Body protectors to be checked at Chepstow Horse Trials

  • Body protectors worn by all competitors at Chepstow Horse Trials on Saturday (4 July) will be checked by British Eventing (BE) to ensure they comply with the organisation’s safety standards.

    The move follows inquest findings that Canadian eventer Jordan McDonald was wearing a body protector that did not conform to BE’s rules when he died at Nunney Horse Trials last June. The vest he was wearing was made by American brand, Tipperary.

    Jordan had a rotational fall at fence 7a on the cross-country course and the rider suffered “fatal chest injuries”, the inquest found.

    Body protectors worn at BE events must be British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) approved and appropriately labelled “Level 3 body protector”, with the year 2000 or 2009 shown on the label, manufactured in the year 2000 or after.

    Competitors are required to bring their body protectors to the secretary’s tent when they collect their numbers at Chepstow.

    “BE is conducting a 100% body protector check at Chepstow on Saturday 4 July as part of our ongoing review of all safety rules and procedures surrounding a riders personal protective equipment (PPE),” a BE spokesman told H&H.

    “It will enable BE to assess how well members understand the rules and what is required.”

    Earlier this year riders called for more vigilant checks from organisers and BE.

    Daisy Berkeley, the athlete representative on the FEI eventing committee, told H&H at the time: “In Britain we are required to ride in a certain standard of body protector.

    “But our body protectors are not tagged and checked consistently in the way our helmets are.

    “Although we need to be responsible for our own safety, riders are not always the best at keeping up to date on improvements in standards.

    “Clearly the tags cannot be monitored easily in the way helmet tags are, due to the addition of cross-country colours and airbags over the top, so spot checks when you pick up your numbers at the beginning of the season, and at random events during the season should improve awareness. We all want to do our best to stay safe.”

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