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NEWS

Corbyville, ON

hit-air DEALER

April 26, 2013

hit-air is available



Bridle Path Tack Shop

1344 Hwy 37 North
Corbyville, ON
K0K 1V0
Tel: 1-888-825-1831


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NEWS

Cranbrook, BC

hit-air DEALER

Sep 11, 2012

hit-air is available



Windover Ranch

9884 Hwy 95A
Cranbrook, BC
V1C 7C6
Tel: 250 417 1250


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NEWS

Lumby, BC

hit-air DEALER

June 26, 2012

hit-air is available



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NEWS

Montreal, Quebec

hit-air DEALER

April 25, 2012

hit-air is available


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NEWS

hit-air EQUESTRIANS

Update: June 2, 2011

hit-air HARNESS KID'S MODEL
NOW AVAILABLE!



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NEWS

hit-air DEALER

Update: September 7, 2010

hit-air is available
Gormely, Ontario



Bakers Harness & Saddlery


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EVENT

Chilliwack, BC
Saturday September 4, 2010 All day

BC Championship
The 23rd Annual Island 22 Horse Trails



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NEWS

The New York Times

Published: August 23, 2010




Doug Payne demonstrated how an air bag would work for eventing riders.

Added Safety in the Saddle



Spectators gasped and expected the worst when the horse ridden by Karim Florent Laghouag somersaulted over a fence and fell on top of him at a prestigious equestrian competition last September in France.

Laghouag had taken a so-called rotational fall, a dreaded spill in the Olympic sport of eventing. At least 13 riders in the past four years were killed and several others were seriously injured in such tumbles.

But soon after his horse jumped to its feet, Laghouag stood up too. He had a dislocated elbow but no broken bones. He attributed his good fortune to an air bag vest, a simple safety innovation that was virtually unheard of in the equestrian world until last year and now is standard issue for the worldfs top riders.


gToday, I wear it all the time ? even when Ifm training,h Laghouag, 35, said in French during a recent telephone interview.

Leaders in eventing ? a three-phase competition involving dressage, show jumping and a cross-country obstacle course ? have long expressed frustration over attempts to make the cross-country portion safer. They have tried imposing stricter rules on riders and building fences designed to break apart more easily on impact.

But the arrival of the air bag vests has generated the most excitement, even though some caution that the technology is too new to be wholly embraced.

gItfs certainly the biggest step forward in the safety of our sport, ever,h said Oliver Townend, a British rider who was wearing a vest in April when his horse tumbled on top of him at the Kentucky Three-Day Event in Lexington. Townend broke his sternum, four ribs, his collarbone and the tips of his shoulder bones ? but he says he still believes in the vest.

gI walked out of hospital the next day, where otherwise I would be in a box or in America for a month,h Townend said in a recent phone interview.

Inflatable vests have been sold to motorcyclists for about a decade, but few equestrians used them until a British company, Point Two Air Jackets, adapted them for use on horses and began distributing them at top European competitions last year. Hit Air, a Japanese company that says it has been selling motorcycle vests since 1999, also sells an equestrian version.

They each rely on similar technology. The two-pound vest is attached by a cord to a riderfs saddle and is worn over a traditional protective vest made of high-density foam. When a rider is thrown from a horse, the cord is yanked, puncturing a cartridge of carbon dioxide and inflating the vest. The vest can be reused after the cartridge is replaced. Point Two said its vest inflates in one-tenth of a second; Hit Air said its average rate is one-quarter of a second.

Despite their relatively high cost ? from about $390 to $700 ? the vests have sold well. About 6,000 eventing riders now wear the Point Two vests, according to the company, and Hit Air said it had sold about 10,000 vests for equestrian use worldwide.

Lee Middleton, director of Point Two, said his product was worn by the top 40 American riders, and that several national teams, including the United States, would provide air bag vests to their riders at next monthfs World Equestrian Games in Kentucky. He provides some vests free to riders like Townend and Laghouag, who are not paid to be spokesmen.

gAnything like that, that can minimize the effects of an injury during a fall, is going to be great,h said David OfConnor, the president of the United States Equestrian Federation and an Olympic gold medalist. Until recently, he also headed the international federationfs eventing safety subcommittee. gI think theyfve proven themselves already ? and certainly with the people that have had falls with them ? they swear by them.h

The eventing rider Doug Payne, who is sponsored by Hit Air, said he had fallen four times while wearing the vest.

gItfs an interesting thing,h he said. gAs youfre falling, everything sort of slows down. You do notice a pop sound, and thatfs the canister. The next thing you realize, itfs a significantly softer landing than you would ever expect.h

The vests have become so common on the competition circuit that it has become a common courtesy to warn other riders to unhook their cords before dismounting. gWhen you arrive, everyone says: eYour vest! Your vest!f h Laghouag said.

Inevitably, someone forgets.

gItfs always a source of amusement,h OfConnor said.
gYou hear a pop, and somebodyfs looking like a marshmallow.h

Giuseppe Della Chiesa, the chairman of the eventing committee for the international governing body for
equestrian sports, known as F.E.I., said the group recommended using the vests
but did not require them because so little safety data exists.



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NEWS


Canadian Horse Journal
June 2010








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