Body protector ruling changed after competitor reaction

  • The National Pony Society (NPS) has amended its ruling on body protectors in working hunter classes ahead of the 2022 show season after discussions with other member societies.

    While the society advises all competitors to wear body protectors while jumping, they will not be made mandatory.

    The NPS initially announced a 2022 rule change in its November newsletter, stating that body protectors were to become mandatory in all working hunter pony classes, following the move of the British Show Pony Society, which made body protectors compulsory during the 2020 season and beyond.

    Many adult competitors who ride in NPS classes were dismayed at the rule, resulting in online debates and petitions on the right to jump with or without the protection.

    A discussion over the ruling was conducted by the NPS with the Showing Council, Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) and the Royal International Horse Show (RIHS). 

    A spokesman for the NPS said: “The competitions committee received feedback from a number of members asking them to review the original decision to make them mandatory in 2022. As a result there was a further discussion at the HOYS rules meeting, and with RIHS and with other member bodies of the Showing Council and the wording has been changed for 2022.”

    The ruling for 2022 will be as follows:

    “The NPS strongly recommends body protectors are worn in all NPS jumping competitions especially over fixed obstacles.”

    All members have been notified in the latest newsletter and the full rulebook will be sent out in their membership packs in the new year.

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