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Following changes the EU commission has made to hat standards, from 2016, the BHS will be implementing changes to their hat rules to phase out the use of EN1384 or BSEN1384 in all BHS exams and competitions.

Hats bearing only the EN1384 or BSEN1384 standard will no longer be accepted under BHS hat rules for 2016.

However, hats would be acceptable if they carry EN1384 or BSEN1384 and another standard such as those listed:

  • PAS 015 (1998 or 2011)

  • VG1 01.040 (2014-12)

  • ASTM F1163 (2004a or 04a onwards)

  • SNELL E2001

  • AS/NZS 3838 (2006 onwards)

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 EN 1384, they can continue to use them unless stated otherwise by rules of competition.

This change has a number of implications BHS members may need to consider, particularly in terms of insurance. Here is a summary of how the changes might affect you.

  • Gold members should be advised that insurers may not view continued use of the old standard hats as the stipulated acceptable precaution required. It is therefore suggested that investments are made into hats that meet the most up-to-date standard.

  • Riding schools will be required to insist riders wear acceptable standard hats, and may not be able to defend claims in the event of injuries if this is not enforced.

  • Freelance instructors must advise riders to wear acceptable hats. Should a rider insist on wearing a non-standard hat, this must be documented by the instructor.

  • Managers of livery yards should advise clients on the change and recommend that they get their hats checked.

  • Disclaimers from clients acknowledging their refusal to wear standard hats are not acceptable for insurance purposes.

  • BHS exams, taken domestically or internationally, will require the most up-to-date standard of hat in order to be covered by the BHS third party liability insurance.

  • BRC members will also be expected to adhere to the most up-to-date standard. Members taking part in Area Qualifiers and Championships will have their hats checked and tagged before competition.

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