The BETA 1995 body protector standard ceases to be valid for the manufacture of new garments from 1 September 2001. However, many saddlery shops will continue to sell – and riders may safely continue to wear – body protectors to this standard.

The 1995 standard was superseded last March by the BETA 2000 standard, which is harmonised with the European equivalent, EN 13158. Old standard body protectors could be manufactured until August 31, 2001 while the 2000 standard was tested and put into production.

Although garments can no longer be manufactured to the 1995 standard after 1 September 2001, body protectors produced prior to the cut-off date can continue to be sold while stocks last.

The 1995 standard will also continue to be accepted by those riding organisations which impose compulsory use of BETA-approved body protectors.

However, BETA’s chief executive Claire Williams advises riders to be cautious about wearing garments manufactured to the previous standards – ie. in 1994 and earlier.

“These garments, bearing either a Level 5 (blue) or Level 7 (orange) label, are still in use. Being at least six years old, they are likely to be well past their”use-by” date.

“Riders should also appreciate the danger of riding in what is not only an obsolete standard, but also a potentially less than effective garment.”

The past 12-months have seen the majority of body protector manufacturers adopt the new (2000) standard while continuing to manufacturer to the previous standard (1995) mainly for export markets.