United States Eventing Association (USEA) is proposing to introduce an “extraordinary” rule change to improve cross-country safety for horse and rider.
The recommendation applies to all frangible oxers, whether they use MIM clips, frangible pins or any other load-relieving devices.
It is proposed that the front rails must be able to be lowered by horizontal and vertical downwards and upwards forces, and that the back rails must “at a minimum” be activated by horizontal and vertical downwards forces.
All oxers for which frangible technology is appropriate would be built or modified to use it.
“Engineers, cross-country course designers, cross-country builders, eventing officials and professionals have been conducting extensive observational research, in person, by video and by photograph of horse and rider impact on oxers constructed with frangible devices,” the USEA proposal read.
“Those involved in this research have determined that when a horse impacts the front rail of a frangible oxer in an upwards and horizontal trajectory, there is a high probability that an oxer with a front rail either front pinned or reverse pinned will fail to activate the frangible device, or it will activate in a less than ideal fashion to reduce the possibility of a rotational fall.
“With this conclusive evidence, the USEA executive committee feels an extraordinary rule change is necessary to help further protect the safety of eventing horses and riders.”
Course-builders would have to use MIM clips on front rails and MIMs or reverse pins on back rails to comply, although the wording would also allow for any future frangible devices.
“This is a change that will most likely occur in the near future through the FEI and it is important for the US to be a leader in regulations that will ultimately protect our national competitors and horse,” the statement added.
The proposal has been submitted to the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) for consideration.
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An extraordinary rule change is defined by USEF as: (i) one that, unless expedited, would create or continue a severe hardship or a gross unfairness to the federation, its members or their horses, its licensed competitions, or its recognised affiliate associations; or (ii) one that is certified by a recognised affiliate association board or executive committee by a formal vote that without passage would disadvantage the membership of the recognised affiliate association.