Brits Raise Safety Flag for Eventing

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British Eventing (BE) introduced a new regulation relating to the type of red and white jump flags and poles used to indicate direction on cross country fences. The new rules went into effect Aug. 20, 2007.

In order to reduce the risk of injury to horse or rider, all flags and flagpoles on certain fence types must meet specific criteria based on construction, material, design and how the flags are secured to the fence. With these new regulations, points are not allowed anywhere on the flag poles and any sharp corners and/or edges on the flags must be rounded. Flags must be secured in such a way that they ‘break away’ and/or move away from the fence if/when struck by either horse or rider so that the chance of horse and/or rider being injured is significantly reduced.
  
BE Sport Director, Mike Etherington-Smith, who is also the Lexington, K.Y. three day event course designer, commented, “Safety of horse and rider is the number one priority in our sport and any steps which can be taken to further improve it will be taken. This rule is a safety measure to avoid potential accidents and it is hoped that all organizers will understand the importance of introducing such flags as soon as possible.”

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