Dressage Canada Announces New Safety Headgear Rule for 2011

Ottawa, ON—Dressage Canada has put in place new safety rules regarding headgear. The Dressage Canada Board has decided that riders at Fourth Level and below will be required to wear ASTM/SEI or BSI approved headgear at all times when mounted on the show grounds. The complete rule is listed below. As of May 1st, 2011, the following rule regarding safety headgear will be adopted by Dressage Canada:

Article E 4.0 Safety Headgear

1. ASTM/SEI or BSI approved headgear must be worn by all riders showing Fourth Level and below, regardless of age, when mounted on the showgrounds at EC Bronze, Silver and Gold competitions.

2. ASTM/SEI or BSI approved headgear must be worn by all non-competing riders mounted on any competing horse at EC Bronze, Silver and Gold competitions.

3. All riders of any age while on non-competing horses must wear protective headgear at all times while mounted on the competition grounds.

4. The penalty for contravening 4.0.1 is elimination.

5. Non-competing riders who contravene 4.0.2 and/or 4.0.3 will be instructed to dismount until wearing an ASTM/SEI or BSI approved helmet.

Note: At the tack check which follows the test, the steward may ask the rider to dismount so that the helmet may be inspected for the ASTM/SEI or BSI label.

The Board and the Rules Committee are aware that although the rule will be well accepted by many, there will be those who feel it is an unwelcome imposition. Most of the feedback received in the last year on the subject of helmet safety was in favour of requiring approved helmets.

Given that the rule relates to athlete safety, the Board feels it is important to put such a rule in place as soon as possible.

For the complete Equine Canada Dressage rules for 2011, please visit the rules section of the Equine Canada website at http://bit.ly/eNw9qx.