The British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) has launched a new study to encourage more riders to wear body protectors both while competing and in every day riding.

The study intends to gather information from the riding public on the current use and effectiveness of body protectors to help direct the future development of the garments and help promote their use to the wider riding public.

BETA chief executive Claire Williams says: “We need help from horse riders to collect information that will assist us in developing the body protector standards in the future.

“Some research has been done on the effectiveness of shoulder protectors but apart from anecdotal evidence, there is very little information held on the body protectors themselves.

“Gathering this information will allow us to collate an accident database, as well as making the information available to medical researchers and manufacturers to assist them in future developments.

“We would particularly like to hear from riders who have experienced an accident or fall, especially where their body protector has helped to protect them or saved them from an injury.”

The information gathered will cover the standard and age of body protectors worn, the type worn, why the individual choose that particular body protector, as well as accident details where appropriate. It will be used to produce statistics and case studies about accidents involving riders who were, and were not, wearing body protection.

“We would be delighted to hear from as many people as possible who feel they can provide useful information and statistics on all-round use of body protectors, as well as individual accident cases,” continues Williams.

“Too many people think of body protectors as something to wear only when jumping. We believe it is important to highlight the important role that the garments play whenever riders are around horses.”

To take part in this research visit the BETA website: www.beta-uk.org

  • BETA recently launched a “consumer safety course” to help give guidance to riding instructors, assistants, clubs and organisations on all aspects of safety, protection, standards and equipment fitting.

    The course covers all areas of safety from the medical aspects of what equipment can do to reduce injury, to the fitting of hats and body protectors and will be available as either full day and evening sessions. For more information contact BETA (tel: 01937 587062).