Style My Ride was founded on the idea that equestrian style and quality go hand in hand.
Our unique Vincero boots, featuring interchangeable boot tops and swagger tabs, are made by the DeNiro Boot Co. DeNiro boots are the last word in handmade quality, and we at Style My Ride are very proud of this ongoing collaboration.
Needless to say, we were incredibly excited about DeNiro's new Galileo boot, featuring beautiful high tech leather and an ultra-sporty foot bed. Now DeNiro boots certainly look sleek and stylish in our fashion shoots, but pretty is as pretty does - how do they fare under the pressures of everyday riding and intense competition? We decided to interview one of the first riders in the US to purchase the new Galileo boots to get her take on how these boots look, feel and perform.
Jen Azevedo is a passionate equestrian who also runs a successful equine marketing business. She and her thoroughbred gelding Surf compete in Eventing, one of the toughest equestrian disciplines around. Eventing still features the style and elegance of other competitions but with an added thrill - perfect for those who like their equestrian activities a little on the wild side. Eventing is not about a short class for a quick ribbon. It takes many years to build the kind of partnership required to navigate tough competitions that run for several days, with hard work and grit required to reach the necessary level of training.
Surf is a 6yo off-track thoroughbred (OTTB), picked out for Jen by her friends. She admits a 'soft spot' for OTTBs. Initially, Surf mainly distinguished himself by feats of athleticism, although his talents were not always helpful at the time. In Jen's words, 'When I first got (Surf), he couldn’t pick up the canter without bucking. Actually, truthfully, he bucked ALL THE TIME'. However, after months of hard work, Surf is embracing his new life away from the racetrack and learning the finer points of dressage. He has already conquered First Level dressage and is on his way to Second level, with scores high enough for Bronze Medal contention.
Much like an event rider, Surf is still bold and brave but graceful and athletic when he needs to be. He's a perfect example of a willing temperament combined with still displaying the legendary Thoroughbred heart. 'Running is in his blood. It is who he is. (OTTBs) are so brave. So full of heart. They can run for days.'
Jen and Surf are currently competing at Novice level but Jen believes they will be ready to tackle Training level soon. 'Truth is, we are still getting to know each other’. However Surf, who Jen describes as a ‘cross country machine’ seems to have a bright future in the sport.
Jen first purchased a pair of DeNiro boots at a discount, and was delighted that they fit like a glove. She decided right then and there that she would gladly pay full price for this kind of quality and fit. Once you buy quality, you never go back! Jen recently purchased DeNiro's new Galileo boot, while she still uses her beloved discounted pair for schooling. The best part about this arrangement is that the feel of the boots stays the same from schooling to shows. With the pressure of competition, it's an added unwanted distraction when your show gear feels stiff and unfamiliar.
Jen loves that her boots are 'fancy enough for dressage and bad ass enough for cross country - stylish for all three phases'. After all, there's nothing like a quality pair of boots when you need to keep your butt firmly in the saddle on cross country!
‘The gathered panels allow for my leg to flex and work without restraint. For dressage, I have patent accents, which gives the bling factor, but the boot is very sleek and streamlined in its appearance. For show jumping and cross country, the paneling adds that extra toughness in aesthetics, and the leather really grips and flexes without inhibition.
Your leg is so important when riding, being able to move all your joints freely is of utmost importance. The Galileo allows for that.' Regular riders will know the importance of a strong leg position in the saddle, especially in eventing where stickability is a definite advantage.
So there you have it – DeNiro boots not only look fantastic, they perform beautifully when the pressure is really on!
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