Friday Fashion Forecast: GPA Jock Up Three Helmet

While many eventers are fresh off the excitement of their first Horse Trial of 2019, others are stuck in arenas or on snowy trails, dreaming of spring and the start of cross country. What better way to jumpstart the season (or cure the winter blues) than with a new helmet by GPA?

Amy Nelson & Hummingbird’s River with GPA Jock Up Three (with a helmet cover)

GPA helmets are made in France and known throughout the world, with top riders in a variety of sports choosing them for protection while on course. Thanks to Frantisi, North Americans can now join the trend!

Introducing the GPA Jock Up Three. An ultra low-profile helmet specifically designed for eventing, racing, and combined driving. I’ve used other helmets on cross country in past, and what struck me immediately about the Jock Up Three is how lightweight and sleek this helmet is. As a very petite rider, I always feel a bit like a bobblehead doll marching off to cross country. Not with this GPA helmet! It uses technology to make it extremely safe without extra bulk.

According to the GPA website: “Front reinforcement in Textium (aluminum coated fiber glass)…” “Outer shell is a polymer resin with a protective grain textured black paint finish to ensure easy maintenance of the helmet. Inner shell provides shock absorption.” “Helmets sizes are scaled to minimize outer shell volume.” So basically it’s a strong helmet without extra bulk, and the smooth helmet makes it easy to wipe off on the muddiest of cross country days.

The GPA line of eventing style helmets look extremely slick — you could wear them without a helmet cover! But they also carry a cover expertly for you to be all matchy-matchy.

What about comfort? The GPA Jock Up Three has loads of ventilation, which is an obvious necessity mid-summer where temps tip the scale from “mildly uncomfortable” to “sweat-pouring-down-my-face-is-that-a-green-14-or-black-12-on-cross-country.” This helmet is so well ventilated that you will no longer have the excuse of overheating when explaining to your trainer how you managed to jump the wrong question (allegedly).

The GPA website explains that the helmet contains “a wide ventilation opening in the upper section, allowing maximum ventilation. Rear vents aid in the ventilation process and reduce the temperature inside the helmet.” And also, “Additional anti sweat lining and padding is added for optimal comfort.” Even though I was testing the GPA Jock Up Three in the winter, I can attest to this. In our arena, while practicing cross country questions with my Prelim horse Hummingbird’s River, I sweat. Even when it’s 20 degrees F I rarely wear a jacket when I ride. So at 35 degrees F, I can already see the benefits of airflow to my brain.

GPA Jock Up Three — Amy Nelson & Hummingbird’s River soar over brush at 4’9″.

GPA has a few designs as well including the Jock Up One, One 4s, the Jock Up Three 4s, Global Concept Jock Up, and Jock Up Arc. You can see all of these designs in their Racing Collection. I would recommend trying on a GPA helmet at your local tack shop for sizing before you order to ensure a perfect fit, as fit is paramount for proper safety and aesthetic. The nice thing is your local shop does not have to carry the exact helmet style for the fit to be correct — I went to the Tack Trunk in St Louis, MO, to try on a GPA helmet while at a hunter/jumper show at the National Equestrian Center, and fitted a helmet from their Classic Collection. The sizing appears to be uniform across their lines.

GPA Jock Up Three — Amy Nelson & Hummingbird’s Mendacium.

The Jock Up Three absolutely stays in place, and you won’t have to worry about it slipping on cross country. My OTTB is quite scopey and enthusiastic, so one of the jumps during my helmet test I was left behind. I had no one to blame but myself, but I was impressed that the GPA helmet didn’t budge. I could recover quickly and made my turn to the next jump without wasting valuable seconds fixing my helmet. At no point do you want your helmet to obscure your view while on course!

GPA Jock Up Three — Amy Nelson is left behind on Hummingbird’s River but the helmet stayed in place!

I tried out the Jock Up Three with, and without a cover. I am so used to having a helmet cover that I prefer wearing it with one on. But the design looks great on its own as well. I can’t wait to properly get out on course this March at the Buck Davidson Jr. Clinic in Kansas City to try it out! I will have to order a more professional looking helmet cover soon though, as the only non-branded cover I own is neon pink with a blingy skull & crossbones on the front and I would rather Mr. Davidson remember me for my riding rather than my flashy attire. Who makes your favorite matchy matchy helmet cover?? This helmet is so comfortable, and sleek … I would highly recommend GPA helmets!

Take a look at the video of this helmet, and my “cross country” riding in the snow on my warmblood mare Hummingbird’s Mendacium:

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Final Review – Out of 4 Stars

Cost: $$$-$$$$
Excitement: *** 3 Stars
Durability: **** 4 Stars
Variety: *** 3 Stars

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