USEF Reverses Ban on Helmet Cameras (But Organizers Can Still Prohibit)

Maya Black and Doesn't Play Fair at Plantation Field. Photo by Jenni Autry. Maya Black and Doesn't Play Fair at Plantation Field. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Great news, EN! The USEF reversed its ban on helmets cameras today, just in time for the first event of the season this coming weekend in Ocala. But, organizers can still choose to prohibit the use of helmet cameras if they so choose. Here’s the deal, per this USEF press release:

  1. The USEF does not prohibit the use of helmet cameras.
  2. A competition organizer may prohibit use of a helmet camera and the competitor must comply with such prohibition.
  3. The decision to wear a camera while competing is voluntary and at the rider’s own risk.

This policy is effective as of today for all USEF competitions. The USEF also recommends that all riders “consult with the helmet manufacturer before mounting a camera on a helmet.” The organization will continue to “monitor information and research on helmet cameras as it becomes available.”

The USEF initially banned helmet cams Oct. 29, following British Eventing’s decision to suspend their use on Oct. 17. The rationale behind the ban was explained as a concern for safety — spurred on after a French journalist claimed a helmet cam caused Michael Shumacher’s brain injury, later retracting his statement.

British Eventing commissioned a report from Transport Research Laboratory to investigate potential safety risks. However, Malcolm Hook, USEA National Safety Officer, reported at the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention in Fort Worth, Texas, that the study is currently on hold due to lack of funding.

As a result, Shealagh Costello, USEF Director of Eventing National Programs, said the USEF intended to make a decision on helmet cams prior to the start of the 2015 eventing season. Thank you to the USEF for reversing the ban, and may 2015 bring us lots of awesome helmet cam videos to post on EN!

Go Eventing.

[USEF Announces Protocol Regarding Helmet Cameras]