Traditional hunting cap maker Patey has merged with PROtector Helmets.

The company will continue to produce both lines of hat, as well as a velvet-covered Patey PROtector, a helmet that “combines the style and tradition of a Patey with the modern safety standards of a PROtector”.

Patey has been making hats for more than 300 years.

“Patey hats have always made men handsome and women beautiful because they are bespoke and sculpted to the shape of each individual’s unique head shape,” said chief executive James Bebbington.

“However, as a result of this handmade totally bespoke method, they can’t be tested for current safety regulations, and so can’t be used in some competitions. The merging of Patey’s classic velvet riding hat with the exceptional safety of the PROtector has to be a natural [step].”

The Patey PROtector helmets were first developed by Ian Beattie, who was then an official for head safety with British Eventing, at the request of Olympic gold-medal-winning showjumper Peter Charles. The helmet complies to safety standard SNELL E2001 technology.

“Peter had a bad fall and came to ask me if I could develop a safe helmet for him that would also be lightweight and comfortable,” said Mr Beattie, now of Parkgate Equestrian Ltd.

“After years of research and development, PROtector was born. We are two truly British and British-made brands, and this merger brings together two complementary riding hat and helmet making traditions to give our customers the best of both worlds.”

The design was applauded by the Countryside Alliance.

“Safety in the hunting field is of paramount importance. We welcome any new hats onto the market that will enhance the wellbeing of people who ride to hounds,” said a spokesman.