New SNELL skull cap standard

SNELL have developed a new skull cap standard – E2016 – which the BHA intends to add to the list of skull cap standards permitted in the rules.

Manufacture of the E2001 standard ceased in 2018 and this standard will remain on the permitted list for the time being while stocks are held in shops. Because the maximum lifetime of a skull cap is four to five years, the BHA envisages 2023/24 as a probable date to withdraw the E2001 standard from the rules.

If a hat with an E2001 label also has PAS 011 or the other current standard, it will remain acceptable even when SNELL E2001 has gone.

New health & safety guidance for yards and studs now available online

A new online Health and Safety training resource is now available for the racing and thoroughbred breeding industry to complement the industry guide to Health and Safety, known as ‘The Red Book’.

Funded by the Racing Foundation and the BHA and developed by industry stakeholders including the TBA and the BHA, the resource takes the form of a series of instructional videos presented by racing broadcaster Lydia Hislop which are based on each section of the ‘The Red Book’.  The training is not mandatory but at the end of the videos, users will be able to take a short, multiple choice test and receive a downloadable certificate of completion.

Access to the training is free of charge and is administered by the BHA.  A link will be sent by email from iHasco, an online workplace training provider, in the name of the licensed trainer.  Anyone can complete the training and if you require any additional users, please contact Michelle Douglas on or call 020 7152 0020.

Hard copies of the Health and Safety in the Horseracing Industry Guide (The Red Book) are still available. The health and safety seminars hosted by the British Racing School and Northern Racing College will continue but there will only be one per year and subject to demand.

Increased weighing out allowance for new jockey’s safety vest

The BHA has announced that, from 1 October 2018, the minimum acceptable standard for a safety vest (body protector) for race riding for jockeys of all disciplines will be increased. As a result, all jockeys will be required to wear the new Level 2 body protectors, rather than the current Level 1 model. (This does not affect the rules for stable staff.)

This change is because the Level 2 vest offers superior protection of up to 50% to the Level 1 vest against direct blows such as kicks. The relevant rule – Schedule (D)2, Equipment PART 1 – has been updated and Rule (B)22 – Weighing out procedure has also been changed to allow an increase of 1lb in the allowance at the scales when weighing out.

Helmets recalled over potential buckle failure

Charles Owen has recalled its limited edition 4Star Cross Country helmet with chrome buckle. The Wrexham based manufacturer says the move is due to the potential for extreme corrosion of the chrome buckle, which may result in buckle failure.

“This recall impacts this model in sizes 54 (0½), 55 (1) and 56 (1½),” said a spokesman for Charles Owen. “Information regarding the helmet model can be found on the product satin, guarantee card or user instructions.”

Users are advised to cease wearing the affected helmets immediately. They are invited to contact either the shop they purchased the helmet from or Charles Owen directly in order to receive a replacement or full refund. Purchasers and retailers can contact Charles Owen on 01978 317769 or email for more information about replacement and refunds.

Link to list of skull caps meeting safety standards

Now that the BHA has finalised the list of skull cap approved safety standards, in conjunction with the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) it has produced a list of brands and models of skull caps that comply with the rules.

We have posted this on the NTF website under Information – Health and Safety here but you can also view the list by clicking on the file below.


Free nutrition and fitness advice now available for stable staff

The Racing Foundation is funding a nutritional intervention programme that could radically change the way jockeys and stable staff control weight. The programme, which officially started on 1st December, is being developed by a specialist team at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU.) It will provide bespoke advice and guidance on healthy ways of making weight and improving fitness. Results already achieved with a small cohort of jockeys are widely regarded as ground-breaking and revolutionary but the Racing Foundation grant means the free advice and support is now available to all jockeys (including Apprentices and Conditionals) as well as stable staff who are required to ride-out.

In addition to offering the facilities at LJMU to measure bone and body composition, hydration, metabolism and provide strength and fitness assessments, the team will provide workshops, tests and bespoke advice in the main racing centres across the country. Anyone interested in learning how to control their weight whilst maintaining health and performance should contact Dr George Wilson via email:

Additional helmet safety standards approved

The saga continues over the approved safety standards for skull caps from 1st January 2017. Up until a few weeks ago, the BHA approved only PAS 015 2011. Then they agreed that Snell E2001 would also be acceptable.

The situation then took another turn when, consulting with the Turf Club in Ireland, it became apparent that there was a legal obligation to include a European-wide standard, which was not the case with the two already approved. The standards suggested were UTAC/CRITT 04/2015 and VG1 01.040 2014-12.

Previous information obtained by the NTF suggested that certain helmets tested against the UTAC/CRITT standard did not achieve the same level of safety as the PAS 015 standard. Dr Jerry Hill, the BHA’s Chief Medical Adviser, is going to contact the manufacturer to ascertain their plans for testing against other previously approved standards.

You should also take into account that the VG1 01.040 2014-12 standard is likely to be withdrawn next year when the new EN1384 standard is approved in Europe.

So, to summarise, from 1st January 2017, only the following skull cap standards are approved by the BHA:

PAS 015 2011

Snell E2001

UTAC/CRITT 04/2015

VG1 01.040 2014-12