Jockey Skull Caps

What is a jockey skull cap?

A jockey skull cap is a type of horse riding hat designed for use in the most extreme equestrian sports. The Jockey Skull Cap characteristically has an even round or elliptical shape, with a smooth or slightly abrasive surface, and has no peak or peak type extensions. Also know as a peakless hat, crash hat, cross country hat or riding school hat, the jockey skull cap is designed to protect your head in the event of a fall.

Are jockey skull caps safe?

Jockey skull caps have been designed for use in extreme equestrian sports including horse racing and cross country riding. Many jockey skull caps are some of the safest riding hats on the market, tested to the limit and carry the highest safety standards.

Do you have to wear a skull cap for cross country?

Jockey skull caps are designed to be the safest hat for cross country riding. Under British Eventing rules only jockey skull caps are permitted for use during the cross country phase. This is because a fixed peak has the potential to make an injury sustained in certain accidents more serious to the neck, skull or brain.

The British Eventing Rule States:

“‘Cross Country Protective Headwear’ is a ‘Jockey Skull’ of an even round or elliptical shape with a smooth or slightly abrasive surface, having no peak or peak type extensions.”

Can you wear a skull cap for dressage or showjumping?

Skulls caps can be worn in any equestrian competitions, including dressage and showjumping. Many riders choose to wear a skull cap for everyday riding, hacking, training, clinics and competitions.

Which hat silk or hat cover should I choose?

There’s so many options for hat silks and hat covers available now, it can be difficult to know which to choose.

For dressage, showjumping, pony club competitions and hunting you should wear a dark cover that matches your jacket, for example a navy, black or brown silk, lycra, or velvet cover.

For cross country many riders like to wear a hat silk that matches their baselayer and saddlepad. These are often brightly coloured and can feature unique designs and patterns, or pom poms.

How to clean your jockey skull cap

To clean the outside of your jockey skull cap gently sponge it with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or dust. To keep the inside of your hat fresh, use a specialist hat cleaner or deodoriser, like this one from Charles Owen which digests the dirt and grease.

To help keep your hat clean you can store it in a padded hat bag, this will also help prevent any knocks or bumps while you’re not wearing it.

Which jockey skull cap should I choose?

There are a few different considerations to make when purchasing a jockey skull cap. You’ll need to think about when you’ll be riding in it and what activities you’ll be doing, which safety standards the hat has, and what extra features you want, such as ventilation or a removable liner. Most importantly, you will need to choose a jockey skull cap that gives you the best fit, as this will offer you the best protection. If a jockey skull cap isn't suited for you then see our post on "Which is the best riding helmet?"

Jockey Skull Caps: Gatehouse HS!-V

Gatehouse HS1-V Jockey Skull

A popular choice amongst eventers thanks to its SNELL safety standard, the new version of the HS1 now features ventilation too.

  • Popular for eventing
  • Twin front and twin rear tri-flow ventilation points
  • 4 point padded leather harness

Safety Standards

  • Snell E2016
  • ASTM F1163-15
  • Certified by BSI and SEI
Jockey Skull Caps: Charles Owen MS1 Pro

Charles Owen MS1 Pro Jockey Skull

This skull cap offers extra protection thank to the MIPS Brain Protection System technology.

  • Incorporates MIPS technology
  • 10 ventilation slots
  • Removable liner

Safety Standards

  • Kitemarked to PAS015:2011
  • Kitemarked to VG1 01.040 2014-12
  • CE marked to VG1 01.040 2014-12
  • Certified by SEI to ASTM F1163-15
Jockey Skull Caps: Charles Owen 4 Star

Charles Owen 4 Star Jockey Skull

This riding hat is popular with events thanks to it’s multiple safety standards including SNELL certification.

  • Popular with eventers
  • 10 ventilation slots
  • GRpx® harness system for the ultimate in stability

Safety Standards

  • Kitemarked to PAS015:2011
  • Kitemarked and CE marked to VG1 01.040 2014-12
  • Certified by SEI to ASTM F1163
  • Certified to SNELL E2001.
Jockey Skull Caps: Charles Owen Pro II Plus

Charles Owen Pro II Plus Skull Cap

The Pro II Plus is available at a great price, and is popular for everyday riding, training and competing.

  • Removable liner
  • Front and rear ventilation slots
  • Available in a range of colours

Safety Standards

  • Kitemarked to PAS015:2011
  • Certified by SEI to ASTMF1163
  • BSEN 1384
Jockey Skull Cap: Champion Junior X-Air Plus

Champion Junior X-Air Plus Jockey Helmet

Popular amongst young riders for competitions, Pony Club and horse riding lessons, the Champion Junior X-Air is comfy, lightweight and safe.

  • Lightweight
  • Ventilated
  • 4 point padded harness

Safety Standards

  • British Kitemarked to PAS 015 2011
  • VG01 01 2012
  • ASTM F1163-15
Jockey Skull Cap: Champion Ventair Deluxe

Champion Ventair Deluxe Jockey Skull

A great choice for everyday riding, this skull cap is lightweight, ventilated and comfy.

  • Lightweight
  • Ventilated airflow system
  • Leather harness with lace adjustment

Safety Standards:

  • British Kitemarked to PAS 015 2011
  • VG01 01 2012