British Eventing (BE) is reminding riders to check they have clipped in their air jacket before going cross-country. This follows Lucinda Fredericks’ crashing fall at Tweseldown.

Lucinda suffered a rotational fall from Rovello II in the open novice on 7 March. She suffered a broken collarbone and six broken ribs. She was due to have surgery on 19 March.

“I was wearing my Point Two jacket, but became distracted and forgot to clip it on,” said Lucinda.

“If I had remembered, I would have possibly walked away with fewer injuries. It won’t be a mistake I’ll make again. I feel very lucky to be alive.”

Lee Middleton of Point Two told H&H that Lucinda’s momentary lapse of memory was all too common.

“Another rider at Tweseldown had a fall on the same day and forgot to clip it in. And I’ve seen some of the most experienced riders going round Badminton and Burghley and they’ve forgotten too.”

Mr Middleton said he would like to see the steward at the start box remind competitors to clip their jackets in. H&H put his suggestion to BE.

BE’s Chris Farr said he would ask officials to monitor the situation this season.

“We will include a reminder in the next officials’ newsletter that this incident has occurred and ask them to keep an eye on this issue,” he added.

“This incident highlights why BE insists that all competitors wear a BETA level three body protector and not just an air jacket.”

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (21 March 2013)