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10 May My return to eventing by Roslyn Carnie
I would be lying if I said I had done extensive market research for body protectors before I bought my FAZE.
After an 18-year break from eventing, thanks to medical school and anaesthetic training, I have had the great fortune of being paired with a friend’s horse who is significantly more experienced in the sport than I am, and with some very light persuasion, I grabbed a last minute space at Lindores’ Eventing Camp.
I vaguely remembered an email from BRC about new body protector standards and thought it prudent to check my trusty old Pony Club number, it would be fine right? Oh god no, it’s not been allowed on a cross-country course since the mid-noughties, oops!
So, in a blind panic with 5 days’ notice, I messaged FOMO and Carmen was able to bring one in my size along to camp for me to try/ buy immediately so I could go out on the course. My initial impressions were “jeez that’s heavy” and “god that’s going to make me look massive”, but I didn’t have much choice. I arrived at camp immediately after a 12h ICU night shift and met Carmen as I arrived in the car park. I had an extremely efficient fitting beside my trailer, and once she was happy it fitted well, I leapt on and trotted off to join my XC lesson, leaving Carmen in a cloud of dust and arriving on the course with ten minutes spare to warm up.
I honestly have never been so comfortable in a body protector, I kind of forgot I was wearing it if I’m honest, to the point I nearly got caught on my stirrup when I dismounted as I didn’t jump off with the extra wee bit of clearance I normally would with a body protector on. It fits like a glove; I’m quite tall with boobs out of proportion to my waist, so have struggled in the past to find body protectors to fit well. I’m a size 12 but my height is mostly legs, so FOMO’s range of sizes being the same as ladies’ clothing sizes made it really easy to pick and the 12 regular was perfect for me. The extra bit of security from the adjuster was great as well, meaning there was a bit of room to play with the next day when I was back on the course straight after lunch. It’s so secure but not restricting in any way, to the point I’m pretty sure I could go bra-less, and with big boobs and a horse that jogs 98% of the time that is a very significant statement!
As an anaesthetist, I have seen a fair amount of horse-riding related injuries in my work in Intensive Care. The vast majority that end up in critical care are rib fractures or spinal injuries, usually in people who weren’t wearing body protectors. I felt so safe in my FAZE, it has good coverage over all my ribs, no defects in the zip areas, is reinforced over the spine at the back and definitely has better collarbone coverage than my last one.
Off the course the fact you can remove the cover to wash it is brilliant (my old one still has gross sweat marks on it), and FOMO will repair damaged covers for free which I love for reducing waste. I feel proud to wear it, especially since it has been designed, engineered and made in Glasgow. So proud in fact that I forgot to take any photos, but here is Captain showing me how it’s done, jacket over my FAZE unfortunately, but I promise it’s there.
I hope to never actually part ways with Captain over a course of jumps, but I’m confident that my chest and back will be safe even if I do thanks to FOMO 😊.