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FAQs on riding hats after 1384 withdrawal

1. Why has the 1384 standard been withdrawn? Safety standards, including 1384, are typically revised every 5 years, but not every revision results in significant changes. The review process for 1384 was underway for some years, but a deemed lack of progress towards consensus on whether the standard should be changed has led to the unfortunate situation where the standard has instead been withdrawn, completely.

2. Is my 1384 standard hat still safe? Absolutely, assuming it is fitted correctly and has not suffered any impact or other damage, just as would be the case with any other hat conforming to another standard. Hats certified to 1384 have lessened injuries and saved countless lives over many years. The protection offered by 1384 has not changed. When used and fitted correctly, (BS) EN1384 hats will continue to be as protective as they have been for the best part of 20 years, since the standard first appeared.

3. Why are Robinsons still selling 1384 hats if the standard has been withdrawn? 1384 hats can still be sold, purchased and worn because, at the time they were made, they met a perfectly good, certified standard. The only change is that manufacturers will need to use a new standard to test their current 1384 models against when producing new batches of the same hats in the future.  Many have moved to the VG1, which is a specification to bridge the gap between the old and new European standards.  Some hats will look very similar whilst  others will need to be changed more substantially in order to meet the newer, revised specification. Leisure riders can continue to wear and enjoy the protection offered by 1384 hats for many years to come, however if riding at a centre, yard or in competition that may have their own requirements for hat standards, then you will need to check that your 1384 hat is still acceptable.

4. I compete in competitions and my hat is the 1384 standard. Will I need to get a new hat? This depends upon your particular club or discipline.  If you are riding at a BHS approved centre or British Riding Club event then you will not be allowed to wear your 1384 hat after 1 January 2016.   Most disciplines have now published their rules for 2016 so the best thing to do is contact the discipline or organisation within which you compete to determine whether the 1384 standard is permitted under their rules beyond 2015. British Dressage, RDA and most of the showing bodies have given the EN1384 another year, allowing use until the end of 2016. If 1384 is not allowed for competitions, you will need to purchase a new hat to meet the rules of competition but you can of course still wear your 1384 hat for hacking, hunting or in any of the activities where it is allowed.

5. Does this change mean I will have to buy a new hat even if I don’t compete? If you do not compete in any competitions then if your hat meets the 1384 standard  you do not need to purchase a new hat unless you ride at a BHS approved centre, riding school or  have sustained an impact on it when riding or if it doesn’t fit you anymore. You can still continue to wear your 1384 hat and even purchase a new replacement 1384, should you need to, while they remain available through retailers. The British Equestrian Trade Association estimates that there are approximately 1.6 million regular riders who do not have to comply with competition rules so will not be affected by any changes by riding organisations. 1384 hats tend to be slimmer in profile, more lightweight and often more ventilated than other hats, so you can continue to enjoy the protection and comfort they offer.

6. My hat has two standards on the label, one of which is 1384. Is this ok to use for competitions? Yes, provided that the other standard is approved by your riding organisation. If the hat has1384 plus PAS015 then it will not be affected by this change.  If it has any of the other existing standards such as Snell or ASTM F1163 then this is fine for the moment but since the CE mark may be based on the EN1384 standard these too in time may be affected by rule changes if you replace this hat with the same in the future.  

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