New safety innovation at Badminton Horse Trials

April 11, 2010


New pin and blocks on a fence on the Badminton course.

Cross-country fences on the Badminton Horse Trials course next month will use a new safety system developed in Britain.

The development centres on a frangible pin on the the landing side of a fence - rather than on the front of the posts.

Frangible pins have been in use for some time, but some course designers and builders have been waiting for the development of these devices, "the idea being that when hit hard at the moment the rail may not break the pin often or quickly enough," Badminton organisers said.

Bristol University's Martin Herbert and colleagues, in research commissioned by British Eventing, came up with a new method of securing the rails that will enable the use of 'reverse pin' fences.

Herbert and colleague Tim Deans spent the 2008 season researching horse falls in eventing. They used sensors fixed to cross-country obstacles to see what happened when a horse struck a fence.

Herbert and a team from British Eventing joined course builders at Badminton at the end of last month to install the new devices.

"It is good to be at the forefront of developments in the management of the risks involved in our sport," Badminton organisers said.