A £100 hat voucher will be given to riders who sustain a head injury while competing at a British Eventing (BE) competition.
The British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) has teamed up with BE to develop the new BETA “helmet bounty scheme”.
Any rider who is concussed during the cross-country phase at a BE-affiliated event will receive a voucher to be put towards the cost of a replacement jockey skull.
“Improving rider safety is an integral part of our work and we are tremendously pleased that the scheme — effectively a hat amnesty — will help to drive home the message that hats should always be replaced when they have been involved in an incident,” said Claire Williams from BETA.
To receive the voucher, riders must be diagnosed with concussion by an event’s medical officer.
They must then agree to give the hat they were wearing at the time of the fall to BETA and to BE, passing on details of their injury.
The voucher will be valid with BETA-participating retailers.
“We are delighted to be working with BETA on this extremely important initiative,” added BE’s Chris Farr.
“[It] will not only help riders to replace their hats, but those collected will be used by the trade association to conduct further research into improving riding hat standards.”
The scheme will be introduced ready for the beginning of the 2016 eventing season, which kicks off at Isleham on 5 March.
The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) already runs a similar scheme, whereby jockeys who suffer a concussion while racing under Rules are given an £80 voucher for a new helmet.
Jockeys are also required to surrender their old helmet before they are given a voucher for a new one.
Plans are also in the pipeline for BETA to work with the BHA on updating its existing scheme.