Do you need a new body protector for 2024?

Do you need a new body protector for 2024?

From 1st January 2024, only body protectors meeting the BETA 2018 (Level 3) safety standard will be accepted at British Eventing, British Riding Club and Pony Club events. So, if you’re heading to a competition, body protectors with the 2009 label will no longer be permitted. 
 
Why have organisations changed their rules?
 
Since the introduction of the updated BETA standard in October 2018, there has been a 5 year transition period where both BETA 2009 & BETA 2018 (level 3) body protectors have been allowed by organisations.
By 2024, all BETA 2009 body protectors will be between 5-14 years old. The recommendation is body protectors should be changed every 3-5 years. Beyond this period there is degradation of the impact foams used in your body protector and the protection offered can no longer be guaranteed.
 
How do I know if my body protector will be compliant?
 
All body protectors compliant to BETA 2018 (level 3) are marked with a turquoise BETA 2018 label. All Racesafe body protectors made since October 2018 have been made to the updated standard.
 
What is the BETA safety standard?
 
The 2018 Body Protector Standard meets all the requirements of the respective European standard (EN13158). It sets criteria for shock-absorption, controls the area of the body that must be covered and ensures there are minimal gaps between the protective foam panels. It encompasses three levels, each designed for different activities and denoted by a colour-coded label on the garment.
Importantly under the BETA Standard, garments are additionally re-tested annually for consistency of quality of materials used and manufacturing processes.
Level 3 is the highest level of protection and is considered appropriate for general riding, competitions including eventing and working with horses.
 
What are the other reasons to consider updating your body protector?
 
  • Have you tried a recent model? Racesafe are constantly looking to comfort factors like flexibility, weight and breathability, whilst maintaining the highest levels of protection. Long gone are the days of body protectors having to be uncomfortable! Try our latest Motion3 model.

  • Does your body protector fit you properly? A poor fit means all the areas of protection won't be covered properly and risks restricting your movement and riding.

  • Are there any visible signs of wear and tear? All our body protectors are made at our Northamptonshire factory and we’re proud of their quality and durability. However, riding is an active outdoor sport and over time a certain level of wear and tear is to be expected. However, excessive signs of wear and tear are likely to be associated with an older body protector and affect comfort, coverage or protection.

  • Have you fallen off several times whilst wearing it? A heavy fall or repeated falls can sometimes cause the impact absorption properties within the body protector to permanently deteriorate. Check your body protector for dents after a fall; the foam should return to its original shape within around 30 minutes. If the foam does not expand back or permanently hardens, it is advisable to replace your body protector as the impact absorption will be reduced.

Which Racesafe Body Protectors are complaint?
 
The Racesafe models below are BETA 2018 (Level 3) certified, as long as they were made in October 2018 onwards:
Can I still use my BETA 2009 body protector outside of competition? 
 
You can still choose to wear your garment labelled 2009 when hacking, or other activities where there’s no stipulation for the later version. But remember, the 2009 version stopped being made at the end of 2018 and age, impact and storage can affect the protection your body protector offers you. 
 
Where can I get advice on my Body Protector?
 
If you are thinking based on the above that it might be time for a replacement, then you might like to read our articles about finding the right model and right size for you. Alternatively, feel free to contact a member of the Racesafe Team or visit a Racesafe stockist for a fitting.

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