Blah, Blah, Blah: The FEI made up some new rules

In summary: The FEI has banned some more drugs you’ve never heard of, and FEI competitors must now wear helmets all the time except for the times when they don’t have to wear helmets.

I tried to read the new FEI Equine Prohibited Substance List for 2013, released yesterday, but there were too many big words. Abbie, on the other hand, did a good job condensing it all into a single paragraph for EN, so I’ll just let her take it from here:

The FEI has released its updated prohibited substances list that will take effect on January 1, 2013. According to the USEA, the five following substances were added to the list this year: Cyclosporin, a systemic immunosuppressant; Tropicamide, which affects the central nervous system and has a potential for abuse; Pitcher Plant preparation (Sarapin), which is reputed to have analgesic properties, a potential to affect performance and its use is considered to be a welfare concern; Delmadinone acetate and Chlormadinone acetate, synthetic steroidal progestins that decrease testosterone concentration and have the potential to affect performance. Two previously banned substances, Fentanyl and Morphine, have been moved to the controlled medication list, and Deslorelin, which was on the Controlled Medication list, has been removed completely. Click the link for a full summary, courtesy of the USEA. [USEA]

Like I said, blah, blah, blah.


There’s a new mandatory helmet rule, which will also take effect on January 1. Basically, you have to wear a helmet all the time when mounted on showgrounds excepting when you’re competing, or warming-up to compete, or on your way to warm-up, or riding back to the stable, or if you’re in an awards ceremony, or if you’re a reiner or a vaulter, etc. etc. Here, why don’t you sort through it yourself:

From 1 January 2013 at FEI Events, all riders will be required to wear Protective Headgear while mounted on a horse on the showgrounds,


1.  The discipline rules will apply in the competition arena/field of play. So, for example, while Eventing riders are always required to wear a helmet during the Cross Country, Dressage riders can still wear a top hat/bowler while competing and vaulters do not have to wear a helmet while they are in the arena actually vaulting the horse. This also means that the exception in the Jumping Rules for ceremonial protocol still applies to the Jumping riders, but this will be discussed further during the rules revision for the discipline next year.

2.  The exception above extends to riding from the stables to the warm-up area or competition arena just prior to competing (and from the warm-up directly to the competition arena). This is primarily for the Dressage riders and Reiners so they do not have to stop to change their headgear after warming up just prior to entering the arena. However, if they are riding to a training area when they are not about to compete or on a non-competition day, a helmet will be required.”

GENERAL RULE: General Regulations Art. 140

The rule: starting 1 January 2013, wearing properly fastened Protective Headgear will be mandatory for all disciplines while riding on the show grounds. (“Protective Headgear” is defined in the GRs as “appropriate helmet or Headgear that is in compliance with the applicable international testing standards”.)

In the Competition arena and adjacent warm-up areas,
– a Yellow card for athletes refusing to comply with a request made by an Official that they wear protective headgear
– some disciplines apply additional sanctions.”

Discipline specific rules:



Athletes 18 years and older, riding Horses seven (7) years and older may wear a top hat/bowler instead of protective headgear at the actual Competition and the warming-up directly prior to the Competition (with no break before the Competition), which includes riding between the stable and the warm-up area, riding of the competing Horse in the warm-up area, and riding back to the stable.
Prohibition from further riding until the protective headgear is properly in place.

Senior Athletes may be allowed to remove their headgear for ceremonial protocol.
Fine; Ground Jury may deny permission to take part in the competition.


Protective headgear is mandatory at all times.
Prohibition from further riding until headgear is properly in place.

–      a hard hat is compulsory for anyone riding a Horse at the Event.
–      Wearing properly fastened protective headgear complying with the European  (EN), British (PAS), North American (ASTM), Australian/New Zealand tested standards is compulsory for anyone jumping an obstacle. Protective headgear is compulsory at the Jumping and Cross Country tests
–      At the Dressage test, hard hat or top hat are compulsory
Elimination, at the discretion of the Ground Jury

Protective headgear is mandatory at all times.

–      For Adults, protective headgear is mandatory for Competitors and Grooms  in Section E competitions.
–      For Children, protective headgear is mandatory at all times

–      Athletes may wear either a western hat or a safety helmet whilst competing.

No requirement.

Clear as mud?

Top photo by Eric Swinebroad

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