Top Riders on High-Tech Clothes

Peter Wylde, Karen O'Connor and Guenter Seidel talk technical on their favorite new fabrics and styles for staying cool in hot competition.

Show jumper Peter Wylde, 2002 World Equestrian Games individual bronze medalist:
“A Norwegian company, Kingsland, does a whole line of these fantastic riding shirts for men and women. They’re a great summer-weight material. They’re hugely popular here in Europe. The company makes a lot of great outerwear, but they also make breeches, jackets and now they’re starting to make fantastic shirts. It’s the type of fiber you’d find in athletic clothing. It’s form-fitting–almost more like a polo shirt–but it has a collar (so it can be worn in competition with a riding jacket).

Peter Wylde | ? Nancy Jaffer
Karen O

“This summer, when we were riding in Escona, Switzerland, it was 100 degrees every day. We rode in these; they were lightweight. It’s more like a sports shirt than wearing a button-down collar. Their jackets don’t have stretch material, but I can see the trend in the future; people are starting to design clothes that are going that way. They’re a little more with the times, more current.”

Eventer Karen O’Connor, two-time Olympic medalist:
“I just bought a high-tech fabric in a ratcatcher that’s moisture-wicking. It’s good looking so I’m going to try it. You just sweat in cotton, while this microfiber stuff might keep you from sweating so much.

“I’ve been riding in Pikeur breeches for 25 years. They’ve changed a bit…they stretch a bit. There are so many different fabrics from a company like that.”

Guenter Seidel at the 2006 WEG | ? Nancy Jaffer

Dressage rider Guenter Seidel, 2006 World Equestrian Games team bronze medalist:
“I wear the Coolmax? shirts, and that’s the only thing I ride in. I like [Coolmax] because the sweat goes right through and it dries again. I don’t like full [seat] leather breeches because they’re hot.

“I like rain jackets that are breathable and not too long and not too flarey, something a little tailored. Stretchy would be great. I don’t want to look like a balloon on a horse!”

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