Hat camera ban lifted in Ireland

  • Eventing Ireland (EI) has followed the United States Equestrian Federation’s (USEF) lead and reversed its ban on the use of helmet cameras.

    British Eventing (BE) announced last October that it was implementing a blanket ban on head cameras with immediate effect, due to a lack of information about the devices’ potential danger in a fall.

    Ireland’s governing body and the USEF both followed suit.

    The move was triggered by a comment from a French journalist, who said that he believed that the injuries sustained by Formula One diver Michael Schumacher in a skiing accident had been worsened by his head camera.

    The journalist, Jean-Louis Moncet, subsequently said that this was only his “opinion”.

    A BE spokesman said at the time: “Safety of horses and rider is a top priority for BE and the safety committee has engaged the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) to conduct further research.”

    But H&H has learned that this research is still pending.

    EI chairman Georgia Stubington told H&H: “We had planned to wait [to make a decision] until we heard the outcome of the research carried out by BE, but with that on the back burner we took the decision to lift the ban and set out our own protocol.”

    The USEF lifted its ban at the beginning of the year.

    A BE spokesman said: “The matter is being considered further by the safety committee later this month, but as yet BE does not have any plans to complete independent research.

    At international competitions run under FEI rules, head cams are allowed, but only when “specifically agreed by the FEI”.

    The technical delegate (TD) is required to check how the cameras are set up on the helmet.

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