"Going over to the dark side" is a common description for riders switching from hunter/jumpers to dressage or vice versa. It's a joke, of course, but also a telling reference to the segregation sometimes found between the disciplines.
This exists in the retail world, too, notes KL Select's Dorrie Carters. One of the accomplishments she's most proud of is the company's successful expansion from totally dressage to embracing the hunter/jumper market, too. The shift happened first with KL's leather goods, specifically its Red Barn and KL Italia bridle lines, and is now underway in the apparel department.
Hunter Chic Euro
Leading this wave are the Hunter Trend and Hunter Chic Euro seat knee patch breeches that KL distributes for United Sportsproducts Germany, aka USG. Going up against familiar Tailored Sportsman and Ariat brands is a daunting challenge, Dorrie admits, but these pants are primed for the task. "We are offering a competitively priced product that has more style in the design details," she explains. Fit, fashion, function and price are the priorities, with a good dose of fun, too.
Both the Hunter Trend and the Hunter Chic feature the increasingly popular Euroseat design in which the seam forms a figure-flattering upside-down horseshoe seam on the backside, eliminating the bulk and potential chafing that can be caused by the inner thigh seam found on traditional knee-patch breeches.
The Trend and the Chic feature a mid-rise waist with the popular wide waistband. Both of these schooling breeches have contrasting stitching designs and pocket detailing that adds tasteful fun. Lycra sock-style calves keep the bottom of the breech in place without bulk. Both fall into mid-price points between $139 and $159, considerably less than other Euro seat breeches designed in Europe and imported from Germany.
"If you look at the knee patch breeches out there, they all look the same," Dorrie observes. "We have a competitively priced breech that has more style, design and fun."
The USG line also includes a children's breech called the Mia, a Euro seat knee patch that comes in five different colors in girls sizes 6-16. Accents include contrasting colors in the seat, white stitching on belt loops and decorative embroidery.
KL Select is well versed in the breech market, thanks to over a decade as the sole distributor for Germany's Golden Dress Riding Apparel, a former favorite in the full seat dressage market worldwide. Full seats, versus knee patch, have a gripping surface throughout the seat and inner thigh for maximum staying power in the saddle. They are the norm in dressage and Dorrie is confident that the knowledge and distribution network KL has established can be parlayed effectively to reach the hunter/jumper set. The USG full seat breeches are now among the top four best-selling brands for retailers in many parts of the country, Dorrie notes. "We believe that we can attain that recognition with the USG Euro seat breeches next."
KL's confidence also stems from the success of their Red Barn bridle line, which was introduced to the hunter/jumper market seven years ago and continues to gain momentum. "Many companies have tried to make the crossover from dressage to hunter/jumper and we are so fortunate to have achieved this goal!"
A rider herself, Dorrie has seen the Euro seat breech's growing acceptance in national sales trends and at her local barn. "We've given them to riders to try out and they really see and appreciate the difference right away," she notes.
For more information on KL Select's breeches, leather goods and accessories, visit