Reitsport Branche 11/ 2022
‘One Passion – one Voice’ is the credo of the European Equestrian Business Association, which recently celebrated its first birthday and can draw a very positive conclusion to its work.
EEBA, which was started last year as a representation of interests and network of the equestrian industry on a European level, seeks to join forces and give the economic factor horse ONE strong voice towards the public and politics. The fact that this call for joint action has met with so much positive feedback has encouraged the Union, whose President is none other than Ingrid Klimke, in its intentions: “The gap we entered with EEBA was much bigger than expected,” says EEBA CEO Anna Lena Grytz, describing the great interest from stakeholders in the equestrian industry. Many of them are not only members but are actively involved in the so-called Expert Panels, the core of EEBA’s work: they are the member´s major platform for exchanging views on key interests, jointly push current topics and develop sustainable strategies for the further development of the industry. The recent main topics include the development of quality criteria for different product segments, the Science & Industry Network, market research, animal welfare and the public perception of equestrian sport. What does Grytz want for the near future? “To further expand and establish the strong network of committed companies, associations and industry experts.”
Making equestrian sport even safer in the future is a declared goal of the EEBA. For this purpose, the members of the Expert Panel Safety are focusing on several aspects at the same time.
As much data as possible about accidents while riding and handling horses should be collected and evaluated. To this end, one is in close contact with insurance companies, the FN and BETA, among others. The aim is to develop a dedicated tool for recording the circumstances of accidents and their consequences. In the long term, this tool will provide precisely the kind of feedback that manufacturers need for improving their products. “It’s really a tricky business,” Anna Lena Grytz explains the challenge of developing a data collection tool: “It must ask for relevant facts in detail but must not overwhelm the user.” Moreover, data protection is a very sensitive issue. “We don’t want to expose the manufacturers but support them with the information to optimize their products. Anonymisation is the key,” says the CEO of EEBA.
Standards and criteria
In addition, the members of the Safety Expert Panel also focus on standards and certifications: Europe-wide common standards for personal protective equipment are needed, as well as criteria for the certification of safety products. Talking about safety stirrups: So far, there are no binding criteria that determine at which point a stirrup is entitled to be called a safety stirrup. In addition to data collection and the definition of quality criteria, public relations and education about safety in equestrian sport is to be promoted.
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