I’m sure that anyone who is even remotely connected to USEA has seen the new rule change proposals on the docket. Anyone who has read this blog is probably not surprised that one in particular jumps out at me:
- Helmet and Body Protector Standards: Currently the USEF Rules for Eventing does not state a standard required for helmets, however it does recommend one for body protectors. With the new ASTM/SEI Standard released for helmets, the USEA BOG has recommended parallel wording for both pieces of protective equipment. While the wording is still being finalized, the rule would require all riders to wear a helmet and body protector meeting, at a minimum, the previous ASTM/SEI standard and strongly recommend the equipment meet the newest standard. In addition, body protectors meeting the BETA standards (the European equivalent) will be accepted.
I touched on the vest issue a while back, which was met with varying reactions, because I personally feel that the “standard” Tipperary vest that so many people wear is not adequate. That model vest is not ASTM/SEI or BETA approved, and to allow an un-approved vest to be worn on cross country seems more than a little silly to me when you consider that one of the biggest challenges in this sport is safety. We are lagging behind the rest of the world in that department. Once I did my research and upgraded to a BETA 3 vest, the difference was stark, obvious, and substantial. Comparing the two vests is like apples and oranges.
It should be no surprise to anyone that I whole-heartedly agree with and support this particular rule change proposal. I’m sure plenty of people would grumble about having to buy a new vest, but the priority of the sport has to be safety. I can’t imagine that anyone would be upset about the helmet standard… or at least I would hope not.
Although on the topic of helmets, Burghley was once again a disappointment, with only 26% of competitors choosing to don a helmet for dressage. And despite participation in Mind Your Melon promotions and sponsorship by a helmet company, Laine Ashker once again chose to wear a top hat – the only American to do so. Why in the world we still allow anyone to NOT wear an approved helmet for any phase of eventing is beyond me… hasn’t the safety of this sport been publicly scrutinized enough? It’s disappointing that people still continue to chose fashion over safety, and even more disappointing that you apparently have to make rules to force people to wear helmets.
Alas, rant over. Thoughts on the rule change proposal for vests?