BETA’s third annual Safety Week will kick off on June 27 after being postponed in April because of coronavirus.
The annual awareness-raising initiative from the British Equestrian Trade Association flies the flag for rider safety and the importance of safety gear that is correctly fitted, fastened and up to standard.
It is supported by many of the sport’s top riders and organisations, including British Eventing, the British Horse Society, the Point-to-Point Authority, British Riding Clubs and the Mark Davies Injured Riders Fund. BETA will also be working in collaboration with Air Ambulances UK for the first time to reflect the work that it does among the equestrian community.
BETA Safety Week encourages riders to visit participating BETA retailers for reliable advice on all aspects of safety gear and equipment such as hi-viz, footwear, riding hats and body protectors. The trade association’s retail members taking part will show their support by displaying BETA Safety Week marketing material, many offering consumers the chance to take part in the BETA Safety Test quiz, with a £100 shopping voucher prize.
Retailers across mainland Europe, including Germany and the Netherlands, as well as the United States, are also taking part.
“We had originally timed the campaign to tie in with the start of the competition season, but many events and competitions have, sadly, been cancelled,” said BETA executive director Claire Williams.
“Now, we’re facing the start of the ‘new’, delayed competition season as the three Olympic disciplines propose starts in some way between now and July 4. A rescheduled BETA Safety Week will give riders returning to competition the chance to check that their equipment still meets the rules and is fit for purpose.”
BETA has developed protocols to help its retail members offer as safe a service as possible to riders visiting their stores.
“Fitting safety garments such as riding hats and body protectors can be a close-contact process, so retailers have revised many of their procedures to cater for concerns around distancing and hygiene,” Williams said. “BETA has prepared detailed advice for its members to help them adapt appropriately and retailers have high levels of hygiene practices, such as staff wearing masks and gloves, in place.
“We advise riders to check with their local retailers first to check whether a fitting service is being offered and, if it is, what is required from them in terms of personal protective equipment (PPE).”
Further information about BETA Safety Week for retailers and riders can be found at beta-uk.org or by calling the BETA office on 01937 587062.