Riding hat standard withdrawal – what you need to know

CHAMPION-website

You may have heard that the popular BSEN 1384 riding hat standard has been withdrawn by the governing body in charge of standard regulation. A number of our Champion hats are certified to this standard so we wanted to give you the low down to make it easy for you to understand the implications of this change.

 

First and foremost, it’s important to know that if you have a hat certified to BSEN 1384, it is still safe and will continue to offer you the same excellent protection it has given you since purchase, for much time to come. You can still wear hats to this standard in competition for the whole of 2015 and out of competition for as long as your hat remains in good condition

 

Safety standards, including BSEN 1384, are typically revised every 5 years, but not every revision results in significant changes. The review process for BSEN 1384 was underway for some years, but a deemed lack of progress towards consensus on whether the standard should be changed has led to the unfortunate situation where the standard has been withdrawn completely instead. We at Champion are dismayed that this has happened in this manner because we know for a fact that BSEN 1384 hats offer excellent protection and have lessened injuries and saved countless lives over many years. But unfortunately this was out of our control.

 

From the end of 2014 we will stop manufacturing hats to BSEN 1384.  A new standard is being drawn up to replace BSEN 1384 and once it is published we will recertify all our hats and helmets to this new standard. We have been manufacturing PAS 015 hats for over 20 years and will continue to manufacture our extensive range of PAS 015 hats and helmets as these are totally unaffected by this change. Your local wholesaler and retailer will still have stock of BSEN 1384 and these are perfectly good and safe to buy, as they always have been, as the withdrawal of the standard does not affect riding hats already available in the marketplace. It’s simply the case that manufacturers can no longer manufacture hats that are only BSEN 1384 from 2015, however wholesalers and retailers can continue to sell BSEN 1384 hats indefinitely and you can continue to enjoy the excellent comfort and protection they offer.

What it means for you:

Leisure riders

  • If you do not compete under affiliated rules, you will not be affected by this change.
  • Your BSEN 1384 riding hat is still safe and will continue to offer you many, many riding hours of comfort and safety.
  • You can continue to buy BSEN 1384 hats for as long as your local retailer has them in stock, as they can be worn indefinitely.

Competition riders

  • As far as the information that has been made available to us, governing bodies such as British Showjumping and British Eventing are allowing riders to continue to compete in BSEN 1384 hats for the whole of 2015. This means that if you ride in affiliated competition and your hat is certified to BSEN 1384, you can continue to compete in this riding hat until 2016. We do recommend you confirm this with the governing body under whose rules you compete.
  • If you own a BSEN 1384 hat, you can continue to wear and enjoy the comfort and protection offered by your BSEN 1384 riding hat out of competition while schooling, hacking and training indefinitely.
  • We recommend that if you are buying a new hat, buy one to PAS 015 standard as these hats are unaffected by this rule change and you can wear this in competition going forwards into 2016.

If you have any questions or concerns on this issue, we’re here to help. Please contact us on 0113 270 7000 or via email info@fbi-ltd.co.uk.

Is your riding hat still safe?

A crucial question that you should always have in the back of your mind is ‘does my hat still provide me with maximum protection?’ If you have ever had a fall during which your riding hat sustained an impact the answer to this question is probably no and so your hat should be replaced.

The reason for this is simple. The design of riding hats is such that they absorb the impact of blow before it gets to your head. But what this means is that if you have a fall in which your hat sustained an impact, it’s already done its protective job. The hat may look fine on the outside, but the internal polystyrene shock absorbent liner may have been damaged and will not be able to provide the same level of protection in the future. Therefore, if your hat has suffered a severe impact, even if this is having been dropped off the top tack room shelf, your hat should be thrown away and replaced, even if there is no outward sign of damage.

It’s also important for riders to remember that riding hats should also be replaced every 3 – 5 years as the protective materials they contain will gradually deteriorate with exposure to heat and repeated use. After a long time of use on a warm, sweaty head or body, storage in a warm tackroom and exposure to sun, your riding hat will not offer you the same level of protection. We strongly advise riders to replace their hats every 3-5 years and ALWAYS after a fall in which the head may have suffered an impact. After all, it’s easy to replace your hat and there should be no compromise where your safety is concerned.