Good English Show Helmet for >$75? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 01-20-2014, 11:26 PM Thread Starter
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Good English Show Helmet for >$75?

I recently noticed that one of my helmet's harness straps is disintegrating. I've had it for several years and should probably be getting a new one anyways, seeing as I've had several tumbles in that thing.

So I've been shopping around, and I need help.

I would like to find a dark colored English helmet that would be appropriate for shows. I really do like the 2-toned look of helmets like the Charles Owen GR8 (actually, I like everything about the Charles Owen GR8. A lot.), but that's not a neccessity.

Most importantly, it needs to be around 75 or 80 dollars or less.

Do you have any suggestions?
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post #2 of 14 Old 01-21-2014, 04:20 PM
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I like the Tipperary Sportage 8500 Riding Helmet. I don't need to spend $$$$ for a helmet when this one fits just as well and is pocket friendly.
All helmets must meet the same standards and testing rigors to be "approved & certified"...
I like the look better than many of those really expensive ones too and for me it fit better my skull and my pocket.

Low profile, fits your skull, is light in weight, comfortable harness, great ventilation for cooling and comes in neat colors including a dark, carbon grey color that looks like flat black. Also have a really nice navy color...

I like the fact it covers your entire skull down to the base...comfortable harness with a small visor and has a reflective look on the back that is not obnoxious, just there.

Price was $69.99 at Dover and everyplace else I looked...set price.
Worth every isn't the cheapest by far but sure fit like a custom made and so light forgetting it was on was easy.

Tipperary Sportage Helmet - Sportage 8500 | Dover Saddlery
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post #3 of 14 Old 01-21-2014, 04:44 PM
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What kind of shows do you do? The Tipperarly Sportage is a great helmet but I wouldn't consider it a "show" helmet. Although I can't think of anything I consider a show helmet for less then $80. is it possible to save your money for something more expensive later down the line? Unfortunately helmets aren't something you should really buy used off ebay...
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post #4 of 14 Old 01-21-2014, 09:35 PM
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I would never buy a used helmet, or even from a private person claiming it was never used.

I use to show Hunters and wore a velvet covered helmet.
Black in color...classic lines of full coverage of the skull.
I am not a kid so although my helmet was approved it didn't have the fish-bowl look that so many still now do.

Today many of the expensive "names" that are used for show are not velvet covered I see from pictures.
You can buy those velvet helmets, but add a lot more money to the cost. Nature of the beast I guess.

I use to have and still also have good fit with IRH helmets, but when trying on since my one helmet is "old" I found the Tipperary and was pleased with the comfort to buy it, enjoy it and wear it everytime I am astride...
I am a firm believer in wearing helmets as I have firsthand experience of how much they do protect the noggin!!

I do not like Troxel helmets of any style, look or kind.
My head is I guess oval not round in shape.
I had near instant bad headaches and helmet rocking along with a uncomfortable harness fit when I tried on friends helmets when looking for what I would use as a replacement...

As for saving your money for something special...sure save.
But what is important is that "NOW" you have protection and proper fit... some helmets you can get a stretchy for that will soften and dress up the appearance if you really are searching for velvet coverings.
I am not sure the styles of today would mark you down since so many of the helmets worn in competition are no longer velvet...
I truly am beyond the point of needing to follow the crowd and do what is right for me and my horse.
Judge me on my appearance if you need to. I no longer ride for ribbons but only show to have independent observations on my riding skills... like I said I am older and not out to impress nor am I impressed by what others have.

I did try on some of those $500 dollar helmets to see what I was missing...absolutely nothing is what I found. They fit no better, or anything else, nor did they super impress me that I had to have for me... I put my money on a helmet I will wear everyday and be safer and not keep it in the box because it was so expensive... it does no good looking pretty in the box if I take a fall without it on and that would be where that $$$$ helmet would be... sitting pretty on a shelf, useless.
That is just me... and my opinion.

Remember, for you to get a helmet that is very comfortable from the very moment you put it on or you won't wear it and then...what is the point.

Good luck in your search.
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post #5 of 14 Old 01-22-2014, 01:23 AM
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I love my Tipperary sportage. Mine is a dark grey/light black colour and is matte, so it doesn't stand out too much. I do low level shows in it. If I started doing bigger shows I would probably invest in a show helmet, but I find my helmet very comfortable so I just use it all the time. It also follows all the rules for the recognized shows I do enter, so for now I'll stick with it. I also like how it covers the lower part of the back of the head too.
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post #6 of 14 Old 01-22-2014, 07:54 AM
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What type of showing do you do, and at what level? The answers to those questions will determine what has the potential to be acceptable.

The velvet is definitely no longer in. The GPAs or COs are what's in right now. But you're probably not going to get either for less than a couple hundred.
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post #7 of 14 Old 01-22-2014, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Zexious View Post
What type of showing do you do, and at what level? The answers to those questions will determine what has the potential to be acceptable.

The velvet is definitely no longer in. The GPAs or COs are what's in right now. But you're probably not going to get either for less than a couple hundred.
They meet the same standards as other certified helmets of lesser $$ amounts.
I personally see no point in spending those $$ amounts on a "fad item" that could go out of style with the next show season or sooner...

To me the fit is most important, forget the name.

Yes, I do understand show ring politics... been there, done it and want no part of it anymore.
I honestly and personally think many of the GPA's and CO are ugly to look at.
I tried them on when I was looking.
They had no better a fit, in fact didn't like some of the fits so wouldn't spend the money but could of if it was warranted for superior fit & comfort to me.
Felt like a fish bowl was perched up thank-you.

I would rather though see the poster spend what she can afford now on a new certified helmet for her safety and protection, then save $$$ to afford something expensive and a "name".

So HeelsSouth...
Right now the CO GR8 is about $299.00 and you have $80 or less to a difference of $220.00+ to find.
No one but you, the poster, can decide what is most important to you but you... the name on your head or having a helmet that you haven't possibly compromised already by having several falls in it and it possibly being smacked on the ground...
If the fit is identical...

Things to think about and consider...
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post #8 of 14 Old 01-22-2014, 04:03 PM
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^/Shrug. Just my opinion.

My first show helmet that I purchased was a velvet Troxel (before that I had a velvet cover for my schooling helmet). Honestly, I was embarrassed when I was the only one showing at that level with that helmet. I went out and purchased a CO the next day. That was three or four years ago, and they're still in fashion as far as I can tell. Not a bad investment, considering the time that has lapsed. And, for what it's worth, I love mine. They are modern and attractive--just in my opinion.

You can, of course, purchase and wear whatever you like. But OP asked for opinions, and so I gave mine. I didn't mean to step on any toes, sheesh.

EDIT--Also, I was referring more to the style of the helmet than the actual /brands/. You can purchase cheaper brands with a similar style, like the OP is obviously partial to. Just say'n.
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post #9 of 14 Old 01-23-2014, 12:55 PM
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If the OP was asking, what kind of helmet should I buy under $80? I'd say, go try some on and find the one that's most comfortable and fits your head the best. But the OP specified one that's appropriate for SHOWS. Sure, it's easy to say "what you wear shouldn't matter, you should only be judged on your performance", but at shows there is a certain level of expectation in appearance, depending on what level and discipline you show in. If you go to a job interview you "should" be judged purely on your ability to do the job, but you go dressed for success in a suit and not jeans and a tshirt, correct? Even if the jeans and tshirt are in good shape and do the job of covering your essentials it's not considered standard professional attire. IMO the same goes for shows.

Sure there are trends that go in an out. I haven't seen a velvet helmet in the hunter ring for over 10 years. The Charles Owen helmets have been in style for several years and are still #1 in the hunter ring, and they are not the most expensive ones out there, just the most popular. I'd consider the blinged out or funky colors "fads" and if you want to avoid those, stick with the more conservative black or grey models that will be in style for a while. Professional attire has its passing styles too. Last I checked plaid bellbottom suits aren't in fashion anymore either.

OP, if it comes down to helmet or no helmet, buy the best one you can in your price range. I personally think my tipperary is hideous and makes me look like a space alien but I love the comfort, fit, and extra coverage in the back so I deal with it. I know several people who have the Ovation Sync helmet and love it. They look great and supposed to be very comfortable. Then save your money again and buy something more appropriate for the show ring.

PS, the charles owen JR8 is $150 at Dover. Mary's tack just had a sale on all their CO helmets and on national helmet day almost all tack shops run specials. Their models all fit different though, the JR8 looks ridiculous on me but the AYR8 fits me perfectly.

Last edited by upnover; 01-23-2014 at 01:02 PM.
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post #10 of 14 Old 01-23-2014, 01:33 PM
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I very much agree with the above. You expanded appropriately on my points.

I think it's a matter of respect for the judge.
Of course, if she's only doing schooling shows, (I don't know, I don't think that was ever specified) then a velvet, or something similar, would be fine.

The sensitivity of the internet baffles me.
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