Whatever your favorite sport might be, it has rules that are for the protection and welfare of its participants. It could be mats at a gymnastics meet, shin guards worn by goalies or shoulder pads for football players but, no matter the sport, the potential for injury is always a concern. The safety rules and equipment required at Red Hills are strictly enforced and include the following:
Commonly referred to as a bridle tag or rider number, the tag is worn by the horse but you may see it hooked to the bridle, neck strap, breast plate, saddle pad or some other location on the athlete’s tack. It identifies a horse that is current on all equine immunizations and has been deemed fit for competition by event officials.
A competition Pinny is the number worn by the human member of the equestrian team and it will match that of the equine athlete. The Pinny is worn on the body of the rider during cross country housed in a specially designed vest that displays the Pinny on the chest and back of the rider under a protective cover.
The card is a USEA Medical Card and it is required when jumping. In addition to name and contact information, the card lists an emergency contact, the name and address of a primary physician, details about insurance coverage, a medical history, current medications, drug allergies and more. Eventing rules require that it be enclosed in a transparent, waterproof carrier and securely attached to the upper arm. Beginning in 2014, medical bracelets were also permitted.
At all levels of competition, riders must wear properly fitted protective headgear meeting standards for equestrian use. Chin straps are an additional requirement when competing in the cross country or show jumping.
A body protecting vest is required for the cross country phase. Some competitors will wear an inflatable vest over the required vest for extra protection. Inflatable vests are triggered when a rider leaves the saddle as may be the case in a stumble or fall and are somewhat comparable to an airbag that can be deployed in an automobile.
All of the required attire is for the identification and safety of horse and rider but injuries can still occur. That is why human and equine emergency medical personnel are on site during the competition along with ambulances suitable for each member of the competitor team.