Horsing Around
With Festive
Fancy Dress

21 December 2017

Queen’s Lifeguards and their steeds set the tone for Christmas fun

This December 25, the Queen’s Household Cavalry will line up, as they do every year, for their annual inspection… to see if Santa’s beard is on straight and Rudolf’s nose is polished.


It’s the one day out of 365 that members of the oldest and most senior regiments of the British army let their famously polished guard down to enjoy a bit of fun between the serious duty of minding London’s royal residences. No pictures are ever released, but insiders say the Christmas fancy dress parade at Knightsbridge Barracks often features characters from stage and screen – Ninja Turtles are a perennial favourite – and the commanding officer awards the least monotonous duties to those who have made the most effort. So no pooh-picking for the winning private.

Perhaps your
horse is a budding
Viking steed

We’ve taken inspiration from the Queen’s Lifeguards – and some famously flamboyant competition riders – to bring you ideas for a festive fancy dress ride. Perhaps your horse is a budding Viking steed or a Pegasus in the making...


  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi blasted into cinemas this Christmas, so why not follow sci-fi fan and Big Bang Theory star Kaley Cuoco's stella style? She took part in a charity competition at the Longines LA Masters in 2015, dressed as a Jedi knight. Kaley was escorted into the ring by Darth Vadar (aka Tracy Wade), who also went on to complete the course. Kaley’s casual, two-piece was a winner and is super simple to copy… may the horse be with you.


When @BigBang_CBS & @starwars meet - Kaley Cuoco & Darth Vader at the same event http://t.co/Zr3QtlUl5A pic.twitter.com/2CkiJMUs1s

— ET Canada (@ETCanada) October 5, 2015


  • Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without endless TV reruns of the Wizard of Oz. At this year’s eventful Washington International Horse Show, which has a four-star FEI rating, Hunter Holloway went round the course like an MGM tornado on Cassevel, dressed as Dorothy. Wicked!



  • Equestrian lovers at the Sweden International Horse Show earlier this month were treated to the most graceful of displays from this seemingly real-life Pegasus. The pure white winged stallion is one of the most recognised characters from Greek mythology.


  • They’re behind you! French show jumper Camille Condé Ferreira and Belgian Olympic team member Jérôme Guery had fun at last year’s Longine Paris Masters dressed as Snow White and her Prince, accompanied by Seven Dwarfs… it is panto season, after all! See the amazing video below.

Get into the festive spirit on your Christmas ride

If you’re still stuck for what to wear on the Christmas ride, here are some off-the-shelf ideas…


1. Elf Sets

The Horse Tailor can rustle up traditional Christmas outfits including elf sets, giftwrapped ponies, and a delux full-body Santa suit with red satin coat, white flowing noseband beard and black boots.


2. Viking Gear

Channel your inner Viking and lead the Christmas ride on your Celtic steed, tacked up in faux fur breastplate and horns.



3. Pegasus Wings

Pegasus, the mythical stallion, is the equine version of the Archangel. These Pegasus wings come in various colours and sizes.


4. Nightmare Before Christmas

One for Tim Burton fans and sure to delight or fright! If you have a black steed, even better. Check out the ‘Sally’ Nightmare Before Christmas costume.


5. Unicorn Goodies

No fancy dress list would be complete without a Christmas fairy and her unicorn. This from WishPony could make it a reality for you. For more options simply search for 'unicorn horns' at Etsy.


Keep up with the latest in equestrian lifestyle at Fei.org


Text by Sue Scott