December 28, 2006 -- A number of exhibitors using the GPA brand of helmets while competing in U.S. Equestrian Federation (USEF) licensed events may be unaware that they are not wearing an ASTM/SEI certified model as required by USEF rules.
Helmets purchased in Europe, or that originally came from Europe, may not meet the ASTM/SEI standard as required by USEF GR318.2-GR318.7. Riders should check the buckles of their GPA helmets to see if there is an SEI logo on it and they should also check the inside of the helmet which should carry the SEI certification tag in it. If it does not appear there, then the helmet should not be used in USEF licensed competitions.
All riders are required to wear a certified helmet while competing in Hunter, Jumpers and Hunt Seat Equitation classes, and in Paso Fino classes, both open and breed restricted including Hunter Hack. Helmets are to be wore anywhere jumping is required and when jumping anywhere on the competition grounds. Helmets must be properly fastened and meet or exceed ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials)/SEI (Safety Equipment Institute) standards for equestrian use and carries the SEI tag.
Except as mandated by local law, juniors in the above classes, and all sub-juniors riding in the Paso Fino division, must wear certified helmets while riding anywhere on the competition grounds. As stated in GR318.6, "It is the responsibility of the rider, or the parent or guardian or trainer of the junior exhibitor to see to it that the headgear worn complies with appropriate safety standards for protective headgear intended for equestrian use, and is properly fitted and in good condition, and the Federation, the Show Committee, and Licensed Officials are not responsible for checking headgear worn for such compliance."
The USEF strongly encourages all riders, while riding anywhere on competition grounds, to wear ASTM/SEI certified headgear