Point Two has clarified the servicing situation over its older-style screw-in canister air jackets after customers expressed confusion on social media.
Some people were worried they would no longer be able to get the right type of canisters to fit their jackets.
There was also concern from some that their jackets would no longer be able to be serviced or would require an expensive upgrade.
Point Two has now set the record straight.
A statement from chief executive Lee Middleton said the company will “always continue to supply screw-in canisters”.
It will also continue to service all its jackets this year, but from 2018 it will no longer service the older-style screw-in canister jackets.
However, it is offering discount options to riders to upgrade their old jackets instead of having a service.
These older-style jackets with a screw-in canister previously sold by Point Two were manufactured by a French company called Helite — which also sells jackets under its own name.
Charlie Morris, of Treehouse Sporting Colours, the UK supplier of Helite jackets, confirmed to H&H that the company will still offer servicing of older style Point Two jackets.
He said Treehouse sends a box of air jackets for servicing to Helite on a weekly basis.
Point Two is working to help create a recognised safety standard to which all airbags would be tested.
It has been working with SATRA — a notified body for various European directives including personal protection equipment that is recognised by the British Equestrian Trade Association.
“Point Two launched the new ProAir2 bayonet airbag system in October 2012 – this system is tested to the SATRA M38: July 2012 – requirements for air-vests for use in horse riding, intended to give protection in the event of a fall to ground,” added Mr Middleton’s statement.
“SATRA along with the Injured Jockeys Fund, Dr Michael Turner [former British Horseracing Authority chief medical officer and leading committee member of the International Concussion & Head Injury Research Foundation] and Point Two, carried out extensive research to develop the M38 & M39 (jockey vest) standard which we believe all air vests should be tested to so that you, the customer are purchasing a safe and reliable product.
“If you choose to have your old air vest serviced by another brand, please ensure they are replacing your airbag.”
Mr Middleton also stressed the importance of riders ensuring their air jackets are serviced “annually, after every six inflations or a particularly heavy fall”.
“Even if your air vest hasn’t inflated since purchase, years of UVA, salt, sand etc, can degrade the internal airbag system,” he said. “Even if it does seem to be inflating correctly that does not necessarily mean that it will withstand a heavy fall, which is why when we service our air jackets we replace the airbag every time we service your vest.”
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