Mar 24, 2024

Refresh Your Knowledge on Frangible Technology

By Meagan DeLisle - USEA Staff
USEA photo

Did you know that the United States has more frangible fences than any other country? Frangible technology has been around for nearly 100 years with the British Pin taking the honors as the first formal frangible device. The study of frangible fences has continued in the last decade, including the USEA Collapsible Fence Technology Study which was conducted through the University of Kentucky from 2016-2018.

The USEA Foundation is proud to have had a strong focus on the continuing research and promotion of these critical safety devices all across the U.S. In 2020, an initiative was created in partnership with the USEA Foundation Frangible Technology Fund that would assist with the construction of frangible fences on cross-country courses at the Preliminary level and above around the country. New regulations as of December 1, 2023, now require courses at the Training level and above to utilize frangible technology as seen in the excerpt from the Eventing Rulebook below:

8. FRANGIBLE TECHNOLOGY.

a. Whenever possible, Obstacles for which frangible technology (e.g., frangible pins, MIM Clips, or any other load relieving device) is appropriate must be constructed or retrofitted with frangible technology for the Training level and above.

b. The Technical Delegate must confirm with the Ground Jury and Course Designer that the frangible technology employed is consistent with the applicable manual for the approved frangible technology. At a minimum, frangible technology devices used at national and FEI Events must meet the FEI Updated Standard for Frangible/Deformable Cross Country Fences. Training fences constructed prior to May 1, 2023 may remain as such through December 31, 2023 but must be upgraded or retrofitted to meet this rules as of January 1, 2024. All fences constructed after May 1, 2023 must meet this rule.

In an effort to help mitigate the cost of this endeavor for events, organizers may apply for funding through the Foundation’s Frangible Technology Fund here. Venues hosting events at the Advanced level and below will be awarded $2,000. Venues hosting events at the Intermediate, Preliminary, or Modified level and below will be awarded $1,500. Venues hosting events at the Training level and below will be awarded $1,000. All grants are to be used for the purchase of any materials (lumber, frangible technology equipment, etc.) to assist with the construction of frangible fences on their cross-country courses. The Foundation highly encourages each event to apply for this funding!

Further endorsing the importance of utilizing this equipment, the FEI conducted a review of falls per fence type from data collected from 2016-2023 and the results show a decrease in horse falls when frangible technology is utilized. For example, during that seven year period, a total of 1914 horse falls were recorded across the globe. Of those falls, 1,703 were at fences that did not equip frangible technology and only 211 were at fences which did utilize frangible technology. Of the 51 serious horse falls during this time period, only one was at a fence with the new standard of frangible technology, four were at a fence with the old standard of frangible technology, and 46 were at fences with no frangible technology. You can access the full FEI report here.

To learn more about the USEA Foundation’s commitment to creating a safer sport through making frangible technology more accessible for USEA competitions, click here.

About the USEA Foundation

The fundamental mission of the USEA Foundation is to protect and preserve the sport of eventing for future generations and to provide support for the core educational, safety, and equine welfare programs of the USEA. In addition, the Foundation administers educational grants for riders with the intent of preparing them to reach their goals. Learn more about the USEA Foundation at www.useafoundation.org.

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Weekend Quick Links: May 25-26

Are you following along with the action from home this weekend? Or maybe you're competing at an event and need information fast. Either way, we’ve got you covered! Check out the USEA’s Weekend Quick Links for links to information including the prize list, ride times, live scores, and more for all the events running this weekend.

Official Corporate Sponsors of the USEA

Official Joint Therapy Treatment of the USEA

Official Feed of the USEA

Official Saddle of the USEA

Official Equine Insurance of the USEA

Official Forage of the USEA

Official Supplement Feeding System of the USEA

Official Competition & Training Apparel of the USEA

Official Horse Boot of the USEA