NEWS > Safety
Posted by National Admin on 24/04/2019.
Stephen Mowbray


Rider safety is of paramount importance to EA.

Correctly fitted helmets and body protectors may prevent, or reduce the severity of, injury if a rider suffers a fall.

EA has recently reviewed its current Eventing Rules in relation to Personal Protective Equipment and has resolved to make some new changes to promote rider safety.


The EA Eventing Rules require that helmets must be used in all phases of competition and must comply with the standards laid out in Annex N (2019 EA National Eventing Rules) 

2020 Update: Please note that the 2020 EA Eventing Rules are now on the website HERE which show the minimum compliance standards required in Annex N. 

Effective 1 July 2019, EA is introducing a helmet tagging system whereby riders will have their helmet inspected for compliance with minimum standards required by Annex N and, if compliant, tagged with an EA tag. This system has been successfully implemented by Equestrian Sports New Zealand & British Eventing and is a proactive measure taken by EA to ensure that helmets worn by riders comply with the relevant approved safety standards.

The EA tag does not verify that the helmet is safe or in working order. It only verifies that the helmet complies with the specific standards as mandated by the EA Eventing Rules. Riders are strongly encouraged to check their helmet regularly (even if it is tagged). Riders must immediately replace their helmets if they have been damaged or impacted in a fall.

To make the tagging process as easy as possible for members, State Eventing Committees will ensure designated tagging officials are available at as many events as practical and at other key gatherings.

We will keep you well informed of how, when and where to get your helmet verified and tagged.

In the event that a rider is unable to obtain their EA tag prior to competing in an event, EA is giving riders a grace period from 1 July 2019 to 1 January 2020. During this period, riders wearing a helmet that complies with the minimum standards in Annex N without an EA tag will still be allowed to compete. Riders without an EA tag will be issued with an official advice to have the helmet tagged before riding at the next competition.

The EA tag will be visually obvious and so it will be clear to event officials if a rider does not have a verified helmet.

After 1 January 2020, only riders with EA tagged helmets will be able to compete in events.

This rule change will be set out in Rule 538.1.1A of the 2019 EA Eventing Rules.


The current EA Eventing Rules require the use of a body protector in the cross-country phase of Eventing

Effective 1 July 2019, the rules will be changed to read “Body protectors are compulsory for Cross-Country. A body protector manufactured after 2009 to the EN13158:2009 standard is mandatory”.

Previously, the EN13158:2009 standard was ‘recommended’ but not ‘mandatory’.

Please check your body protector as soon as possible to ensure it is marked as compliant with the EN13158:2009 standard. You will not be able to compete without a body protector that meets this standard.

This rule change will be set out in Rule 538.3.1 of the 2019 EA Eventing Rules.

538.1.1 Cross-Country Body Protector

Body protectors are compulsory for Cross-Country. A body protector manufactured after 2009 and labelled as complying to one of the following standards is mandatory

EN13158:2009  level 3

BETA 2009 Level 3

EN13158:2018 level 3

BETA 2018 Level 3


We will keep you informed of all aspects of the helmet tagging procedure roll out.

There is no need to purchase a new helmet provided your existing helmet complies with the rules.

Please check your body protector now to ensure it complies with the current recommended (and soon to be mandated standard).

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