The future of the rocking horse is no longer under threat, after the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) admitted that its ruling that rocking horses must be below 600mm (less than 2ft) was a mistake.
Last week, the British Toymakers’ Guild announced that advice had gone out from the Department of Trade and Industry to local trading standards authorities not to act on the new standards – due to become effective from 1 January.
The height restriction ruling was made to apply to rocking toys, such as those on springs commonly seen in children’s playgrounds, and never intended for the British rocking horse.
“Rocking horses are a very singularly British product,” says Robert Nathan, manager of the Toymakers’ Guild, who explains that the meanings became confused in the translation process when the standards were agreed.
“I could name 60 makers in this country but only three in mainland Europe. Had we not picked up on it when we did, rocking horses more than 2ft high would have been banned forever.”
The CEN still needs to vote formally on the exclusion of rocking horses from the height restriction, but the body has been “expressly recommended” that they be removed.