It's becoming the style now to have padded raised, fancy stitch bridles.
Several lower name bridles are like that now. Those features aren't what make it an "A" circuit bridle. I honestly wouldn't be ashamed in the slightest to show A in my Crown bridle that I use for schooling. It looks and feels just as nice as the Edgewoods and Wellingtons. All it takes is a couple coats of oil, and voila.
Monocrows are all the rage now. You can either go with Wellingtons $300+, or the $100+ Harwich, which I've heard better reviews about anyway.
You can feel good leather. But at a distance, no one I really staring intently at your bridle. So if it looks nice, works on you horse, and is of nice quality, to me, I don't care about the title it has. JMO. :)
But, my go to brands that I trust is Wellfleet, and on a bigger budget, Nantucket for show bridles.
Does this look like something passable for A rated hunter jumpers?
It's in my price range. Padded, raised, has the stitching.
Like you said no one is staring intently at my bridle, and I think its a good ripoff of the nicer ones. I only show once or twice per month but I want some one else s opinion
I agree, I don't think anybody really gets close enough to know whether or not you have a name brand bridle. I think you need to go by what is "in style" as for the look and then from there look for something that will wear well, and is somewhat supple. Beware of online stuff that isn't name brand though, there are a lot of dealers out there buying crap stuff from China and the such and they may be cheap and look pretty but the leather is no better than cardboard and will easily break. If you buy online, look for reviews of the brand and that particular item, and look for feedback as well from people who have purchased the items.
One of my favorite brands is Gatsby.... I have a few of their bridles and they are reasonably priced, fashionable and although the leather isn't perfect, it's still pretty supple and gets better with time. I have never had one break or have any other flaws.
You can tell stiff leather from soft, supple leather though - it shows in the noseband and reins. It's "in" to have a raised, padded bridle - fancy stitching is "in," but I personally don't like the look of the light stitching on a dark bridle. The most important thing is that your saddle and bridle matches in color, and that they're both in good repair. It's still "in" to have a slightly wider noseband.
Vespucci, Antares, and Edgewood are "big" names, and have very nice (expensive) products.