Recent Rule Changes/Revisions

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Helmet Regulations

Protective headgear Safety Standards: 

  • AS/NZS 3838 (current Australia and New Zealand Standard) (1998, 2003 or 2006)
  • VG1 (interim European Standard)
  • ASTM-F11632004a with the SEI mark (current US Standard)
  • PAS 015:1998 or 2011 with BSI Kitemark
  • Snell E2001 with the official Snell label and number
  • EN 1384 and BSEN 1384 (current outgoing European Standard) until 31 July 2017 only – not permitted from 1 August 2017)


This policy defines the quality of manufacture that is required for Equestrian Riding Helmets at ESNZ  events and activities.

The helmet standards accepted as of 1st January 2016 are detailed in the table below:helmet-nz-standardsThe PAS 015: 1998 or 2011 and the Snell E2001 meet higher impact criteria and therefore give more protection for cross-country riding, whether it be at rallies, examinations, competition or training. These types of helmets, often referred to as jockey helmets, have no fixed peak, peak type extensions or noticeable protuberances above the eyes or to the front and should have an even round or elliptical shape with a smooth or slightly abrasive surface. A removable hat cover with a light flexible peak may be used if required.

Article 655 – DRESS (538)

1. Protective Headgear

It is compulsory that all Athletes wear protective headgear that conforms with current New Zealand/Australian (AS/NZ) 3838, European VG1, British (PAS) 015, North American (ASTM) F1163 standard and is secured by a retention harness.

(Any helmets with the standard ES1384 or BSEN 1384 can continue to be worn until 1 August 2017.)

Failure to wear such protective headgear where and when required after being notified to do so by an Official shall result in an Official Warning being issued to the Athlete unless exceptional circumstances apply.

2. Whips

Training (Practice): A whip no longer than 120cm including lash may be carried when riding on the flat at any time. While jumping any obstacle before the Cross Country and/or Jumping Test, a whip, if carried, must not be weighted at the end or exceed 75cm (30 inches) in length.

Horse Inspection: Athlete may carry a whip if he wishes.

Dressage Test: Carrying a whip of any kind during the Dressage test is forbidden.

Cross Country and Jumping: If a whip is carried in the Cross Country and/or Jumping Test, it must not be weighted at the end or exceed 75 cm (30 inches).

3. Additional errors of course

All of the following are considered errors, and two (2) points will be deducted per error, but they are not cumulative and will not result in Elimination (including for Freestyle tests):

 Entering the space around the arena with whip;

 Entering the Dressage arena with whip;

 Entering the arena before the sound of the bell;

 Not entering the arena within forty five (45) seconds after the bell, but within ninety (90) seconds; 

 Contravening Article 655-Dress 5.1 - 5.3 (with the exception of 1. Protective Headgear);