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Flying the flag for rider safety

By BETA

After a hugely successful launch last year, BETA Safety Week is back for 2019! Running from 27 April to 5 May.

This hard-hitting awareness-raising campaign will be doing its bit to help keep riders safe by flagging up the importance of correctly fitting and up-to-date equestrian kit – including riding hats, body protectors, footwear and Hi-Viz.

Is your gear in great shape?

BETA Safety Week serves as a great reminder to make sure that our safety garments are not too old, they are in good condition, have been properly fitted, are fastened-up and meet current safety standards. Points to consider are…

Is your safety garment – riding hat or body protector – the right size? If you are uncertain, pop along to a retailer that is participating in BETA Safety Week and they will be happy to check it out for you.

Take a look at its history. Is it new or secondhand? Have you ever dropped it or continued to wear it after a fall? BETA always recommends that you buy a new hat or body protector so that you know you are starting with a clean slate. It should always be replaced after suffering any kind of impact because, although it might appear fine on the outside, the inside could tell a quite different story.

Don't be a sloppy rider – get your safety gear fastened! Loose harnesses, flapping chin straps and zips left open not only look messy, but they are also dangerous because they prevent your garment from doing the job it was designed to do – keep you safe!

Is your hat or body protector up to standard – and appropriate to the activity you wish to take part in? Are those country boots really suitable for riding in or are they more at home in the yard? Don't go for a hack on the roads in your dark jacket – be seen and be safe in some hi-viz. Give you and your horse a chance!

Safety standards should be selected for the activity you are involved in – and they should be current! Boots worn for riding should not be too wide or clunky so that they get stuck in the stirrups and you must make sure you are seen at all times.

Safety Week support

BETA Safety Week is a truly international campaign that has won the backing of many of the sport's top riders and leading equestrian organisations, including British Eventing, the Pony Club, British Horse Society, British Riding Clubs, Association of British Riding Schools and Mark Davies Injured Riders Fund.

Do your bit to help

Tack shops across the land are signing up to support this important initiative. You can find out exactly which ones here. [http://www.beta-uk.org/pages/n...] Participating retailers will be decked out in Safety Week branded merchandise, including bunting, window stickers and posters – and some will have goody bags to hand out as part of their in-store promotions and competitions.

Social support

BETA followers on social media can enjoy more than a month of Safety Week tips, advice and competitions – with some fab prizes across the board. Help to send the campaign viral by linking up on Facebook[https://www.facebook.com/betae...], Twitter [@betaequestrian] and Instagram [beta_equestrian]. When engaging in the campaign, remember to use the Safety Week hashtag #BSW19.

Here to help

If you would like to find out more about BETA Safety Week, please get in touch with Tina Hustler in the BETA office, who is happy to help. Telephone 01937 587062 or email tina@beta-uk.org.

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