Articles: Horse News
USEF Passes New Safety Helmet Rules for Eventing and Dressage Riders
United States Equestrian Federation, Inc.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 26, 2011
By USEF Communications Department
Lexington, KY - The Board of Directors during this year's United States
Equestrian Federation (USEF) Annual Meeting approved new helmet rules for
riders in both eventing and dressage - just two weeks after dozens of
stakeholders in equestrian sport met with the goal of improving rider safety
"If the technology is available to reduce head injuries, the time to use it
is now," said USEF President David O'Connor. "I am very proud of our
organization for taking this very important step. It is a huge direction of
Briefly, the first rule change requires anyone on a horse to wear a
ASTM/SEI-approved helmet at all times while mounted on competition grounds
at U.S. nationally rated eventing competitions. The rule change is effective
Further specifics regarding the changes to the rule for Protective Headgear
for Eventing (EV 114.1) will be posted here in the future:
The United States Eventing Association (USEA) helped shepherd the rule
change through the USEF committees during USEF's Annual Meeting.
"The attention to safety in eventing has led to a 40 percent decrease in
rider injuries between 2007 and 2011," said Malcolm Hook, USEF Eventing
Safety Officer and chair of the USEF Eventing Technical Committee. "The
Eventing Technical Committee could see no reason to delay implementation of
a probably inevitable and statistically justifiable rule change in an effort
to continue this encouraging trend."
Effective March 1, 2011: For Dressage, anyone mounted on a horse must wear
protective headgear except those riders age 18 and over while on horses that
are competing only in FEI levels and tests at the Prix St. Georges level and
above (including FEI Young Rider Tests, the USEF Developing Prix St. Georges
Test and the USEF Brentina Cup Test).
Additional details regarding the changes to the rules for Protective
Headgear for Dressage (DR120.5) will be posted here in the future:
The USEF Board of Directors approved both the eventing and dressage helmet
rule changes on January 23 at the conclusion of USEF's Annual Meeting.
Sara Ike, USEF managing director of eventing, said that while eventing
riders long have been moving toward tougher rules, it wasn't until early
2010, after Olympic dressage rider Courtney King Dye was seriously injured
in a riding accident that the dressage world began to seriously consider
stricter helmet use. "Dressage riders called the Courtney King accident
their '9-11,' " Ike said.
King Dye, who remained in a coma for a month following her accident, was not
wearing a helmet at the time of the accident and currently is undergoing
Earlier this month, a Riders4Helmets Helmet Safety Symposium held in
Wellington, FL, was deemed a huge success by participants at the event.
Representatives from USEF, USEA, the United States Dressage Foundation, the
United States Hunter Jumper Association, Racing, Polo, Helmet Manufacturers,
Helmet Testing Authorities, Leading Equestrians and Medical Experts met with
the goal of improving rider safety - and left pledging to work together
across the disciplines to do just that.
The vision of the United States Equestrian Federation is to provide
for equestrian sport in the United States of America by promoting the
of excellence from the grassroots to the Olympic Games, based on a
foundation of fair, safe competition and the welfare
of its human and equine athletes.