EQUESTRIAN SPORTS

MEN’S RIDING WEAR

Title: [Goodwood Hunt] (1929)
[Goodwood Hunt]
Date: (1929?)
Film-maker: Ralph Staley

The still image above shows a man wearing a jacket, shirt, tie, sweater, riding breeches, riding boots and trilby hat. He carries a riding crop under his arm. The woman who accompanies him is not dressed for riding, but wears a typical day dress of the period accessorised with a cloche hat. Riding remained a middle and upper class sport. A painting by John St. Helier Lander at the Manchester Art Gallery depicts the Prince of Wales in riding wear in 1923. He is dressed more casually than the man in the film and wears an open neck white shirt, white riding breeches, tan belt and navy blue riding boots. See: Manchester Art Gallery (Item No. 1924.1). The Prince of Wales was a fashionably dressed figure of the 1920s and helped to set fashion trends of the time.


WOMEN’S RIDING WEAR

[Goodwood Hunt] (1929?)

Title: [Goodwood Hunt]
Date: (1929?)
Film-maker: Ralph Staley

In the same film two women at the stables wear riding gear which includes shirts, ties and riding breeches that blur traditional gender boundaries.

A photograph dating 1925 held by the Manchester Art Gallery shows a woman riding her horse in breeches and a sweater. The Manchester Art Gallery’s Costume Gallery at Platt Hall has the breeches and pullover seen in the photograph in their collection, along with the rider’s socks (item no. 1961.37). In addition, the Costume Gallery at Platt Hall has a rich array of equestrian dress, including examples of riding breeches and riding shirts from the 1930s (e.g. Item no. 1980.335 & 1986.221).


HORSE RACING

Title: [Travels to India and Egypt]
Date: [1933-1935]
Film-maker: Flavell Family

This film clip shows jockeys in Burma wearing light-coloured silk riding breeches and loose, unstructured silk-cropped jackets, one of which has a bold polka dot print. This was one way for the commentator and spectators to distinguish the rider from his peers. Silk was chosen for its lightweight properties since it would not hinder the horse’s speed.

A British Pathé film shows Derby Day at Epsom, Surrey in 1936. The jockeys wear light-coloured silk riding breeches and cropped jackets. See: British Pathé (Film ID: 883.19).


FOX HUNTING

Title: [Goodwood Hunt]
Date: [1929?]
Film-maker: Ralph Staley

In this film clip both men and women can be seen taking part in the hunt and attired in full hunting regalia. A woman wearing a bowler hat and riding sidesaddle is in the background. Portsmouth Museums and Records Service hold a ‘hunting journal’ of Bridget Ella Jackson of Stakes Hill Lodge recorded between 1935-1939 (Record No. 626A/3/1/1-6).

For the men, their outfits comprised velvet jackets with a half belt with brass buttons and an inverted box pleat at the rear. The box pleat produced a full skirt when in the saddle. A shirt, jodhpurs, riding boots and hat completed the outfit. Some riders opted for the fashionable bowler hat while others wore a riding cap.

More on this film can be found in the Screen Archive online database