A dramatic video released by the German equestrian federation shows a table fitted with MIM clips collapsing when a horse and rider hit it.
In the video below (please be patient to give the video time to load), the combination misjudge their take-off point and the horse takes a half stride towards the fence, taking off too close to the leading edge of the table. The horse hits the fence on the way up, but a potentially serious fall is prevented when the table collapses on impact and the horse and rider are able to gallop away without serious injury.
MIM clips are the brainchild of Swedish inventor Mats Bjornetun, who first became interested in eventing when he became an event organiser in 1994. He then used his professional expertise from supplying the global car industry with crash-tested equipment to develop the system.
The MIM clip allows fences to collapse under both forward and upward pressure and are designed to prevent rotational falls, which are the sort which most commonly lead to rider fatalities. The clip has an indicator which shows when it needs replacing.
MIM clips gained FEI approval in 2012 and can be used on many different kinds of fences, including tables, gates, arrowheads and post and rails. The FEI offers instruction manuals and videos for fitting them on its website.
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British Eventing's Chris Farr described the system as “one of the most important developments in risk management in the sport,
The British-designed frangible pin system, which has been in use since 2002, can only be used on post and rail-style fences and is used in both a front-facing and a rear-facing design. The front-facing pin is more effective with vertical forces, while the rear-facing pin and MIM clip are more likely to break under horizontal pressure, so cross-country course-designers have to choose the most appropriate device for different fences and situations. MIM clips have been in use in Britain since 2016.
No frangible device is guaranteed to break and save a fall, but this video shows how effective they can be in preventing serious horse and rider injuries and even fatalities.
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