Riders are being reminded of the new hat standards they must comply with at affiliated competitions in 2016.

The European Equestrian Riding Helmet standard (BS) EN 1384 was withdrawn from European Legislation last year.

This means that hats made solely to this standard cannot be used at British Eventing (BE), Pony Club, Riding Clubs, British Horse Society (BHS) and British Showjumping events from 1 January 2016.

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Competitors riding under these rules will still be allowed to use protective headwear that carries the (BS) EN 1384 label as well as an approved standard for 2016.

Hats will also need to be retagged next year within BE, the Pony Club and British Riding Clubs.

British Dressage will permit (BS) EN 1384 hats next year and is planning to remove it from its list of recommended standards from 1 January 2017.

However, this may be extended depending on the publication of the new harmonised European standard at a future date.

BE and the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) are also working together towards a hat amnesty in the future.

The news was revealed at the BETA conference in November.

A spokesman for BE said the organisation is working on the new initiative for 2016 and more information will be available “as soon as possible”.

Under BE rules, headwear of the appropriate standard must be worn at all times when mounted — whether the person riding is a competitor or not.

Harnesses must always be correctly fastened and competitors are strongly recommended to check their headwear regularly and to replace it if damaged or following a fall.

Only jockey skulls are permitted for cross-country.

Accepted BE hat standards for 2016 are as follows:

  • British: all PAS 015, VG1 (both must be kitemarked)
  • European: VG1 (must be kitemarked)
  • American: All SEI ASTM F1163 2004a onwards and SNELL E2001
  • Australia & New Zealand: AS/NZS 3838 2003 onwards (with SAI Global mark)

Riding Clubs — all hats will be retagged in 2016 at which stage no hats made solely to (BS) EN 1384 will be tagged or permitted for use.

Pony Club — new white tags are being used to mark hats that comply to the 2016 standards. After 31 December 2015, hats made solely to (BS) EN 1384 will not be permitted for use.

British Horse Society — from 1 January 2016, hats made solely to (BS) EN 1384 will not be permitted for use in BHS Approved Centres.

British Showjumping — hats made solely to (BS) EN 1384 will not be permitted for use.

British Dressage — will permit (BS) EN 1384 hats in 2016. BD is planning to remove BS/EN1384 from the list of recommended standards from 1 January 2017, but may extended this depending on the publication of the new harmonised European standard at a future date.