"I have one piece of show clothing that I will always hold close to my heart. It is my custom April Salisbury Showmanship outfit," Paige Wacker states. Photo © Paie Wacker

We Ask Exhibitors: What Are Some of Your Sentimental Show Clothes?

The word sentimental conjures up feelings of tenderness, sadness or nostalgia. Show clothing, anything from a jacket to a pair of boots, can be very special to an exhibitor. They can bring back happy memories or occasions.

Sentimental pieces may also be a “good luck charm” for an exhibitor.

Perhaps you always enter the arena with the first belt buckle that you won or always wear a particular piece of jewelry.

We asked exhibitors about their favorite piece of show clothing.

Read their comments below.

Kathy Tobin – My sentimental piece of show clothing is my AQHA Select World show buckle in Trail from 2004. I keep it in its original blue velvet box when I’m not wearing it. It means a lot because it took me over 40 years of showing to win a World Champion buckle. It reminds me to keep trying and not to give up.




Farley McLendon – It’s not a piece of clothing but a necklace that I wear when I show. Most of the time, my kids aren’t able to go to every show, so my necklace has both of their names, a cross and the scripture, His Reward. It reminds me that they are always with me even if not at the same place.




Paige Wacker – I have one piece of show clothing I will always hold close to my heart. It is my custom April Salisbury Showmanship outfit. It was my first show outfit for me to compete on the national circuit, and I was fortunate not to grow much and was able to wear it from the time I was 12 until my last youth year. I also got to show some incredible horses in it and accomplished more than I thought was possible. I used to call it my “power jacket” because it gave me the power of confidence when I wore it. It was everything I aspired to be, both as a showman and a person: classy and unforgettable. That outfit will always hold a place in my heart for all of the lessons and accomplishments I achieved when I wore it.


Lacy Watson – My most sentimental piece of show clothing is my 13 and under All Around Novice belt buckle that I won at the Congress. It was the first buckle I ever won, and I still wear it every weekend even though there have been many more won after this one. My mom/trainer Jamie Watson always gives me grief about still wearing my novice buckle, but my argument is this buckle went on to win World titles and more Congress titles, and it just wouldn’t be the same without wearing it.




Carey Nowacek
– The black button down I wore when I won the youth world is very sentimental to me, but I do have one piece that I have been wearing the majority of my horse show career. My mom needle pointed a belt that my older sister wore when she showed (she showed POA’s). I have been wearing it since I was about 13 with my English pants. It is very sentimental to me because my sister passed away in 2001. It always makes me feel like I am riding with her and she is watching over me. Horses were something we all shared a love for so it is very neat to be wearing something she used to wear.


Wendy Pharo
  – I always wear a stock pin on the inside of my jacket every time I show. It was my mom’s and she gave it to me a while back. She grew up showing horses as well and hence why I’m a part of it today. My mom passed July 14, 2015, in her sleep. She was not ill, so it was a shock to my Dad and me. When I show in the Performance Geldings, I always wear her necklace as well. I feel that she brings me luck. I’m with Kelly and Thad Woodlief and also under the guidance of Mitch Leonarski with the performance geldings class. I’m very blessed to have such wonderful people in my life and my horse’s life.



Parris Rice – My sentimental piece of clothing is my hunt coat. It has three world championships, a reserve, several top tens and a Congress championship. Pretty sure it’s lucky. I’m struggling with the fact that it’s time to buy a new one.






Elizabeth Spike Brewer – I don’t have one particular piece, but if I ever win a world title, I always keep the hunt coat I wore. I can look at all my jackets, and I know which class and which horse I won with so it’s like a walk down memory lane.





French writer and poet, Alphonse de Lamartine, once said: “Sentiment is the poetry of the imagination.”

A special piece of show clothing can hold a key place in an exhibitor’s heart. It is fun to reminisce and appreciate the memories that the item brings.

Take time to appreciate your sentimental clothing, but do not forget to live in the moment.

About the Author – Cat Guenther is in a junior at the Academy of the Sacred Heart. She has ridden horses since she was 8 years old. When Cat is not at the barn, she focuses on her small businesses “Behind the Bit Tack Sales” and “Tack to Dye for”. Cat is also a representative for Haala jeans and recommends them to every equestrian! She hopes to one-day attend Michigan State University and study to become an equine veterinarian. Cat is extremely excited to compete in the rookie and novice youth all around events this year.