MIMclip technology will be used at all levels of international eventing competition (CCI*-CCI5*) from January 1, 2021 in accordance with the 2021 FEI Eventing Rules approved by the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) General Assembly in November 2020. The Swedish-made frangible devices are the only ones to pass the new FEI testing standards to date.
MIMclips allow cross-country fences to collapse under both forward and upward pressure and are designed to prevent rotational falls, which are the sort that most commonly lead to rider fatalities. MIMclips have been in use at international horse trials worldwide for more than 10 years, but while in the past they have been recommended by the FEI, their use on certain types of fences at all levels of competition will become mandatory starting January 1, 2021.
The new rule states, “For all levels, all open oxers, open corners, verticals or near verticals with open rails, top rail on triple bars and gates where the rail dimensions and weight fit the acceptable parameters of an FEI approved frangible device, must be fitted with frangible devices.”
All new cross-country jumps constructed after January 1, 2021 that can be built as frangible fences must incorporate frangible technology and comply with the updated standards. Devices manufactured according to the previous standard specifications (Version 1(.22)) can be used until December 31, 2021. To date, seven types of MIMclip have passed the FEI Eventing Risk Management Group’s tests. View the full list of devices here.
They include a new, yellow-colored MIMclip which releases when triggered with a lower amount of force than the traditional red MIMclips and which is to be used on fences jumped at an angle, such as corners, and is also for table fences.
MIMclips are the brainchild of Swedish inventor Mats Björnetun, whose company MIM Construction AB tests and manufactures safety devices for many well-known car makers. His passion for eventing started in the early 1990s, when he became an event organizer, and led to his realization that he had the expertise and the facilities to help the sport become safer and reduce the risk of rotational falls of horse and rider while maintaining its integrity.
Geoff Sinclair, chairman of the FEI Eventing Risk Management Group, said, “MIM’s people have worked really closely with members of the Risk Management Group and the two FEI-approved inspection authorities, the UK’s Transport Research Laboratory and Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, and Mats Björnetun has been incredibly cooperative in providing what the sport of eventing needs.”
The FEI is releasing clear instructions for the fitting of MIMclips - an advantage of which is that they are very easy to replace by course officials, fence builders, and jump judges.
“The correct frangible devices, used and fitted correctly, will make a big impact on the sport; it has been hard to find something that works well with corner fences and angled fences, and MIM has come up with something,” said Geoff Sinclair. “An enormous amount of effort has been put into this.”
Andrew Nicholson, former world number one event rider, winner of nine CCI5* events, and renowned cross-country trainer, said, “At the big events I have ridden at, MIMclips seem to be the technology that works the best; they are activated when needed and not unnecessarily, which is important for the integrity of the sport. The people at MIM have shown they have the know-how and the technology and are open to ideas; they listen to people within the sport and clearly work hard at producing the technology the sport needs as it develops.”
MIMclip technology is available for purchase from the company’s website, mimclip.mimsafe.com, where you also can watch videos explaining more about MIMclips, their uses, and how to fit them correctly. Links to instructional manuals and videos for all MIMclip technology is available on the FEI website.
For news and the latest updates, follow MIMclip on Facebook.
The USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships will take place later this month at the Virginia Horse Trials (VHT) in Lexington, Va. across May 27-30. Following the USEF COVID-19 Action Plan, the USEA is working with VHT organizer Andy Bowles to ensure the Championships are still a destination competition for all Intercollegiate event riders, packed full with an opening ceremony, the traditional “college town” area, the prestigious spirit award, and an abundance of prizes.
The FEI passed rule changes impacting Minimum Eligibility Requirements in November 2020 that go into effect on July 1, 2021. The changes will impact athletes who are uncategorized, “D” and “C” athletes competing at the CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L, CCI4*-L, and CCI5*-L levels. Please see below for the highlighted changes. The USEF requirements to compete at these levels remain unchanged, but please remember that the USEF requirements must be achieved within 12 months of the competition. These changes will be adopted into the USEF Eventing Rulebook by July 1. See Appendix 3 for qualification requirements.
Beginning May 17, 2021, USEF will implement new protocols regarding the use of face coverings/masks at USEF-licensed competitions in response to recently updated CDC recommendations. Please click here to access the full amendments to the USEF COVID-19 Action Plan protocols.
Nicole Brown is joined this week by Irish World Equestrian Games silver medalist Sam Watson as they discuss the road to a successful cross-country round. They cover your basic training at home before your event, what you do when you get to the event and are walking the course, warming-up, visualization, and finally how to tackle the course. This podcast is full of words of wisdom from Sam that will keep you listening to the very end so tune in now!