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Helmets Required in Youth English Classes

The requirement for ASTM/SEI-approved helmets in all youth English classes is effective January 1, 2015.

Effective January 1, all exhibitors in youth English classes will be required to compete in an American Society for Testing and Materials/Safety Equipment Institute-approved hard hat with harness. This requirement will apply to both flat (hunter under saddle and hunt seat equitation) and over-fences classes.

The hard hat requirement is an amendment to Rule SHW320.2 in the AQHA Official Handbook of Rules and Regulations. The amendment was announced December 13, 2013, after it was approved by the AQHA Executive Committee. The amendment was a recommendation from the AQHA English and Dressage Subcommittee, and it was approved by the AQHA Show Council.

'Exhibitor safety is a paramount concern at AQHA events,' said AQHA Executive Director of Shows and Judges Pete Kyle.

'This amendment solely affects the youth division, and in so many other sporting events, youth wear safety helmets, so this really is about safety first,' Kyle added.

Per Rule SHW320.2, amateur competitors are required to wear approved helmets in over-fences classes. Although helmets are not required in other AQHA classes, riders are encouraged to wear protective helmets at their discretion.

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