British Eventing gives riders more time to upgrade their body protectors

  • British Eventing (BE) has announced a six-week grace period on its new body protector rule owing to supply shortages.

    Eventers now have until 8 April to update their British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) 2009 level three body protector to the new BETA 2018 standard. At BE competitions body protectors are mandatory in the cross-country phase, and over solid fences in arena eventing.

    From 1 January 2024, body protectors that had the former BETA 2009 safety certification were no longer permitted, but yesterday (26 February) BE announced a grace period.

    “Following feedback from members, and subsequent conversations with BETA, BE has been informed that there is a supply issue being seen by some in relation to the new level three blue BETA 2018 standard body protector,” said a BE spokesman.

    “With this in mind, we have agreed with our insurers that a six-week grace period can be put in place. This means that all body protectors, being worn at any BE event, will need to be of the level three blue BETA 2018 standard by no later than Monday 8 April 2024.”

    The spokesman added that BE will be carrying out spot checks at events from this date to ensure compliancy.

    Riders who are required to wear a body protector for Pony Club and British Riding Club (BRC) activities must still abide by the 1 January rule change and wear the BETA 2018 standard.

    Marcus Capel, Pony Club chief executive, told H&H the organisation is aware there is an issue with some suppliers, but this is understood to be “very short term”.

    “The new body protector ruling has been in place for a couple of months now. At our very successful Barrier Animal Health Spring Festival final at Arena UK this weekend there were no issues reported of a shortage of body protectors,” he said.

    “On balance, therefore, the Pony Club is not going to set up a grace period for the body protector rule and will maintain its position that a BETA 2018 standard body protector is needed for all cross-country and pony racing activities.”

    A BRC spokesman told H&H: “Throughout all BRC riding activities, good safety practices are of paramount importance. This includes the mandatory requirement to wear a body protector when participating in any of our cross-country competitions, or training activities, where fixed fences are in use.

    “As per the 2024 BRC handbook, and in line with current BETA standards, our rules continue to state that our participants need to wear a BETA level three body protector which displays a blue 2018 label.”

    You might also be interested in:

    Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits.

    You may like...