Horse Tack Review




GPA Helmets Purchased in Europe May Not Meet Required USEF Safety Standards



A number of exhibitors using the GPA brand of helmets while competing in USEF licensed events may be unaware that they are not wearing an ASTM/SEI certified model as required by USEF rules. Helmets purchased in Europe, from online stores in Europe, or possibly from EBay, if the helmets originally came from Europe, may not meet the ASTM/SEI standard as required by USEF GR318.2-GR318.7. Riders should check the buckles of their GPA helmets to see if there is an SEI logo on it and they should also check the inside of the helmet which should carry the SEI certification tag in it. If it does not appear there, then the helmet should not be used in USEF licensed competitions.

All riders are required to wear a certified helmet while competing in Hunter, Jumpers and Hunt Seat Equitation classes, and in Paso Fino classes, both open and breed restricted including Hunter Hack, where jumping is required and when jumping anywhere on the competition grounds to wear properly fastened protective headgear which meets or exceeds ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials)/SEI (Safety Equipment Institute) standards for equestrian use and carries the SEI tag. It must be properly fitted with a harness secured.

Except as mandated by local law, Juniors in the above classes, and all sub-juniors riding in the Paso Fino division, must wear certified helmets while riding anywhere on the competition grounds. As stated in GR318.6, “It is the responsibility of the rider, or the parent or guardian or trainer of the junior exhibitor to see to it that the headgear worn complies with appropriate safety standards for protective headgear intended for equestrian use, and is properly fitted and in good condition, and the Federation, the Show Committee, and Licensed Officials are not responsible for checking headgear worn for such compliance.”

The USEF strongly encourages all riders, while riding anywhere on competition grounds, to wear ASTM/SEI certified headgear.

As the National Governing Body (NGB) of Equestrian Sport, the United States Equestrian Federation®, Inc. (USEF) is the regulatory body for 27 breeds and disciplines, including our country’s international teams competing in the disciplines of dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, para-equestrian, reining, show jumping and vaulting. With over 80,000 members, it is the country’s largest multi-breed organization and annually license more than 2,800 competitions nationwide. The USEF governs all aspects of competition, including education and licensing of all judges, stewards, and technical delegates who officiate shows.

Vision Statement: The vision of United States Equestrian Federation® is to provide leadership for equestrian sport in the United States of America, promoting the pursuit of excellence from the grassroots to the Olympic Games, based on a foundation of fair, safe competition and the welfare of its horses, and embracing this vision, to be the best national equestrian federation in the world.
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