This is bespectacled Eileen happily riding her horse in a field at her home, at a meet and in competition accompanied by a male companion. Horse-riding is not the male preserve but riding astride, unless you were Joan of Arc, is considered improper for most women until the 1930s when jumping competitions become a popular sport. Women over 30 gain the right to vote in 1918 followed by women over 21 and with that new freedoms emerge.
Eileen doesn’t buy into the idea of riding sidesaddle. The downfall of the custom for women to ride sidesaddle is dramatic. Social change brought equestrian equality, this is why Eileen has a certain freedom about her rather like her female aviator contemporaries. Jodhpurs too are an important fashion statement from Northern India. By the time National Velvet (1944) came about starring Elizabeth Taylor as Velvet Brown in jodhpurs dreaming of winning the Grand National steeplechase while riding astride, children who could remember the change from sidesaddle to legs astraddle were adults and the film was a sensation and in the Oscar nominations.
The South West Film and Television Archive (SWFTA) is the regional film archive for the South West of England. Established in 1993, SWFTA's core collection comprises of the combined programme libraries of Westward Television and TSW (Television South West). The archive also cares for a significant number of donated film collections, both amateur and professional, dating back to the early 1900s.