Riders urged to report injuries to help improve sport’s safety

  • Anyone who has been injured during their involvement with horses is asked to report details to the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) as part of efforts to improve safety.

    BETA has launched a new rider accident and equipment reporting form to collect information, which it is hoped will inform design of safety equipment.

    “A better understanding of what happens to our hats and body protectors during an accident is key to being able to design better and safer equipment, as well as feeding into the safety standards that determine how these garments perform,” said BETA chief executive Claire Williams. “The data collected through this questionnaire will provide invaluable insights contributing to this understanding, and help us, along with our trade members, continue to be innovative in the space to help keep riders across all sports safer.”

    The reporting form is available online or via a QR code that can be scanned on phones, “helping to make it more accessible to busy riders”.

    It asks people to provide details of any accident that they were involved in, and, if possible, supply images or video of the helmet and/or body protector worn at the time.

    “There’s a real paucity of true [injury] data when it comes to the equestrian industry,” said BETA chief medical officer Diane Fisher.

    “It’s so important to get this data as we can feed it back to the industry, to the manufacturers so they can use it to help further improve what they do, as a basis for our safety equipment.

    “It also allows us to research injuries in real time. If we are picking up certain injuries and trends, it allows us as BETA to step in and campaign at the time, which makes more sense than working on the back foot.

    “We all accept that riding has real dangers attached, but using the protection available correctly can mitigate and minimise these risks. As equestrians we all have a responsibility to keep ourselves fit, healthy and injury free, not only in our own best interests but also in the interests of these very special animals we are lucky enough to spend time with.”

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