The jumper rider shares her style—and a bit of her story
By Julie Claire Ma
Hannah Selleck is the type of person who, when asked to name her favorite Canadian, snubs Drake in order to name Ian Millar, the legendary ten-time Olympian show jumper. Jumper rider Selleck, who grew up with plenty of exposure to fame, prefers the grounding and rural equestrian world to the celebrity scene—but is able to move easily between both.
Selleck’s first exposure to show jumping was in Calgary. As a child, she spent the summer in Alberta while her dad, Tom Selleck, shot a Western film.
Her family was invited to attend an event at Spruce Meadows, and after that, she was hooked. Selleck now competes at some of the biggest horse show venues across North America—in Miami, New York City, and Calgary.
Selleck’s personal style captures the contradiction inherent in equestrian sport: the rusticity of the horses (there is dirt; there is manure) juxtaposed with the glitz and glamor of international show jumping.
“My style spans each end of the spectrum. It’s so much fun. I’m either in riding clothes, workout clothes or dressed up. Most of the time, our day to day isn’t super glamorous because we are in the stables. But when there is an event, I do love a good dress-up moment. I love renting from the high-end rental places that have couture and the newest looks.”
On show days Selleck will be found in the standard and chic horse show uniform of white breeches, tall black riding boots, riding jacket and helmet. On off days, she prefers a timeless look with a feminine touch.
“I like sporty, I like timeless classic lines. I always wear dark colors—black breeches and black shirts. My Kask helmet is sparkly and I wear the sun visor too. The big visor, it does something for the face. It’s more feminine.”
Selleck loves to bring in her equestrian aesthetic to her street style. “I have a really cute equestrian bag from Caroline Herrera that matches my boots. It’s a tote with little crop handles. I love Ralph Lauren.”
For her beauty routine, Selleck strives to keep it simple since she doesn’t get much time away from horses. “I try not to heat style my hair too much, I let it be healthy and air dry. I use sunscreen, an AHA wipedown, and just Vitamin C and A at night. When I’m in my spots in LA and NYC I get my brows done with the aestheticians I like. I’ve found some good people over the years and I stick with them. I’ve got a good black book of beauty.”
Selleck has had to maintain an exercise and wellness regimen after a bad fall off her horse in 2018 left her with a broken leg.
“I love spin. I’m a big SoulCycle girl. I love running but I couldn’t run for quite a while with my injury. I worked hard to get that back and this year I started to run outside again. That’s my favorite for my mind to work off some angsty steam. I try to do cardio at least three times a week to stay fit, and when I’m in LA I have a Pilates instructor I like. I try to do something five days a week, but I try to be less hard on myself, you can’t beat yourself up. The routine has to be possible.”
Selleck, who has been involved in the upper echelon of the sport since she was double gold medalist at the North American Young Rider’s Championships as a teen, remains passionate about the sport of show jumping.
“It is the great equalizer. Anyone can end up in the dirt from one round to the next. You could be winning, then the next round you can be chucked off—doesn’t matter. We love it. We love the animal. We love those bonds,” she says.
“It doesn’t matter how well you ride, there’s a part you have to give over and trust your horse knows what to do. I’ve got to tell her, communicate to her: I love you, I trust you, you’ve got this, you can do this. You’ve got to trust you’ve done what you can for your horse and now they are going to do what they can for you.”
Her parents encouraged her enthusiasm for the sport. “Being artists, they encouraged me to be passionate, to develop my craft, to have a work ethic. My dad said if you want to do this, you’re going to have to work at it. We will help you where we can, but we aren’t able to give endless support—this is a crazy sport.”
Meaning: An expensive one. Grand Prix-caliber horses are often worth millions of dollars. Selleck has ridden professionally over the years, eventually working her way up to a show rider for a top stable.
“I was a working student, you know, paid my dues, under great people. I’ve developed young horses and taught riders,” she says.
As for her famous last name, Selleck says growing up the children of celebrities isn’t necessarily what readers may think.
“My parents were pretty grounded. I was aware that my dad was a celebrity, that he was known, especially when I was younger and paparazzi was such a thing,” she says. “So, I was aware of that. But this [show jumping] world, a lot of wealthy or high-profile people are drawn to it because it does provide anonymity. And you know at the end of the day you can be mounted really well, but you still have to work at it.”
“The celebrity, you know it’s there, it definitely gives you some opportunities but also sometimes I have to work twice as hard to be legitimate in this, to be credible, to be taken seriously. It’s a different monkey on your back,” she concludes with a laugh. “We don’t choose our things!”
*This story was originally published in the February 2023 issue of The Plaid Horse. Click here to read it now and subscribe for issues delivered straight to your door!
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