We’re fast approaching the end of 2015 and although there are many reasons why we as event riders may need to replace our riding hat at any time, with the transition to 2016 there will be an added reason why you may need to consider a new riding hat purchase. Tony Palkowski, Chief Technical Engineer at Champion – one of the industry’s leading safety experts – gives us some insights.

There are many reasons to purchase a new riding hat – if you’ve had a fall and your hat sustained an impact; if you dropped it onto a hard surface, or if you’ve had your hat for more than 3-5 years, depending on use. In all these situations your hat will have served its purpose – to protect your head – and it’s time to get a new, up to standard riding hat, to ensure continued protection.

Another reason riders must bear in mind as 2016 draws near, is the fact that the popular BSEN1384 riding hat standard was withdrawn by the governing body in charge of standard regulation at the end of 2014 and this withdrawal will start to have implications for event riders from next year. British Eventing continued to permit BSEN1384 hats in 2015 but this will no longer be the case from next year. As a result, all hats will be retagged in 2016 and no hats made solely to BSEN1384 will be tagged or permitted for use under BE rules.

It’s important to understand, however, that if you have a hat certified to BSEN1384, it is still safe – BSEN1384 hats offer excellent protection, have lessened injuries and saved countless lives over many years. You can continue to enjoy the comfort and protection offered by your BSEN1384 hat while riding and training at home indefinitely, as long it remains in good condition over the 3–5 year period as recommended above.

The primary alternative to BSEN1384 is the PAS015 specification. PAS015 is the only British standard and is unaffected by this rule change. Consequently, PAS015 standard hats can be worn under British Eventing rules going forwards into 2016. If you need to purchase a new hat, Champion recommends that you seek the assistance of a BETA approved retailer who has been trained in fitting hats as they will help make sure you choose the best hat for your head, that it fits you correctly and is the best style and fit for your head shape.

Champion was the first hat manufacturer to make hats to PAS015 over 20 years ago and offers a comprehensive range of PAS015 certified riding hats and helmets. All Champion hats are made here in the UK at the Champion factory in Cardiff and Champion is the brand of choice of event riders of all levels – from Olympic medallists to grass roots competitors.

If you have any questions or concerns on this issue, contact your local retailer, your local riding centre, or the association within which you compete or ride. They will be able to help you.

Spoilt for choice… what’s on offer from Champion?

Champion offers an extensive range of styles of hats and helmets certified to PAS015, so you can be sure to find the best option for you.

Champion Ventair  

Chosen by many of the world’s top event riders including Pippa Funnell, Piggy French and Kitty King,
the Ventair Deluxe Skull cap is extremely lightweight and comfortable, whilst offering outstanding
protection. The Ventair features a design registered ventilated airflow system that is styled to increase airflow to help keep your head cool. Certified to PAS015, the Ventair system features a uniquely tailored harness for complete stability and security and, as with all Champion hats and helmets, offers further safety reassurance by carrying the BSI Kitemark, guaranteeing you that it will comfortably outperform the four main areas of testing: penetration, shock absorption, harness strength and stability.  Available in black, pink, navy or silver.Champion Ventair

Champion Euro Deluxe Plus 

A firm favourite with jockeys and event riders, this traditional style helmet features a lightweight injection moulded ABS shell secured by a four point harness in soft leather. The polyurethane outer facilitates easy cleaning, with rear drawstring and quick release buckle for absolute security. Kitemarked to PAS015.

Champion Evolution Couture Champion EVOLUTION Couture

If you’re looking to add a little extra sparkle to your look, the Champion Evolution Couture fits the bill perfectly. Featuring genuine Swarovski crystals and a striking synthetic crocodile skin finish, the Evolution Couture is a stylish, low profile, modern and lightweight hat built with a glass fibre shell for outstanding protection. Incorporating a high tech ventilated airflow system to help keep your head cool as you ride, the Evolution Couture is Kitemarked to PAS015.

Champion CPX3000 Deluxe 

For a stylish and traditional look that does not compromise on safety, the Champion CPX3000 Deluxe Riding Hat ticks all the boxes. This traditionally styled velvet covered riding hat iChampion CPX3000 deluxes built on a lightweight injection moulded ABS shell and features a soft leather padded harness for comfort and security. Kitemarked to PAS015.

For more information on the entire Champion riding hat and body protector collection see

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