Important! Correction and Clarification of New USEF Protective Headgear Rules for Dressage



USEF has released clarification of the New Protective Headgear Rules for Dressage.

In an earlier press release from USEF, there was incorrect information that caused great confusion on who is required to wear protective headgear and at what levels when showing. Listed below is the revised paragraph sent from USEF with the correct explanation as well as a complete listing of the Headgear Rules for Dressage. We advise that you may want to print this list of rules and keep it with you at the shows for easy reference.

Corrected Paragraph - Effective March 1, 2011, for dressage: Anyone mounted on a horse must wear protective headgear except those riders age 18 and over while on horses that are competing only in FEI levels and tests at the Prix St. Georges level and above (including FEI Young Rider Tests, the USEF Developing Prix St. Georges Test and the USEF Brentina Cup Test).

Effective March 1, 2011, the following rules apply to Dressage Competitions and Regular Competitions holding Dressage classes:

1. Riders under age 18 must wear protective headgear, as defined by DR120.5 and in compliance with GR801, at all times while mounted on the competition grounds. This includes non-competing riders as well as those competing at any level.

2. While on horses competing in national level tests (Fourth Level and below), riders must wear protective headgear as defined by DR120.5 and in compliance with GR801, at all times while mounted on the competition grounds. This includes non-competing riders on horses competing in national level tests.

3. While on horses competing in USEF or FEI Young Horse Tests, and FEI Junior Tests, riders must wear protective headgear as defined by DR120.5 and in compliance with GR801, at all times while mounted on the competition grounds.

4. All riders competing in Para-Equestrian tests must wear protective headgear at all times while mounted on the competition grounds. Riders who compete in PE tests must wear protective headgear on every horse they ride, no matter the level or test.

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

6. All riders under age 18 and all riders while on horses competing in national level tests, who choose to wear Armed Services or police uniform, must wear protective headgear as defined in DR120.5 and in compliance with GR801 at all times while mounted on the competition grounds. Riders age 18 and over who wear Armed Services or police uniform on horses that are competing only in FEI levels and tests at the Prix St. Georges level and above must wear either protective headgear or the appropriate military/police cap or hat for their branch of service.

7. When a horse is competing in both national and FEI levels or tests (e.g. Fourth Level and PSG), the rider must wear protective headgear at all times when mounted on that horse on the competition grounds and during all tests.

8. While on horses that are competing only in FEI levels and tests at the Prix St. Georges level and above (including FEI Young Rider Tests, the USEF Developing Prix St. Georges Test and the USEF Brentina Cup Test), riders age 18 and over are not required to wear protective headgear in warm up or during competition. However, these riders may wear protective headgear without penalty from the judge.

9. In FEI-recognized (CDI, CDI-Y, CDI-J, CDI-P, etc.) classes, FEI rules take precedence and protective headgear is permitted but not required.

10. All riders while on horses competing in national level classes such as Equitation, Materiale and DSHB Under Saddle are required to wear protective headgear at all times when mounted on the competition grounds.

Protective headgear is defined as a riding helmet which meets or exceeds ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials)/SEI (Safety Equipment Institute) standards for equestrian use and carries the SEI tag. The headgear and harness must be secured and properly fitted. Any rider violating this rule at any time must immediately be prohibited from further riding until such headgear is properly in place.

Recommendation to competitions:

In order to distinguish riders who are required to wear protective headgear from those who aren't, it is suggested that entry numbers in a different sequence be assigned to the entries in each group (e.g. use numbers from 1-700 for entries where riders must wear protective headgear and use numbers from 800 and above for entries where riders are not required to use protective headgear).




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