If you’re an eventer, this press release from the USEA is a must-read. Replace your vest every five years, and be sure it meets or surpasses the ATSM standard! Read on:
“The USEA would like to remind all eventers of the current rule regarding the use of body protectors on cross-country in USEA Recognized competitions as published in the USEF Rulebook.
USEF Rule EV114.2 states:
1. A body protecting vest must be worn warming-up for and in the cross-country test. Stable, team or club colors are permitted. The Federation recommends that the vest should pass or surpass the current ASTM standard F1937 or be certified by the Safety Equipment Institute. Inflatable vests are permitted only when worn over a body protecting vest.
2. Violation of this rule shall be penalized at the discretion of the Ground Jury, and may result in elimination.
As stated above, the USEF recommends the body protector pass or surpass the ASTM standard. However, for their own safety and protection, riders (and parents) should make sure their body protectors (or their children’s body protectors) meet this standard. Body protectors meeting the UK’s equivalent 2009 BETA Level 3 standard are also acceptable and recommended. Body protectors should be replaced every five years as technology changes and materials deteriorate over time.
There is a call for a global standard of testing for all body protecting vests and the USEA will be closely watching and participating where possible in this effort. The USEA Safety Committee has been asked to review this rule with a view to upgrading the recommendation that body protectors meeting the ASTM standard F1937 be worn to a requirement.”