Reitsport Branche 03/ 2022
Stefan Schwanbeck, CEO der USG United Sportproducts Germany GmbH, Initiator & 1st Chairman of the European Equestrian Business Association e.V.
The European Equestrian Business Association has set itself the goal of giving the economic factor of horses a common voice in Europe. In doing so, it supports the networking and cooperation of different branches of the industry and advocates for a sustainable
development of the sector. It also wants to promote the development of European quality criteria, which are worked out together with various representatives of the respective product segments in working groups. The aim is to create a European quality seal.
As an expert on safety issues, you will support one of the first EEBA working groups. Within this context, the topic of safety will be viewed through a European lens for the first time. What do you hope to gain from the working group?
It is undisputed that equestrian sports involve a certain risk of accidents and are among the most dangerous sports of all. This has resulted in the use of safety products for the rider, such as helmets, body protectors, safety shoes or gloves and the use of safety stir- rups. The British association BETA is dealing with this issue in a very exemplary way and successfully supports the British trade and manufacturers. In addition, they advise consumers and offer them guidance in the selection of products. I envisage a European solu-tion for this. We would like to work together in the “Safety” working group to develop quality criteria for protective equipment in equestrian sports that offer consumers greater safety, recognizable by seals of quality, and at the same time provide manufacturers and associations with a guideline for dealing with these products, which require a great deal of consultation.
What are the first steps of the working group?
We are currently approaching relevant companies throughout Europe and inviting them to participate. An initially non-binding virtual meeting will be held shortly to present the objectives and benefits and discuss ideas on the topic. The development of criteria,
testing processes and sustainable seals of approval will then begin soon.
Who is welcome as a member of the working group?
To create standards with the highest degree of transparency and the best possible consumer benefit, it is important to us to involve the broadest possible spectrum of manufacturers, wholesalers, developers, marketing experts, retailers, sports associations and
users who are directly and indirectly involved in the topic of “safety in equestrian sports”.