What will happen if I don't have my helmet tagged?
At ESNZ we take riders safety very seriously; helmets will either need to display the current tag (red up to 31 July 2023 and yellow from 1 August 2023) or, if impractical to have tagged before the event, must be checked to be compliant by an ESNZ Official
Where can I find the standard/s on my helmet?
Standards are found either directly on the helmet (outside on inside the shell), on a sticker, printed directly on the lining, or on an information tag, which is usually attached to the lining. Standards on the helmet linings ARE acceptable for tagging and competing in.
Why is my EN 1384 standard no longer OK for competition?
In October 2014 the EU Commission announced the withdrawal of the European equestrian riding helmet standard EN1384. The EN1384 standard was removed because not all the Basic Health and Safety Requirements (“BHSRs”) of the applicable European Directive were being correctly addressed by the standard. As a result of the withdrawal, this standard no longer offers a presumption of conformity, so it can no longer be used (or used alone) by equestrian helmet manufacturers to certify the conformity of their product with the European specifications.
My helmet has the EN 1384 standard (only) plus the kite mark - is this compliant?
The kite mark is one example of a Quality Assurance Mark – it is not the safety standard and so the helmet still only has the EN 1384 as its standard and is not compliant, unless it has an additional standard
Why are there different standards?
The various standards relate to the country they are certified in, but all standards meet the same high safety requirements. I.e. Europe are now using VG1, the UK use the PAS 015 standard; USA use ASTM-F1163 and NZ and Australia use AS/NZS 3838.
My helmet has ASTM-F1163 11 - is this compliant?
Yes, all ASTM-F1163 standards are compliant (ie 04, 04a, 11, 15…), provided they also carry the SEI mark
Why is VG1 on its own no longer compliant from 1 August 2023?
All of our helmet standards apart from VG1 require a third-party test mark. We have received concerns over the quality of some of the VG1 helmets on the market in New Zealand. As safety is our primary concern, and after consultation with experts, the ESNZ technical committee proposed to the Board that we should require a third-party test stamp so that their assurance of continuing quality. Thus, bringing VG1 in line with our other standard requirements.
My helmet is one of the safest on the market.
While we cannot comment on any variation of safety between different brands that carry the VG1, there are very real concerns over the safety of some helmets that only carry the VG1 which has meant that we must ask for the assurance of a third party test to ensure that all the helmets on the market that are used for our events are up to the standard that we, and you as the wearer, would expect.
Who is responsible for tagging helmets?
ESNZ and New Zealand Pony Clubs Association are both responsible for tagging and use the same red and yellow tags. A joint memorandum of understanding was signed to support the tagging policy for New Zealand equestrian events and activities held by either of the two organisations.
ESNZ have approved several ESNZ Officials and members of staff throughout the country to check and tag compliant helmets. While NZ Pony Club are able to tag helmets for NZ Pony Club members at their rallies, training days and events.
Why was the change so quick - my helmet lasts 5 years?
18 months is the standard time that we give for changes to our PPE requirements as we did with the last helmet policy change in 2017 and the body protector standards change. This allows time for suppliers to source the necessary stock.
Which is the safest helmet?
Firstly it is important to understand that no hat can prevent serious injury in certain circumstances. You should choose your hat based on the level of risk involved, aiming at standards offering higher levels of protection where higher risks are involved.
Always seek advice from an expert and buy a well fitting helmet for your head. Unless you take care in the selection and fitting of your own helmet, you may not obtain the level of protection that headgear can provide.
Some tips to keep you safe
- Replace your helmet after a fall in which you have hit your head (and preferably every five years if no falls)
- Don’t buy second hand helmets
- Keep your helmet clean and out of the heat as heat can perish the lining. Only use cleaning products specifically made for helmets
- Don’t share, lend or borrow helmets
- Wear only helmets certified for Equestrian use