7 jockey skulls suitable for cross-country and everyday riding

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  • Safety is always a top priority and rarely more so than when you’re heading out on the cross-country course, which is why getting your hands on one of the best jockey skulls is an essential.

    Jockey skulls are popular with all levels of rider from children starting at a riding school to the professional event rider. They’re also a great option for those who love the matchy-matchy trend because you can pop on a hat silk to match your favourite base layer for riding or cross-country colours. Or if you’re a rider who likes to do a bit of everything then a jockey skull is the all-rounder you need to be able to compete in every discipline as you can’t wear a peaked helmet for cross-country.

    When you’re choosing a new hat, you’ll need to consider the safety standards it meets as well as what features it has to increase your comfort. No one likes sweaty hat hair, so ventilation is a definite advantage. Some styles come with removable headbands, too, which not only aid fit but can be washed to give your hat a bit of a freshen up.

    Riding hats with MIPS technology offer an additional level of protection that allows your head to move inside the helmet in a fall, which reduces harmful rotational motion that would otherwise be transferred to your brain. Some helmets have a standard version and a MIPS version – you can find MIPS helmets with the help of the yellow logo that usually appears somewhere on the helmet.

    Finally, it’s really important to be sure that your helmet is a good fit. Horse & Hound strongly advises that you get your hat fitted by a BETA-trained professional before making a purchase.

    Best jockey skull caps

    best jockey skull caps

    Charles Owen 4Star

    Colours: Black, navy or silver
    Sizes: 51–63cm
    Standards: ASTM F1163, PAS 015 (with Kitemark), SNELL E2016, VG1 (with Kitemark)
    RRP: £230

    This skull meets four of the top international safety standards, which is a hard claim to beat. Its fibre-reinforced shell and patented harness system ensure improved crush resistance and stability.

    It has 10 ventilation slots that maximise airflow and sweat evaporation for a cool ride, plus you can opt for a heat-reflective silver finish. It also has a new magnetic harness clasp that can be closed with one hand. Comes with a free ventilated silk.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uknaylors.com or oakfield-direct.co.uk 

        best jockey skull caps

    Gatehouse HS1-V Jockey Skull

    Colours: Matt black or anthracite grey
    Sizes: 52–62cm
    Standards: ASTM F1163, SNELL E2016
    RRP: £187.99

    This helmet is an evolution of the popular HS1 model with added vents (hence the name change to HS1-V). Designed with comfort in mind, this helmet includes strategically placed vents to enhance airflow and keep the head cool during intense rides.

    The soft, padded harness with a four-point attachment system ensures a secure and comfortable fit, while the quick-release buckle allows for easy adjustment. It also has an anti-bacterial lining that adds an extra layer of comfort and improves hygiene.

    In the UK? View now at equus.co.uk or gsequestrian.co.uk

    best jockey skull caps

    Champion Revolve Vent-Air MIPS Jockey Helmet

    Colours: Black, navy or silver
    Sizes: 54–62cm
    Standards: PAS015:2011 (with Kitemark), ASTM F1163, VG1
    RRP: £239.99

    This is an upgrade of the Champion Revolve Vent-Air skull with additional MIPS protection. It includes a central ventilation strip and removable crown padding to keep you cool and comfortable.

    It has a four-point soft leather harness with rear lacing adjustment for a secure fit. And the durable painted acrylic and sand finish prevents your silk slipping.

    In the UK? View now at gsequestrian.co.uk

    Uvex Perfexxion II XC Helmet

    Colours: Black
    Sizes: XXS–XL
    Standards: VG1 (with Kitemark)
    RRP: £260

    This helmet has a slim and ergonomic design and an innovative outer shell that comes down lower back of the head for additional protection. The ponytail cut-out caters to riders with longer hair, while the ventilation system ensures airflow through large channels and a honeycomb structure.

    This helmet is the only jockey skull in the guide that has an adjustable sizing mechanism. This combined with removable, washable soft-touch memory foam pads aids a good fit.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk, gsequestrian.co.uk or ebay.co.uk

    Shires Karben Junior Skull Cap

    Colours: Black or grey
    Sizes: 53–62cm
    Standards: PAS015:2011 (with Kitemark)
    RRP: £61.99

    One of the best riding hats for children, this skull combines safety and affordability. It features a deep fit and boasts 16 ventilation holes along with mesh sections in the padded lining for improved climate control. Its adjustable four-point harness, made from durable soft webbing with a soft cover on the chin strap, ensures a secure fit.

    In the UK? View now at viovet.co.ukgsequestrian.co.uk or naylors.com

    Gatehouse Jockey Skull 4 Kids

    Colours: Black, pink or baby blue
    Sizes: 53–62cm
    Standards: PAS 015 (with Kitemark), VG1 (with Kitemark)
    RRP: £69.99

    This fun jockey skull has three-point harness and a vibrant coloured lining – but it’s available in black, too, if your child isn’t keen on the bright colours. The lining is treated to offer protection against odours, stains and degradation caused by bacteria.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk, equus.co.uk or gsequestrian.co.uk 

    Champion Revolve Junior Plus MIPS Jockey Helmet

    Colours: Black
    Sizes: 51–63cm
    Standards: PAS015:2011 (with Kitemark), VG1 01.040 2014-12
    RRP: £124.99

    This helmet offers all the benefits of the Junior Plus model, enhanced by the inclusion of the MIPS. Constructed with a lightweight injection-molded ABS shell, it ensures optimal stability with its three-point webbing harness.

    In the UK? View now at oakfield-direct.co.uk and ebay.co.uk

    Are skull caps safer?

    While skull caps offer excellent protection against impacts and falls, their safety ultimately depends on various factors including their design, construction, and adherence to safety standards. They don’t have a peak, which does eliminate the risk of injury caused falling onto a fixed peak.

    In general, skull caps are designed to cover the top and sides of the head, offering protection against blunt force trauma and impacts. They typically feature padding and a hard outer shell to absorb and distribute impact energy, reducing the risk of head injury.

    To cover all bases, it’s essential to choose a skull cap that meets one of the current recognised safety standards. Hats that meet these standards are tested for impact resistance, penetration resistance and stability, among other factors. Alongside the adherence to safety standards, the effectiveness of a skull cap depends on factors such as proper fit and maintenance.

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