FEI Releases Updated Standard for Frangible/Deformable Cross Country Fences

The test setup for a kettlebell-and-chain pendulum test of a frangible fence, via the updated FEI standard for frangible/deformable cross country fences.

The FEI has released an updated standard for frangible/deformable cross country fences. The standard can be viewed in full here.

David O’Connor, Chairman of the Eventing Committee, and Geoff Sinclair, Chairman of the Risk Management Steering Group, released the following communication last week:

“After six months of extensive work initiated by the Eventing Frangible Device Working Group (Dave Vos, Geoff Sinclair, Mark Phillips and Jonathan Clissold), Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) has reviewed and approved the release of the Updated Standard V2 for frangible/deformable cross country fences.

“The work included filming fences being jumped at many events and reviewing them in slow motion as well as broad testing performed by British Eventing and MIM at Chalmers University (SWE), as well as TRL.

“The Updated Standard V2 has been endorsed by the Eventing Committee as well as the Risk Management Steering Group.

“The Updated Frangible Standard V2 can now be implemented progressively from April 6, 2020.

“As of January 1, 2021, all newly manufactured devices must comply with the Updated Standard V2. Devices manufactured according to the previous standard specifications can be used until December 31, 2021.

“MIM and British Eventing testing on current frangible devices has been done and now this new standard is published they will be able to advise if their products need any updates or adjustments.

“The Updated Standard V2 for frangible/deformable cross country fences includes the following changes:

  • “Introduction of a 40 kg kettlebell pendulum test to better represent a ‘hanging leg’ impact scenario to reproduce severe impact on fence with some leading to rotational falls which frangible fences should help mitigate. (View the setup for a kettlebell-and-chain pendulum test of a frangible fence, which includes both building and test procedure instructions, here. A video example of the test in action is below.)

  • “The addition of requirements for front and back rails of activation energies, i.e. pendulum impact energies at and above which the fence shall activate. The energies proposed have been developed by Dave Vos, based on the conservation of (after contact) energy and angular momentum with input parameters, such as jump speeds, heights, flight duration, etc., with the input of the Frangible Device Working Group members expertise and corroborating measurements from event video data.

“The Updated Standard V2 is more reliable and the testing is easier to set up in order to encourage new ideas and will hopefully accelerate new developments for frangible fence devices. It is important to note that realistic infield assessment to ensure fences don’t break too easily has been strongly debated and agreed with the Frangible Working Group understanding the importance of balancing safety with true cross country.”

We are glad to see progress being made on this very important front. Go Eventing.