Helmet Safety Notice
Protecting participants in equestrian sport is a responsibility that should be shared by all involved and regulatory authorities in particular should set personal protective equipment standards that reflect current best practice and these standards should be subject to regular review.
British, Irish and French equestrian regulatory bodies except Polo have such standards in place. International regulatory bodies such as the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI) also require certified protective headgear. Since January 2018, the Hurlingham Polo Association has adopted similar standards.
In the U.K. helmet standards were first introduced in 1963 with BS 3686. In the U.S. ASTM F1163 was introduced in 1963 by the American Society for Testing of Materials.
Standards have continued to evolve since then. The introduction of the European Council PPE Directive 89/686/EEC set minimum requirements for all safety equipment including equestrian helmets that all authorities must meet. Horseracing has been to the forefront in the ongoing research on helmets and strives to exceed the requirements of the PPE Directive.
The current minimum requirements under the PPE Directive are VG1.040 2014 and UTAC/CRITT 04/2015. However most European racing authorities recommend higher standards such PAS015:2011 and SNELL E2016. Internationally ASTM F1193:04a is also acceptable.
Dr. Jerry Hill,
Chief Medical Adviser, British Horseracing Authority.
Dr. Adrian Mc Goldrick,
Senior Medical Officer, Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board.
Dr. Le Masson Benoit,
Senior Medical Adviser, France Gallop.