New Safety Helmet Rules Adopted for Canadian Dressage

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Canadian Jacqueline Brooks was one of the first Grand Prix riders to wear a safety helmet in North American competitions. © 2010 Ilse Schwarz/dressage-news.com

OTTAWA, Ontario, Mar. 28–New safety helmet rules have been adopted by Dressage Canada for all riders at 4th Level and below, effective May 1.

The rules require riders at 4th Level and below to wear ASTM/SEI or BSI approved headgear at all times when mounted on the show grounds. They generally mirror rules adopted in the U.S. earlier in 2011.

The complete rule:

As of May 1st, 2011, the following rule regarding safety headgear will be adopted by Dressage Canada:
Article E 4.0 Safety Headgear

1. ASTM/SEI or BSI approved headgear must be worn by all riders showing Fourth Level and below, regardless of age, when mounted on the showgrounds at EC Bronze, Silver and Gold competitions.

2. ASTM/SEI or BSI approved headgear must be worn by all non-competing riders mounted on any competing horse at EC Bronze, Silver and Gold competitions.

3. All riders of any age while on non-competing horses must wear protective headgear at all times while mounted on the competition grounds.

4. The penalty for contravening 4.0.1 is elimination.

5. Non-competing riders who contravene 4.0.2 and/or 4.0.3 will be instructed to dismount until wearing an ASTM/SEI or BSI approved helmet.

Note: At the tack check which follows the test, the steward may ask the rider to dismount so that the helmet may be inspected for the ASTM/SEI or BSI label.

Dressage Canada said in a statement: “The Board and the Rules Committee are aware that although the rule will be well accepted by many, there will be those who feel it is an unwelcome imposition. Most of the feedback received in the last year on the subject of helmet safety was in favor of requiring approved helmets.

“Given that the rule relates to athlete safety, the Board feels it is important to put such a rule in place as soon as possible.”