Jul 06, 2018

Rule Refresher: Mandatory Frangible Devices

By Jessica Duffy - USEA Staff
USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

One of the tenets of the USEA Mission is to promote the safety and welfare of both horse and rider in the sport of eventing. As part of that effort, the USEA formed the Cross-Country Safety Task Force in 2014 underneath the umbrella of the Safety Committee to examine and improve cross-country obstacle and design safety. The Task Force was later turned into a permanent Subcommittee of the USEA.

As part of their efforts to increase the safety of cross-country courses, the Cross-Country Safety Subcommittee recommended to the FEI that all fences where a frangible device could be employed must be equipped with one. The USEF also supported this recommendation to the FEI. The Subcommittee then underwent the process of formally submitting a rule change to the USEF, whereby the rule was examined and approved by both the USEA Board of Governors and the Executive Committee.

Last month the USEF approved the rule change proposed by the Subcommittee, effective July 1. Now, all fences above the Training level must employ frangible technology where possible. Fences constructed after September 1, 2018 must be equipped with the appropriate frangible technology while fences constructed prior to September 1, 2018 must be retrofit with the appropriate device by December 1, 2018.

At the 2017 Board of Governors Meeting in August, the USEA approved a donation to the US Equestrian Frangible Technology Grant program, which provides financial assistance to events for the purpose of updating their cross-country courses to include frangible technology.

Text has been taken directly from the USEF Rules for Eventing with emphasis added by the USEA.

EV 140 Cross-Country Obstacles

9. FRANGIBLE FENCES

a. Obstacles for which frangible technology is appropriate shall be constructed using this technology, or shall be retrofitted using this technology. The Technical Delegate must communicate with the Ground Jury and Course Designer to confirm that the Frangible Technology employed is consistent with the USEA Cross-Country Obstacle Design Guidelines. Information on the appropriate applications of Frangible Technology in cross-country fence construction is available in the USEA Cross-Country Obstacle Design Guidelines. Frangible Technology may be installed only by or under the supervision of Course Designers/course builders who have attended a USEA Seminar on Frangible fence construction.

b. At National Competitions above the Training Level, all rail fences for which frangible technology can be employed must use that technology (e.g. Frangible Pins, MIM Clips or any other load relieving device). These fences include, but are not limited to: verticals, gates, open corners, and all open oxers in all cases. At a minimum, these devices must be able to be activated by forces having both vertical and horizontal components. Exception, the front rail at the point of an open corner, which may use a traditional forward pin. Obstacles constructed after September 1, 2018 must comply with the above requirements. Obstacles constructed prior to September 1, 2018 shall be retrofit per the above requirements prior to December 1, 2018. At all FEI competitions devices used to comply with the above requirement must be FEI approved. BOD 6/11/18 Effective 7/1/18

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