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The Premier Source for Dressage News and Commentary
Silvia Rizzo
May 26, 2013
Dressage Fashionistas United - Silvia’s Sense for Fashion
By Silvia Rizzo
Sunday, May 26, 2013 :: Posted 03:28:13 PM UTC

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Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani once said, “Elegance is not to be noticed, but to be remembered.” These are words I try to live by when I stand in front of my closet and make my choice of clothes for the day.

If you were to stand in front of my closet, you would notice my preferred fashion item - I go crazy for shoes. I try to stay trendy and I crave the newest thing. I go on a Sherlock Holmes type of aesthetic research for something beautiful and elegant that is also new.

When it comes to riding fashion, I always used the typical, classical dressage boots for training and at competitions in the past. You see them everywhere: they are black or brown, patterned leather or just plain. They are nice, but to me, old-fashioned.

At horse shows, I always keep my eyes wide open in search of new ideas. I want to see what other riders are wearing, and not just in the dressage arena. I love to spread my wings and investigate near the show jumping arena, and I even check upon the eventers. In Florida, even the polo riders can inspire my sense of fashion!

 Silvia Rizzo


Silvia Rizzo's custom black boots.  Photo by Rui Pedro Godinho.

 In Lyon, France, at the 2012 World Cup Dressage and Show Jumping qualifier, my attention was caught by a jumper rider wearing extremely fashionable and innovative boots – not just in color, but also in material and shape. I was hooked and my quest had started to find that particular brand of boots. With my head down and eyes wide open, I inspected all the stands in the trade fair for the manufacturer. After four or five hours of scavenging, I found the right people and, of course, they were Italian: Secchiari Boots!

I asked them if they could design me the right pair of boots for dressage. My goal was not to shock the dressage scene, but find something new, innovative and stylish. Fortunately Mr. Secchiari, who is a true craftsman, had the patience to help me solve my problem.

Secchiari is a family business founded in 1950 and based in Italy. Their boots are handmade with top quality leather and accessorized carefully with details they obtain in Tuscany.

This company mainly produces show jumping boots in a very soft leather, so they are much suppler around the rider’s leg. Secchiari combines colors and materials in a new and creative way. From my aesthetic point of view, they convinced me that their boots follow the shape of the female leg. They are less rigid and stiff so that the calf can be closer to the horse.

 Silvia Rizzo's boots take a rest while in South Florida for the 2013 Winter Season.

 Silvia's boots traveled to Wellington, Florida.  Photo by Sue Weakley.


My first boots from Secchiari were a model now called “New Era.” I first began using them at home for training, certain that I would never have the courage to wear them in the competition arena because their new look might shock the European establishment. But in Wellington I was so comfortable and enjoyed looking in the mirror at them that I dared to risk it. I wore them for the first time at the CDI 3* at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center! They are black and have a close fit. They have lace and patterned leather on the top and are decorated with a trim of Swarovski diamonds. Totally me! From that moment I could not be separated from them. From Wellington they accompanied me to the CDI 4* invitation only in Doha, Qatar!


Silvia Rizzo

 Silvia Rizzo's Secchiari boots. Photo by Rui Pedro Godinho.


For everyday training at home, Secchiari and I made a fitting model in an antique brown color with inserts of printed crocodile leather on the foot and on the wing at the top of the shaft. Everybody liked them so much – now men are ordering them as well!

At the great horse fair Equitana in Essen, Germany, I met Mr. Secchiari again. He showed his tremendous patience because I’m not easy to have as a creative designer. When I want something special, I keep remodeling and redesigning something until it’s perfect. We are working on a new pair of competition boots to match my new elegant black and gray tailcoat and the beautiful color of my black stallion, Donnerbube 2.

I have to laugh a little bit when I notice that a "new movement" in dressage fashion seems to have started. At the 2013 World Cup Finals in Gothenburg, Sweden, I saw Ukrainian Inna Logutenkova wear a pair of brown boots completely in crocodile!

Inna Logutenkova sports fashion-forward boots at the 2013 Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Inna Logutenkova from the Ukraine at the 2013 World Cup at the Scandinavium

in Gothenburg, Sweden. Photo by Sue Weakley.


So dressage fashionistas of the world, unite! It’s time for some change. Wear designer boots on your horse as well!


Blingy boots for sale at the 2013 Reem Acra World Cup Dressage in Gotheburg, Sweden.

Boots at the 2013 World Cup shopping area in Gothenburg, Sweden.  Photo by Sue Weakley.


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