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BETA Safety Equipment Standards - 2019

BETA Safety Week 2019 (27th April - 5th May) aims to raise awareness for the correct use of protective safety equipment when working with and riding horses. By wearing protective equipment that is up-to-standard, in good condition and well-fitting, you are ensuring you have the best possible protection. Read on for advise on the most up-to-date safety standards.


Body protectors help to keep you safe by absorbing high level of energy created when falling off, being kicked or being stood on by a horse. It’s essential that the garment fits correctly to ensure that all critical parts of the body are covered, giving the best possible level of protection.

If you are competing under an affiliated organisation (Pony Club, Riding Club or British Eventing), you must wear a body protector that adheres to the latest standards as per their rulebook. Currently two versions of the BETA standards are valid:

BETA Certification Mark Level 3 2009 (purple label)

BETA Certification Mark Level 3 2018 (blue on a black label)

Level 3 is the highest level of protection and is considered appropriate for general riding competitions including eventing. It is recommended for working with horses. Level 3 body protectors should prevent minor bruising that would have produced stiffness and pain, reduce soft tissue injuries and prevent rib fractures.


Modern technology has allowed manufacturers to produce riding helmets that are lightweight and comfortable while being incredibly strong. To protect your head properly, the hat needs to be fitted and fastened correctly.

In the UK, particularly for affiliated competition, helmets should meet the PAS 015 (1998 or 2011) or VG01.040 2014-12, and have a BSI Kitemark or Inspec IC Mark. Always check the rulebook of affiliated discipline you wish to compete in to check that your helmet complies.

When competing cross country (and for certain other competitions and games with the Pony Club) a jockey skull must be worn rather than a peaked helmet.


Hi-vis is an essential piece of equipment for rider safety, especially when hacking out on the roads. They should meet the current EU safety standards; it should be manufactured in fluorescent colours and feature reflective tapes to ensure the rider can be as clearly visible as possible. By buying hi-vis garments that are up to standard you can be assured that they have been well tested to make sure they are durable and won’t fade or loose reflectivity after washing or after a short period of use.

The current hi-visability standards are:

EN ISO 20471-2013 – for professional use (those working around horses)

EN 1150 – for non-professional use (leisure riders)

EN 13356 – for accessories such as headbands and gloves


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