‘The time has come’: Badminton backs calls for mandatory frangibles

  • Badminton Horse Trials is backing calls for compulsory use of frangible fences.

    Last week (18 October), the United States Eventing Association’s (USEA) issued a statement urging the FEI to make the use of frangible technology compulsory at international events.

    The organisation’s cross-country safety sub-committee “strongly recommended” the FEI rules that all open rail fences, gates, oxers and oxer corners must be built using reverse frangible technology.

    “The time has come to take a stronger stance on the usage of frangible technology,” a USEA spokesman said.”We as the leaders of the sport have the moral obligation to say that the time for use of all currently available safety technology is now.”

    Badminton Horse Trials this week (25 October) backed the call.

    “At Badminton we have always been very supportive of the development of frangible technology,” it said. “We have used this technology to reduce the risks to horses and riders, while acknowledging that acceptable risk is an integral part of eventing and it will never be possible, or indeed desirable, to make the sport completely ‘safe’.

    “The time has come for the FEI to make the use of suitable frangible technology compulsory in respect of those types of fences that are susceptible to its introduction, rather than simply recommended.”

    A spokesman for the FEI reiterated its statement given to H&H on 19 October.

    “The global use of frangible technology is one of our goals in risk management, and the FEI is working with national federations around the world on the implementation of this technology,” she said. “Eventing takes place at international level in around 40 countries with many more hosting national level events and not all of these countries have the immediate resources and knowledge to support the correct implementation of frangible technology.

    “It is the FEI’s role to provide the necessary educational and logistical support to national federations to enable them to source approved devices, ensure their correct use and ultimately decide when the time is right to make their use compulsory so that frangible technology is used effectively worldwide.

    “It is important to note that frangible devices are one element in a wide spectrum of risk management initiatives and, while they are clearly an important component, they will not in themselves eliminate all risk from the sport.”

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