How to dress your child  for their first Ag Show

How to dress your child for their first Ag Show

Heading to your first Ag Show and not sure what you should wear? Read on to find out which horse showing attire is essential and which pieces are extras you can add as you go.


What is an Ag Show? An Agricultural Show is a celebration of a regions best produce & livestock as well as a way for the community to demonstrate their skills and get together for a fun weekend of sideshows and fair food! Ag Shows are also a way for horse riders to get out and try their hand at showing and even potentially earn their ticket to a Royal Show such as the Sydney Easter Show here in NSW.


Before you pick your attire it’s a good idea to get hold of the program and decide which classes you are going to enter. Traditionally a lot of shows will send their flyers out to local feed stores who have them available to collect from their counter but these days most shows are skipping the printing cost and adding a digital program to their website and socials. You can find a list of NSW ag shows here


There are two main categories of show horses/ponies which are Hunter and Open. First you need to decide which your pony falls under as you can’t show in both rings. Generally speaking, Hunters are heavier of bone and suited to a day of hunting – with stamina, athleticism, an even temper and bravery where as an open type is fine of build with a pretty head and fancy toes. You can find a full explanation of pony types on the show council website.


There are a lot of ways to kit out your child for the show ring on a budget, especially if it’s their first time and you’re unsure if you’ll be willingly dragging yourself, child & pony out to do it again in a hurry or if it will be a one-time thing! We all know kids grow constantly and this means most need new jackets each season, you can find a lot of pre loved jackets on Facebook from great brands in exceptional quality for a fraction of the cost. If your child is already a pony club member, they may have a white shirt & cream jodphurs as a part of their formal uniform that you can use and just add a coat over the top (try putting a shout out on social to see if you can borrow one for the weekend!) A velvet helmet also looks lovely but again if you’re unsure if showing is going to consume your weekends for the rest of summer you can pick up a helmet cover online for around $30.00 (feel free to message us if you’d like to order one of ours).


Keeping all that in mind the following lists provide the base for Childs Open & Hunter Attire.


Basic Children’s Hunter Attire;

  • A Helmet that meets the current safety standard – many choose to wear a velvet helmet that matches their jacket colour
  • Tweed Hunting Jacket usually in a brown, green or blue tweed
  • A plain shirt with a tie or stock in similar tones without any bright or jazzy patterns OR a rat catcher shirt
  • Fawn, Banana or Beige Jodphurs/Breeches worn with Jodphur Boots
  • Jodphur Clips in the same colour as boots
  • Plain Gloves (usually leather) in the same colour as the child’s boots


**I will do a separate blog post on show tack but please note Hunters do not wear ribbon browbands instead they have braided or plain leather bands plaiting is still required for Hunters though**


Basic Children’s Open Attire:

  • A Helmet that meets the current safety standard – many choose to wear a velvet helmet that matches their jacket colour
  • Navy or Black Open Style Jacket
  • Cream, Fawn or Banana Jodphurs
  • Brown or Black Boots (usually to match tack colour)
  • Jodphur Clips in the same colour as boots
  • Collared Shirt & Tie (usually matching in colour to the (ponies browband)
  • Lapel Pin to Match Tie & Ponies Browband


Some extra items that you may wish to add to your showing wardrobe as you progress could be; a hacking cane, a vest, a hair snood, special bun scrunchy or bows and your own jacket if you borrowed one. 


Leading Rein is a little different with most choosing to have leader and child in matching outfits but for a first time at an ag show as long as you are both clean and tidy and enjoying yourselves that’s what matters. We love our Giddyupgirl Jacket and Two Tone Garland Show Jodphurs for the open ring. The leader should wear closed in shoes they can run in and a hat is a nice touch. I will add at this point too that many will choose to forgo the attire entirely and show in a clean shirt and jodhpurs no matter the class and this is completely fine to at this level.


Some shows also off a local’s ring for riders from certain council areas or postcodes local to the show. It is usually acceptable to enter this ring in your Pony Clubs formal attire or if you aren’t in a club a pair of clean light coloured jodphurs and white shirt with a tie.


If you are ever unsure go back to the program I mentioned in the beginning and have a read through the rules on the first couple of pages of the booklet. There will usually be an outline of acceptable attire listed, you can also refer to the Australian show horse council competition rules for advice on attire which are located on their website.

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