- On September 1, 1984, a new American Horse Shows
Association (AHSA) rule took effect making approved protective headgear
mandatory for any junior hunt-seat riders at recognized shows. The
original effective date for the rule was May 1, but the rule change caused a
run on the limited stock of approved helmets, so the AHSA moved the effective
date back to allow more time for riders to get properly geared up.
- The Summer Olympics took place in Los Angeles this year. Several countries
followed a Soviet-led boycott, echoing the U.S.-led boycott of the previous
Summer Olympics which were held in Moscow.
However, the boycotting countries in 1984 were not major players in equestrian
sport. The U.S.
equestrians had many successes on home turf, including gold in team eventing,
team show jumping and individual show jumping and silver in individual eventing
and individual show jumping. The legendary Reiner Klimke earned individual
dressage gold and led the team from West Germany to team gold.
1984 equestrian helmet styles. Click for larger image
From the Pages of Horse Illustrated
With some organizations, including the United States Pony Club, the United States Combined Training Association (now United States Eventing Association) and finally the AHSA requiring some riders to wear helmets, new customers were entering the market for safety gear. Manufacturers answered the demand with improved styles, including a western hat fitted with a protective helmet. One could also surmise that riders in the 1980s were very concerned with scraping their chins in the case of a fall, thus the universality of chin straps that covered the chin rather than going underneath.