NEW YEAR RULE TWEAKS FOR BREECHES, WHIPS, RIDING HATS AND BODY PROTECTORS 

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What retailers and riders need to know.

As the 2024 competition season begins, the UK’s equestrian sports’ governing bodies have updated some of their tack and clothing rules.

BODY PROTECTORS

BETA 2009 body protectors are no longer permitted for British Eventing, Pony Club and British Riding Clubs competitions.

Riders competing under these organisation’s rules should ensure their body protector has a black and blue 2018 label. 

Riders can continue to use BETA 2009 for general riding or in other activities for which there’s no specific body protector requirement.

WHIP BAN FOR SOME ENDURANCE RIDERS

Endurance GB, the national governing body for endurance riding, has banned the use of whips at elite level.

Riders may not use of whips, or any other item as a whip, in Competitive Endurance Rides (CERs). These are so called race-rides of at least 80km with competitors placed in order of crossing the finishing line, provided their horses pass a veterinary inspection. 

Competitors in EGB’s lower-level pleasure rides and Graded Endurance Rides (GERs) – in which combinations are rewarded for their individual performances – can continue to carry whips.

SPURS IN DRESSAGE

For the first time this year, riders can compete without spurs in international competitions. 

The requirement for riders to wear ‘dummy’ spurs, which look like spurs but have no shank, has been dropped by the FEI.

Spurs, and dummy spurs, were already optional across national competition in the UK.

DARK COLOURED BREECHES

Eventing Ireland has joined most of the UK’s equestrian bodies in allowing riders to wear dark-coloured breeches or jodhpurs in competition. 

These include British Riding Clubs which was among the first to relax its rules on legwear hues. 

British Dressage stipulates that breeches should be ‘predominantly of a single, solid colour’ but is permitting ‘dark-coloured contrast seats’ for 2024.

EUROPEAN HAT STANDARD

The new European standard for riding hats - EN1384:2023 – has been officially harmonised after a nine-year wait. 

However, there are no immediate rule changes surrounding its arrival. 

EN1384:2023 will be phased in gradually in terms of new product and riding rules.

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