Updated advice on hat standards following British Dressage rule revision
The withdrawal of the standard has no effect on riding hats already on the market. Once a hat has been manufactured to a standard it will not become "non-standard" after withdrawal and can continue to be sold and worn. If riders have hats certified to the EN1384 they can continue to use them unless stated otherwise by rules of competition.
The existing EN1384 standard is currently in the process of revision. The withdrawal is due in part to the European working group responsible for the hat standard failing to reach an agreement on this overdue revision and subsequently causing the Commission to take this drastic step.
The draft proposal for the revision to EN1384 has to go through the laborious procedure of comment and review and it is still unclear when the final version will be published.
An interim specification has been developed by a group of EU test houses and notified bodies (VG1) that will be known as “VG1” which will also be marked on the hats. Hats are currently going through testing and will be on the market in the near future.
In the future, CE marked riding hats will have to be successfully tested and certified against an alternative specification to allow CE certification to continue. Companies can choose which they use and could include the new VG1 specification, the revised EN1384 once published, PAS015 or Snell.
The EN1384 and thus the BSEN1384 specifications have proved to be a popular standard throughout Europe with a wide appeal and have saved many riders from head injury, or death.
Whilst initially being promised a period of transition by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the industry has now received news that this option has been retracted. This means that manufacturers will need to re-certify their (BS)EN1384 hats to the revised specification sooner than anticipated.
As a result of these recent changes, the disciplines and riding bodies within the UK will be reconsidering their hat rules for the future. Full details of the changes currently available are listed below.
Please note that where EN1384 is referred to this will impact upon hats that only meet that standard. Where hats are dual badged (ie. (BS) EN1384 with another standard such as Snell or PAS 015) then the hat will continue to be legal in competition.
1. The (BS)EN1384 has successfully served the needs of riders since its introduction in 1996. Before the introduction of (BS)EN 1384, surveys consistently showed that 33% of all equestrian injuries were to the head and face. A repeat study conducted after the introduction of EN1384 by Dr Michael Whitlock, Consultant in Emergency Medicine in Surrey, showed the figure to be 15%. It also showed that 90% of riders were wearing an approved standard hat.
This figure has been confirmed by other studies to have remained constant at 15% in the last 5-10 years. Isolated head injuries are now less and may even be lower than figures show as many head injuries now do not need to get treatment at hospital, because the hat has "worked", although they may still have concussion.
2. The Official Journal of the European Union (OJ) is the official compendium of EU legislation. The deletion of the standard from the Journal withdraws the presumption of conformity for the purposes of the PPE directive meaning that companies manufacturing riding hats cannot use the (BS)EN1384 as their reference for the purposes of CE certification. They must either develop their own, reference another acceptable standard (such as the PAS015) or utilise the new specification (VG1) until such time as the revision to (BS)EN1384 is completed.
3. CEN/TC 158/WG 5 is the working group for helmets for equestrian activities. The committee comprises representatives from member bodies around Europe including representatives of riding bodies, notified bodies and manufacturers’ representatives. BETA does not sit on this working group.
Following is a full list of the current rules together with their position on the EN1384. Please note that this may be changed and in the case of some bodies is still under review.
British Eventing British Eventing will permit (BS)EN1384 hats in 2015 but not thereafter.
All hats will be retagged in 2016 at which stage no hats made solely to (BS)EN1384 will be tagged or permitted for use.
Otherwise hats must meet one of the following standards
British – All PAS 015 Provided they are
European – EN1384 BSEN1384 (2015 only) BSI Kitemarked
American – All SEI ASTM 95, ASTM F1163 2004 and SNELL E2001
Australian & New Zealand – All AS/NZS 3838 2003.
For the Cross Country phase, protective headwear must not have a fixed peak.
Only Jockey Skulls will be permitted on Cross Country. Whilst a Jockey Skull is a commonly understood description for a type of peakless protective helmet, for the purposes of clarification, a Jockey Skull typically has:
• No peak, peak type extensions or noticeable protruberances above the eyes (or to the front) and has an even, elliptical or rounded shape.
• A smooth or slightly abrasive surface.
• A removable cover containing the peak, should one be required (such as a hat silk).
Helmets with fixed peaks can still be worn for the showjumping and dressage phases if in accordance with the rules, which remain unchanged.
Riding Clubs – British Riding Clubs will permit (BS)EN1384 hats in 2015 but not thereafter.
All hats will be retagged in 2016 with orange tags at which stage no hats made solely to (BS)EN1384 will be tagged or permitted for use.
Otherwise hats must meet the following standards:
British PAS 015:1998 or 2011 - Kitemarked
BSEN1384:1997 or 2012 or European EN1384:1996 (2015 only) Kitemarked
American ASTM F1163:2004a, or 04a – SEI marked
Australian & New Zealand All SAI AS/NZS 3838 2006
From 1 January 2016, no hats with a peak of any description will be permitted for
the XC phase of any BRC competition. Hat covers and silks will be permitted
Pony Club - will permit (BS)EN1384 hats in 2015 but not thereafter. Full details of the revised Hat Tagging procedure will be communicated out to the Membership and Volunteers shortly.
Otherwise hats must meet the following standards:
British - PAS 015:1998 or 2011 - Kitemarked
BS EN 1384: 1996, 1997 or 2012 (2015) - Kitemarked
European - EN 1384:1996, 1997 or 2012 -(2015 only) - Kitemarked
American – Snell E2001* with the official Snell label and number
Australia and New Zealand - AS/NZS 3838 1998, 2003 or 2006
British Dressage – recently revised their rules to following pertaining to the BS/EN 1384.
Hats with the BS/EN1384 standard will continue to be permitted for use in British Dressage Competitions throughout 2015 and 2016.
British Dressage will still be removing the BS/EN1384 from the list of recommended standards from the 1st January 2017.
BD will still allow the BS/EN1384 standard to be worn until at least January 2017, however this may be extended depending on the publication of the new harmonised European standard, the date for which has yet to be confirmed.
BD do advise that members should update their hats regularly and when doing so that they meet one of the current standards.
Their general rule states:
Protective hats are to be worn by all riders but top hats or uniform caps
are permitted as an exception to this rule only for Advanced to Grand Prix classes.
Protective hats must meet one of the following standards;
PAS 015, EN1384, BSEN1384 (BD strongly recommends that hats are BSI Kitemarked)
ASTM F1163 (2004) with SEI mark
Australian & New Zealand All AS/NZS 3838 1998
or any new standard that meets or exceeds those stated.
British Showjumping - will permit (BS)EN1384 hats in 2015 but not thereafter
It is mandatory for all Members to wear a protective helmet manufactured
to EN1384, ASTM F 1163, PAS 015 or SNELL E2001 with Kite Mark or SEI or
such other suitable protective headgear as offers a similar or higher level of
protection and is at least that of EN1384, ASTM F 1163 or PAS 015. Hats or
helmets requiring separate covers must be worn with a peaked cover.
British Horse Society – will permit (BS)EN1384 hats in 2015 but not thereafter. From 1.1.2016 hats made solely to (BS)EN1384 will not be permitted for use in BHS Approved Centres.
Otherwise the BHS recognises PAS 015, ASTM F1163 and SNELL E2001.
RDA - Have also revised their new rule so that they will now mirror the BD rule, allowing the BS/EN1384 through until the end of 2016 in addition to the other standards already allowed by BD as listed above.
Showing - The Showing Council on behalf of its member showing member bodies is currently collating the varying rules in preparation for updating them. Many specify the “current European Standard” so will need to be revised taking the withdrawal of the EN1384 into account. It is likely they will follow the lead of the other bodies but BETA will be assisting them with the re-writing of their rules and will inform members as soon as these are available.
Only accept skull caps. Both EN1384:2012 and PAS015:2011are accepted.
From 1 January 2017 the EN1384 will no longer be permitted under BHA rules.
The EN1384:1997 can continue to be used until 31 December.
Therefore currently the PAS015:2011 is the only currently available skull cap permitted after 1 January 2017.
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