.
The bridle should be a double bridle, the colour matching the saddle.
There should be twelve neat stitches to the inch on all stitched parts of the bridle. (Because the turnout bridle should fit the horse, the majority of turnout bridles are made to the measurements of particular horses).
The browband is plain (no brass, ribbon etc) and can be either raised and stitched or flat.
It must be the same as the noseband (ie both raised or both flat). The noseband should sit two adult fingers below the protruding cheekbone and when done up should be firm but not tight.
The buckles on each cheekpiece should be in line with the eye, three on the near side and two buckles on the off side.
The throat latch should be just tight enough so that it does not slip down over the jawbone.
The bit and bridoon should be just wide enough for the horse’s mouth.
If both bits were pulled to one side of the mouth, there should be half an inch of bit and bridoon protruding.
Both bits should be a pair – if a sliding cheek bit is used, it must be accompanied by a loose ring bradoon; a fixed cheek bit must be accompanied by a fixed cheek bradoon ie egg butt.
The curb chain must be covered.
When done up the chain should have one link for adjustment on either side.
The links must be hooked neatly onto the hook and not left dangling down.
The lip strap should pass through the ring on the bottom centre of the curb chain and its buckle must be done up on the near side.
The two reins are different widths.
The narrower rein should attach to the curb bit.
Each rein is divided into two halves, joined by a buckle.
The two buckles should face the same way, to the offside of the horse.
Numnahs are accepted for turnout.
Once you would lose a mark for using a numnah but nowadays they are quite acceptable as long as they are neat, fit well and blend in with the horse and saddlery.
They should be sheepskin. Updated 3 May 2006
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