Skip to content

Helmets Required???




Across the country there are different rules, regulations, and thoughts for academy riders wearing helmets. In most places it is a matter of personal preference, while others areas have led the way with regulations to keep our beginning riders safe.

With many young riders at Carousel competing in 10 and under and eight and under academy classes, it was quite surprising to see several of them without helmets. Fortunately things went relatively smoothly but it could easily have been disastrous.

The outdoor ring used was enormous and even at a full sprint, anyone trying to get to a horse and rider at the opposite end would have had quite a long trip. In addition, horses entered and left the ring through the same gate, which meant that riders were waiting to go in as horses were coming out which was at times confusing.

Carousel Horse Show was the first time this season that some horse and rider teams competed. Coupled with the fact that many teams were new, an outdoor ring can sometimes make even the best and most broke horse feel “their oats.” The instructors who put academy riders in the ring did a great job of keeping children and horses safe, however.

Should it be mandatory that helmets be worn in the academy division across the country? It is an issue that has supporters on both sides, and in some parts of the country helmets are mandatory. In North and South Carolina for example, all academy riders aged 10 and under are required to wear helmets at all American Saddlebred Association of the Carolinas-sanctioned horse shows, according to ASAC officer Betsy Boone.

The absence or wearing of helmets, which are not required in Arizona, represented a personal choice by parents or trainers or both. The wearing of helmets or lack thereof, had nothing to do with the Carousel Horse Show but it did bring to the attention of many that the issue does exist, as they watched young riders walk, trot and even canter around the big ring.

Whether the rule changes or not, and whether they wore a helmet or not, lots of young riders enjoyed the Arizona sunshine and the enthusiastic crowd cheering them on and represented a bright future for the industry for many years to come.

More Stories

  • Save the Date for Runway and Rescue

    Save the date for Runway and Rescue on Friday, February 15 at 7:00 pm at Churchill Down’s Starting Gate Suite. Carson Kressley will Emcee the evening’s festivities which include a fashion show, cocktails, heavy hors d’oeuvres and entertainment... Read More
  • Latest Issue 12 10 18

    Read More
  • Obituary - Gregory Ramos Maldonado

    Gregory Ramos Maldonado passed away Sunday, December 2 at his home in Springfield, Kentucky. He was 63. Read More
  • Obituary – Steve Hanks

    A noted horseman and dear friend to many, Steve Hanks passed away at his residence on Monday, December 3 at the age of 66. Born July 24, 1952 in Statesville, North Carolina, he was the son of Harold Hanks and the late Frances Foster Hanks. Read More
  • Schedule Set for 34th Annual Wisconsin Limited Breeders Stallion Auction

    The 34th Annual Wisconsin Limited Breeders Stallion Service Auction will be held Sunday, January 13, 2019 at the Thunder Bay Restaurant in Milwaukee, WI. Read More
  • 2018 American Saddlebred People's Choice

    You don’t have to be a member of anything to vote for your favorite horses, exhibitors, trainers and shows in Saddle Horse Report People’s Choice conducted by The Saddle Horse Report and Horse World. It's wide open...just your opinion of who were the 'Best of the Best' during the great 2018 season. Read More
  • 2018 Morgan Horse People's Choice

    You don’t have to be a member of anything to vote for your favorite horses, exhibitors, trainers and shows in Saddle Horse Report People’s Choice conducted by The Saddle Horse Report and Horse World. It's wide open...just your opinion of who were the 'Best of the Best' during the great 2018 season. Read More
  • Save the Date for LBS Grand Weekend

    The AHHS Limited Breeders Sweepstakes Grand Weekend will be held in Fishers, Indiana starting Friday evening, March 8, 2019. On Saturday, March 9, there will be two sessions of speakers and the annual general membership meeting, followed by the Limited Breeders Sweepstakes dinner and stallion auction. Read More
  • American Saddlebred Museum Art Auction

    The American Saddlebred Museum is pleased to announce the highly anticipated Equine Art, Antique and Rare Book Auction will take place on Saturday, June 8, 2019 at the American Saddlebred Museum at the Kentucky Horse Park.   Read More
  • Attend the 2019 UPHA Conference in Beautiful Palm Springs, CA

    Please plan to attend The 2019 UPHA Conference where the United Professional Horsemen's Association, will unite with the American Hackney Horse Society, American Road Horse and Pony Association, American Saddlebred Horse Association, American Saddlebred Museum, and the American Saddlebred Registry, Inc,... Read More