British Eventing reviews protective headwear rules

British Eventing has revised rules regarding protective headwear for cross country following recent confusion on the matter.

The review specifically relates to the wording in rule 7.2.3 which says headgear worn for cross country should meet the following specifications “having no peak, peak type extensions or noticeable protuberances above the eyes or to the front”.

As a result, last week it issued an update to members telling them that the PROtector Cool XCountry Helmet was not permitted for cross country under these rules, causing frustration amongst those who had purchased the helmet to meet recent rule changes.

However, since the statement was issued, British Eventing has been made aware of a specific part of the permitted standards that permits a small, smooth protuberance to the front of a hat, but not a peak. British Eventing sought independent expert advice and it was concluded that a small “protuberance” that is smooth and rounded in nature would pose no additional safety risk.

After carefully reviewing its current rules and the information and advice from industry experts, an updated version of rule 7.2.3 was submitted to the BE Risk Management and Sport Committees for their consideration.

The rule revision has been agreed by both Committees and therefore, with immediate effect, rule 7.2.3 will be updated to the following: 7.2.3 ‘Cross Country Protective Headwear’ is a “Jockey Skull” of an even round or elliptical shape with a smooth or slightly abrasive surface, having no peak or peak type extensions. Noticeable protuberances above the eyes or to the front not greater than 5mm, smooth and rounded in nature are permitted. It must also comply with the ‘Protective Headwear’ criteria and be tagged as set out above. A removable hat cover with a light flexible peak may be used.

BE Sport Operations Manager Chris Farr commented; “In 2015 the permitted standards changed quite considerably and to ensure all members, manufacturers and retailers were aware of the changes the 2016 rules were published in early July last year through all media channels, including leaflets given to each member at BE events during the middle of the season. The BE rules are, first and foremost, there for the safety of our competitors and horses and, having sought independent expert advice, we have made the decision to amend the wording to rule 7.2.3. We encourage all members to carefully read the rules and regularly check their protective headwear and body protector, however please do not hesitate to contact British Eventing if you have any queries.”

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