2020 Current UK Riding Hat Standards

A vital piece of equestrian safety wear, riding hats are designed to minimise any potential head injury as effectively as possible. Therefore, it’s really important to make sure that your hat offers the best possible protection.

With such a huge range of horse riding hats and helmets available on the market, it’s very important to remember that not all hats are created equal. Ensuring your hat meets the current safety standards is a great way to ensure the safety of your head.

This is important for every rider, whether you’re just starting out with horse riding lessons, getting into competitions, or a professional athlete competing at British Dressage, British Showjumping and British Eventing Competitions.

At Eland Lodge we take your safety seriously, and only stock riding hats from the leading tried tested and trusted safety wear suppliers; including Charles Owen, Champion, Uvex and Gatehouse.

Are you unsure of the required hat standards for competing in 2020? Take a look at our handy guide of which standard you need for each discipline.

British Dressage Current Riding Hat Standards – at a glance

To compete in British Dressage Competitions your riding hat needs to meet one of the following safety standards.

  • PAS015 (1998 onwards)
  • VG1
  • EN1384-2017 (only in conjunction with another accepted standard from this list)
  • SNELL E2001 or E2016
  • AS/NZS 3838 2006 onwards

British Showjumping Current Hat Standards – at a glance

To compete in British Showjumping Competitions your riding helmet needs to meet one of the following safety standards.

  • PAS015 (1998 or 2011) plus BSI Kitemark
  • VG1 plus BSI Kitemark
  • ASTM F1163: 2004a onwards plus SEI Mark
  • SNELL E2001 or E2016
  • AS/NZS 3838 2006 onwards

British Eventing Current Hat Standards – at a glance

To compete in British Eventing Competitions your riding hat needs to meet one of the following safety standards.

  • PAS015 (1998 or 2011) plus BSI Kitemark or Inspec IC Mark
  • VG1 plus BSI Kitemark or Inspec IC Mark
  • ASTM F1163: 2004a onwards plus SEI Mark
  • SNELL E2001 or E2016
  • AS/NZS 3838 2006 onwards plus SAI Global Mark

For the cross country phase, a peakless hat/jockey skull cap that conforms with the above standards must be worn.

British Horse Society Approved Centres Hat Standards – at a glance

To take part in lessons and events at British Horse Society Approved Centres, your riding helmet must meet one of the following safety standards.

  • PAS015 (1998 or 2011) plus BSI Kitemark or Inspec IC Mark
  • VG1 01.040 (2014-12) plus BSI Kitemark or Inspec IC Mark
  • ASTM F1163: 2004a or 04a onwards plus SEI Mark
  • SNELL E2001 or E2016 with official SNELL label and number
  • AS/NZS 3838 2006 onwards plus SAI Global Mark

Pony Club Hat Standards – at a glance

To take part in activities and events your riding hat must meet one of the following safety standards.

  • PAS015 (1998 or 2011) plus BSI Kitemark
  • VG1 plus BSI Kitemark
  • ASTM F1163: 2004a onwards plus SEI Mark
  • SNELL E2001 onwards with official SNELL label and number
  • AS/NZS 3838 2006 onwards

For cross country activities (mandatory for over 80cm, advisory for under 80cm), a peakless hat/jockey skull cap that conforms with the above standards must be worn.

When to buy a new riding hat

A riding hat can be an expensive purchase, but it is important to remember that your hat protects what is most precious – your head! There are a variety of reasons why your riding hat may need replacing:

  • It is very important to replace your hat after a fall, especially when your hat comes into contact with the ground. Your hat is designed to absorb the impact, so even if you can’t see any damage, the internal structure of the hat will change and will not be able to offer the same protection again.
  • Riding hats have a maximum 3-5 year lifespan, after this time the materials used to construct your hat will not be performing at their best.
  • If your hat has been exposed to lots of direct sunlight, heat, moisture of extreme cold this can shorten the lifespan of your hat and have an adverse effect on the effectiveness of your hat.
  • If your hat has been dropped or knocked – each time your hat receives an impact this will use up some of the protective properties, even if there’s no visible damage

How to buy a new riding hat

The fit of your riding hat is incredibly important. A poorly fitting hat will not be able to offer you the same protective properties in the event of a fall.

It is recommended that you visit a BETA (British Equestrian Trade Association) Approved retailer with fully trained and qualified staff to get your hat professionally fitted. Here at Eland Lodge we offer a free hat fitting service to make sure you get the perfect for you.

Having your riding hat fitted at an approved retailer will ensure:

  • You are able to try on a range of brands and styles to find a fit that suits
  • You can be professionally measured and fitted into a hat that is right for your size and head shape
  • You can access advice about the best types of hat for the riding activities you take part in