SAFETY ALERT FOR EQUESTRIAN HELMETS

McLean, VA . . . February 25, 2000 . . . . . The Safety Equipment Institute (SEI) is issuing a safety alert to warn retailers and consumers of advertisements making false claims of equestrian helmets being certified by SEI. SEI maintains a web site, http://www.SEInet.org, where claims of SEI certification may be verified.

SEI's web site reflects all current certified equestrian helmets. Any false claims should immediately be provided to SEI, so that vigorous enforcement and corrective action can take place.

SEI certifies equestrian helmets using American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) performance criteria, ASTM F1163 - 99 Standard Specification for Headgear Used in Horse Sports and Horseback Riding. SEI’s program is a rigorous one which includes annual compliance testing of all SEI-certified helmets, and stringent annual quality assurance audits at the manufacturer’s plant to ensure SEI quality requirements are maintained.

SEI’s certification program for equestrian helmets has provided an important contribution to the safety of persons participating in horse sports and horseback riding.

All helmets are not alike, and the public must be protected from companies making false claims of compliance to a standard or claims that a helmet is SEI-certified, when it is not. When the SEI label appears on equestrian helmets you should have the assurance that the helmet not only conforms to the ASTM F 1163 standard, but that the manufacturer consistently turns out quality products. Such manufacturers have voluntarily made a commitment to quality, to ensure that only safe products make it to the marketplace.

"As a non-profit, public service organization, SEI is committed to making sure those who participate in horse sports and horseback riding have confidence in the safety products they rely on for protection from unforeseen hazards", stated Patricia A. Gleason, SEI President. SEI’s sole purpose for existence is to assure that products have been manufactured to specifications and should perform at expected levels.

As an added assurance to the equestrian community, SEI is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to the ANSI Standard, Z34.1 - 1993, Third-Party Certification Programs for Products, Processes and Services. The prestigious ANSI accreditation affirms that SEI’s certification program complies with ten international guides pertaining to testing, inspection and certification. SEI is the only certification program in the field of safety and protective equipment to achieve this status.

Many organizations such as the U.S. Pony Clubs (USPC) and American Association for Horsemanship Safety (AAHS) as well as riding instructor certification programs and horse sports federations require riders to only use SEI-certified equestrian helmets. The State of New York has instituted two laws which require horseback riders to wear an ASTM F1163 helmet certified by the Safety Equipment Institute, with several other states and localities currently working on similar legislation.

For more Information about SEI’s certification program and the most current version of the SEI Certified Product List, can be accessed on SEI’s web site, http://www.SEInet.org, by anyone, anywhere in the world at any time of the day. The bulk of the SEI home page includes the SEI Certified Product List which provides certified product model names and numbers, manufacturer’s names, addresses, and contact numbers.

A printed copy of the SEI Certified Product List may also be obtained free of charge by writing to SEI, 1307 Dolley Madison Blvd., McLean, VA 22101. Requests may also be sent by fax: 703/442-5756 or by E-Mail at: info@SEInet.org.

SEI - Your Symbol of Quality in Safety Equipment

Look for the SEI Label

Certified Model ASTM F 1163 - 99