Air Vest Adjustable Saddle Strap
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Safety Vest Certification Organizations
BETA maintains the EN equestrian standards
EN 13158 is a body protector standard with three primary components
- Specifies the area of the body that must be covered
- Tests impact performance both on flat ground and fence rails
- Measures security of attachment to the wearer
Impact testing is conducted at ambient temperatures, and an optional 30°C impact test is also available.
Body protector manufacturers conforming to the BETA standards are required to annually re-test their approved products to ensure ongoing consistency in the quality of manufacture and of the shock-absorbing foams used in the construction of their garments.
SEI maintains ASTM standards
ASTM F1937 is a standard that specifies:
- Requirements for the body protector assembly
- The extent and form of the protective material used
- The attachments
- The dimension, sizing and body coverage provided
Testing procedures include a shock attenuation test, a penetration and deformation test, an impact sites test, a padding separation test, and a closure test.
These tests are done in four conditions: ambient temperature, low temperature, high temperature, and water immersion.
ASTM F2681 is a standard for body protectors that covers the minimum performance criteria and outlines test methods for body protectors that will be used specifically for horse racing.
Levels of Protection
In 1995, BETA Level 1, 2, and 3 safety standards were introduced, with 1 being the lowest and 3 being the highest level of protection offered.
There are three levels of protection to cater for different riding activities. The latest European safety standard is EN 13158 and BETA 2018.
No body protector can prevent serious injury in certain accidents, but you can improve your chances of staying safe by choosing the highest safety standard.
Level 1 (green label)
Body protectors certified to Level 1 provide a lower level of impact protection that is only considered appropriate for racing where weight is of over-riding importance and there are no requirements in place for a great level of protection.
Level 2 (orange label)
Body protectors certified to Level 2 provide a lower than normal level of protection that is only considered appropriate for use in low risk situations.
These DO NOT include riding on roads or other hard surfaces, riding over jumps, riding young or excitable horses or riding while inexperienced. This level is now used by many jockeys while racing.
Level 3 (blue label)
Body protectors certified to Level 3 provide a level of protection that is considered appropriate for normal horse riding, competitors and for working with horses.
Protectors to this level should prevent minor bruising that would have produced stiffness and pain, reduce soft tissue injuries and bruising, and prevent a limited number of rib fractures.
This level is required by many exercise riders for race horses.
Level 3 – Carriage driving (blue label)
Body protectors designed to meet the needs of horse drivers. Navigators are best wearing a standard level 3. It does not provide adequate coverage of the back for those riding horses or those working with them.