Equestrian Chic

By Eve Wee-Ang 2024-06-14 11:58:07

Riding in style.


Equestrians are just cool without trying. From their smart horseback riding outfit to the challenging display of showjumping athleticism, it’s no wonder that many high fashion brands take inspiration from this perennially elegant sport.

I caught up with high school senior Kaitlyn Yap who will be pausing from riding after 17 years as she prepares to leave for college this summer. Kaitlyn reflects on her journey from the first time she rode a pony at a small stable to eventually participating in equestrian competitions.


What drew you to horse riding? How old were you when you first started?

I started horse riding at Green Valley Saddle Club, a small stable when I was 10 years old. I remember watching a Longines Grand Prix for the first time when I was 12 and deciding, “That. That’s what I want to be doing.” I told my dad, and he helped me search for a competitive stable, and the rest is history.



Tell us about your horses. What are their names?

Currently, I have two horses, Jamalia and Farah, both mares. If we’re counting the horses that I’ve rented, along with the ones I had ownership of, there would be seven in total.

You can rent or buy horses and connect with them the same way - the logistics are like that of renting an automobile or a house.


How often do you compete and how do you prep yourself and your horse before the competition? Are there any rituals or superstitions you practice?

Competition season is typically around spring and summer weekends.

I have a little “Haka moment” while on my horse before entering the arena. I kind of just hit myself lightly and take super deep breaths to calm myself down. Sometimes I think it’s a bit embarrassing, but honestly, who cares? When your heart feels like it’s about to leap out of your throat, you do what you have to do to stay in the right headspace.

When it comes to the horses, ensuring they’re in peak performance and health before going to the competition grounds is crucial. Our grooms and my coach keep a close eye on them in the days leading up to the event, checking for any signs of injury or discomfort. Contrary to popular belief, competition horses are one of the most delicate animals. One little scrape or cut on their ankle can mean months of recovery time.


Congratulations on your acceptance to all the colleges you’ve applied to do veterinary science! Is your love for animals ignited from horse riding?

Thank you so much! My love for animals has been an integrated part of my character since I was very young. I love being surrounded by animals, and at times, enjoy their company more than people.

Horse riding has helped me witness vets in action. Their level of professionalism and work ethic never ceases to amaze me, along with the level of patience and care they have when handling animals.



What would you like to say to your horses before you leave for college?

“Thank you for our time together, supporting me, and keeping me safe throughout all the competitions and training sessions we’ve been through. It was truly a memorable experience being able to find joy in this niche sport, and being able to experience it with you has made the memory even more precious.”


Navy blue blazer by Ralph Lauren, 2,790 RMB

3D White tights by MAIA ACTIVE, 329 RMB

Horsebit 1955 mini bag by Gucci, 9,100 RMB

Leather riding boots by STACCATO, 1,591 RMB