British Eventing (BE) is updating its body protector rules from 2018.

The organisation has revealed that from 1 January 2018, body protectors carrying the BETA 2000 level three label will not be allowed at its affiliated competitions.

Only BETA 2009 level three body protectors, or any later revisions to the standard, will be allowed.

The decision follows a similar move by the Pony Club, whose updated rules on body protectors came into force this year.

“No garments with the BETA 2000 standard have been produced since 2011, making any body protector with this label a minimum of five years old,” said a statement from BE.

“Following discussions with the BE risk management committee and advice from BETA (British Equestrian Trade Association), body protectors with this 2000 label will not be allowed for use at BE competitions from 1st January 2018.”

BETA’s executive director Claire Williams praised BE for giving riders “plenty of notice”.

“BETA 2000 has served us well since its introduction in 2000, however now there are garments potentially being used that are up to 16 years old, so well past their “use-by” date,” she said.

“General wear and tear over long periods as well as falls can have a detrimental effect on the ability of a garment to offer the protection needed so the change to the BE rules is welcomed.”

Safety updates

New hat standard rules were brought by BE, the Pony Club, Riding Clubs, British Horse Society and British Showjumping at the beginning of this year.

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This followed the withdrawal of the European Equestrian Riding Helmet standard (BS) EN 1384 from European legislation last year.

British Dressage has also removed (BS) EN 1384 from the list of acceptable protective standards in its 2017 rule book, which will come into effect from 1 January 2017.