Talk Shadbelly To Me: What Top Derby Riders are Wearing

Photo © Lauren Mauldin


Shadbellies are a bucket list apparel item for many equestrians. They signify a formal, big event like a hunter derby or classic. Riders on all different levels dream of cantering around with their tails flying, but what kind of shadbelly should you get?

Black wool with a yellow vest or points is the traditional choice, but with more and more riders donning a shad for everything from local derbies to Pony Finals, there are more fashion choices than ever. Hunter green? Live your dream. Flashy points? You have options.

Within the plethora of shadbelly fashion, let’s take a look at what the top hunter derby riders wore at this year’s International Hunter Derby Championships.

Plaid points are a timeless, classic choice.

Amy Momrow & Victorino Z. Photo © Lauren Mauldin
Mindy Cortez. Photo © Lauren Mauldin
Tori Colvin & Private Practice. Photo © Lauren Mauldin

Contrasting collars give simple coats a pop of color.

Holly Shepherd & Longstreet. Photo © Lauren Mauldin
Maria Shannon. Photo © Lauren Mauldin

Non-traditional colors made their appearance, including shades of green and navy.

Augusta Iwasaki. Photo © Lauren Mauldin
Rachel Lindsey. Photo © Lauren Mauldin
Jenny Karazissis. Photo © Lauren Mauldin

Having lining that matched the vest points were a popular choice, especially among junior riders.

Bella Kay & Symbolic. Photo © Lauren Mauldin
Holly Shepherd. Photo © Lauren Mauldin
Kat Fuqua. Photo © Lauren Mauldin

Dark points made for a sleek, almost monochromatic look.

Amberlee Wentz. Photo © Lauren Mauldin
Samantha Schaefer. Photo © Lauren Mauldin

Points and belts give opportunity for flashes of color and pattern

Amanda Steege. Photo © Lauren Mauldin
Sally Thayer. Photo © Lauren Mauldin

And finally, there’s always the classic look!

Kim Buzby & Casimir. Photo © Lauren Mauldin
Megan Rosenthal. Photo © Lauren Mauldin
Kristy Herrera. Photo © Lauren Mauldin

About the Author: Lauren holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from the University of California Riverside, and is a lifelong rider and writer. Beyond equestrian journalism, she explores body positivity, mental health and addiction through personal narrative. She enjoys showing on the local hunter/jumper circuit in Austin, Texas.

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