The main purpose of a Rider Safety Vest is to reduce the shock of impact to your body if you suffer an ‘unplanned dismount’ and to protect against penetrating injuries, such as from being kicked by a horse. Although Rider Safety Vests are mandatory for jockeys and eventers, they can be used by all classes of riders, as unfortunately the reality is that any rider can suffer a bad fall from time to time!
As of January 1st 2020 new regulations regarding safety vests for the cross country phase of eventing have been implemented. The regulations require that the vest be manufactured after 2009 and that they are complying to one of the below standards listed;
EN13158:2009 level 3
BETA 2009 Level 3
EN13158:2018 level 3
BETA 2018 Level 3
All riders competing at Pony Club and Equestrian Australia affiliated events will be required to wear a Rider Safety Vest that complies with the above standards.
If you currently have a Rider Safety Vest, be sure to check your vests safety standard as soon as possible, as you will not be allowed to compete if it does not meet standard.
Some examples of safety vests which are compliant with the new rules for eventing include the following:
Vipa Body Protector level 3- EN13158:2009 level 3 $399
- Sizes XS to XXL
- Air holes for ventilation for rider comfort
- Made with air mesh allowing for product strength and breathability
- Shock absorbing foam rubber
RACESAFE PROVENT 3.0 BODY PROTECTOR- BETA 2009 Level 3 $399.99
- Extended & improved size range (child and adult sizes)
- Heat generated is released via the perforated protection & breathable net outer.
- Racesafe’s lightest ever level 3 protection
- Flexible self- adjustment allows for improved movement and comfort
Champion Titanium Ti22 Body Protector – EN 13158: 2018, BETA level 3 2018 approved
- Infant, child and adult sizing available
- Heavy duty YKK zips
- Military grade outer mesh
- Ultra lightweight foam and cool feel titanium coloured inner lining
- Back length options from short to long back
Inflatable air vests have gained attraction since Olympic eventers have been sporting them. The vests are designed to inflate within 0.1 seconds, offering great cushioning from bad falls. However, under EA competition rules, an approved body protector MUST be worn in conjunction with the vest.
Point Two ProAir Jacket (must be worn in conjunction with an EA approved body protector)
- Lightweight, safe, durable
- Inflates within 0.1 second
- Upon falling, jacket distributes pressure, absorbs shock and supports spinal column when inflated
- Supports collar of neck and trunk
If you are unsure if your vest meets the current standards, be sure to contact Pony Club Australia or Equestrian Australia for confirmation.
Written by Kara Vasylenko