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  • Writer's pictureCatie Staszak

Essex Classics Introduces Full-Zip Sweater Collection

Essex Classics introduced its collection of full-zip sweaters, including cardigan styled "Allie" for the 2023 fall season. Photo by Isabel J. Kurek.

Flexibility is a key component in the life of an equestrian athlete.

There's a significant element of unpredictability when it comes to working with horses, and often there isn't much time given to react.

That short seven strides walked on course rides a little longer than expected. Your horse pulls a shoe in the schooling area. The weather changes from the time you got on.

That was the inspiration behind Cathy Sacher's latest design for Essex Classics, the industry leader in cutting edge show shirts and sweaters. This fall, Essex introduced a brand new collection of full-zip sweaters. "Allie" features a cardigan design with a high mock neck ribbed collar, while "Lexi" introduces Essex's first ever hoodie.

"We've had our Trey quarter zip and v-neck sweaters for a few years now, but I wanted to design something that would give riders the flexibility of having a layer that could be more easily removed while wearing a helmet," said Sacher, Essex's founder and owner. "Changing your clothing in the saddle has to be convenient and easy to do. Our new sweaters have two-way zippers, with an easy-to-grasp zipper pull."

2023 WIHS Equitation Finals Champion Maddie Tosh in "Lexi"

Every detail of the sweaters has been designed with the comfort and functionality of the rider in mind.

The length of the sweaters is tailored so that when sitting in the saddle, the bottom hits just below the waist and won't get caught in the seat. The sweaters perform during exercise while also naturally insulating: The fabric is expertly knit of a cotton and nylon blend for naturally cool performance, with a touch of merino wool for a super-soft finish. The relaxed fit holds its shape while not limiting a rider's range of motion. The sweaters are also machine washable and boast functional side pockets.

Lexi is available in five colors: purple, brown, black, blue and thyme (shown). Allie comes in grey, aqua, lavender and blue. Photo by Isabel J. Kurek

"I like to think that we thought of everything—every detail was purposeful," Sacher said. "While Essex Classics show shirts embody a classic style, these new sweaters are a bit more contemporary. They neatly pair with our shirts, and I just sensed this affection for the comfort of hoodies. I wanted to offer that option to our customer base."

Sacher has been overwhelmed with the initial response from the new releases.

"I've watched [international show jumper] Erynn [Ballard] school many horses in hoodies, and she texted me and told me that she's 'obsessed' with our new Lexi design," Sacher said. "She ordered a whole set of sweaters in black so she can embroider them with the Canadian flag and the Ilan Ferder Stables logo, which I think is a great idea!"

To order Essex Classics' new Allie and Lexi sweaters, visit or your nearest Essex Classics retailer.


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