BETA Safety Week went global

The British Equestrian Trade Association's inaugural BETA Safety Week, which ran from 28 April to 6 May, exceeded all expectations when the awareness-raising initiative went truly global as riders across the UK, mainland Europe and the United States took part in the event designed to drive home the importance of wearing safety garments that are correctly fitted, fastened and up to standard.

Many visited one of the 184 participating retailers either in-store or at a show, taking up their offer to have a free safety garment check, ready for the season ahead, and in some cases taking advantage of special BETA Safety Week offers and discounts. “To say that we have been completely blown away by the success of Safety Week is something of an understatement,” said BETA executive director Claire Williams.

“We have been amazed by the sheer quantity of support received and delighted to see the campaign play a starring role in shows such as the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event and Mistubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials. “We launched the event to drive home the importance of fit-for-purpose safety clothing, footwear and equipment for riders because, although there are some other campaigns, there is nothing with a message quite like this.”

BETA Safety Week received backing from leading equestrian organisations such as British Eventing, the Pony Club, British Riding Clubs, British Horse Society, the Association of British Riding Schools and Mark Davies Injured Riders Fund. Top riders who came on board included Charlotte Dujardin, Piggy French, William Fox-Pitt, Laura Kraut, Nick Skelton, Beezie Madden and jump jockeys Mattie Batchelor and Marc Goldstein, aka Wocket Woy & The Pwoducer.

The BETA Safety Week initiative was played out across print and social media platforms, with riders uploading their pictures and comments to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the #BETASafetyWeek18 hashtag.

Competitions giving consumers the chance to win Safety Week goody bags and a £100 shopping voucher to spend on a new riding hat or body protector proved extremely popular. “BETA Safety Week will definitely be back next year at around the same time – just before the competition season starts,” added Claire. “The positive response we have had to the initiative from both the industry and consumers shows that its message has really struck a chord with the equestrian world and we couldn't be more pleased.”