British Eventing tests alternative frangible device for cross-country fences *H&H VIP*

  • British Eventing (BE) course-designers might have another tool in their safety armoury from next season with news that the MIM clip — a type of frangible device — underwent testing at Badminton on
    4 November.

    The deformable technology, the brainchild of Swedish inventor Mats Bjornetun, has already been widely used internationally, but despite being tested and gaining FEI approval in 2012 it has taken until now for BE to follow suit.

    Mr Bjornetun, told H&H he was “delighted” that BE had embraced his invention and looked forward to “working closely” with the governing body in the future.

    It paves the way for the technology to be used on all sorts of different fences,” he said.

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    While the frangible pin, which has been used on British courses since 2002, is only effective on post and rail obstacles, the MIM clip allows other jumps, such tables, gates and arrowheads, to collapse when hit with the sort of force that might otherwise cause a rotational fall — the type which most commonly causes a rider fatality.

    The clip’s design also means that a fence can be rebuilt in a matter of seconds, reducing the need for lengthy hold-ups.

    BE’s safety officer Jonathan Clissold told H&H: “Tests were carried out on three types of fences fitted with MIM clips using the BE test pendulum and a full report will be submitted to the risk management committee, which will then make a recommendation about their use on BE courses.”

    Burghley and Luhmühlen course-designer Mark Phillips is an advocator of MIM technology. He used a safety clip on the back of a triple brush fence at the German CCI4* earlier this year.

    “It’s about being able to use the right [frangible] device in the right place,” he said at the time.