Industry Standards for Frangible Cross-Country Jumps Defined
Cross-country jumps designed to break apart upon impact are safer for horses and riders, but in order to be fair they must follow new industrial standards in Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) competitions, according to an FEI spokeswoman.
As of Jan. 1, 2012, all "frangible and deformable structures and devices"–or breakaway jumps–used in FEI competitions have to adhere to a set of standards developed by an FEI Eventing Committee task force and the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), an "internationally recognized research consultancy," said Catrin Norinder, director of eventing at the FEI, which is based in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The fences are designed to give way under impact to prevent serious injury. However, if the fence does break apart, the rider is significantly penalized (21 penalty points), Norinder said. To maintain fairness of the competitions, it is critical that the obstacles always break under the same amount of force for all jumps, competitors, and competitions, she said.
"The (new) industrial standards have been put in place to ensure the constancy of the breakability,"
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