This notice informs industry stakeholders of developments concerning the helmets worn in Australian thoroughbred racing.
In 2007 Racing NSW engaged the University of New South Wales (UNSW) to collaborate with it and to undertake research and development in respect of a high performance equestrian helmet study (“the helmet study”). The helmet study is a sub-project of the RIRDC safety study.
The helmet study has attempted to construct a helmet that will meet a higher safety specification for thoroughbred racing activity.
The Australian Racing Board wishes to ensure that helmets which meet certain higher performance safety requirements become used within Australian racing so as to enhance the safety of the industry’s participants.
The Australian Racing Board makes the Australian Rules of Racing. Pursuant to AR.87A every licensed or registered person or permit holder must, when mounted on a horse, wear a properly-affixed helmet which conforms to one of the standards that have been approved by the Australian Racing Board.
The purposes of AR.87A are to make the wearing of helmets by riders compulsory; and to ensure that the helmets which are worn are helmets which offer the maximum protection to riders.
Upon being satisfied that a manufacturer is able to manufacture helmets which comply with one of the nominated equestrian helmet standards required by AR.87A and the additional ARB 2012 higher performance safety requirements - together known as ARB HS 2012 (short for ARB Helmet Safety Standard 2012) , and are suitable for use in Australian racing, the Australian Racing Board intends to exercise its power under AR.87A so as to make it compulsory for jockeys riding in races to wear helmets which comply with ARB HS 2012.
This requirement would come into effect no later than 6 months from the date of the Australian Racing Board’s exercise of this power.
The Australian Racing Board will also exercise its power under AR.87A to make it compulsory for track work riders and others riding horses in the racing industry to wear helmets which comply with ARB HS 2012, no later than 12 months from the date of the exercise of this power. The Australian Racing Board is not fettered in its future exercise of power under AR.87A.