Aus officials suspend use of racing vest

Aus officials suspend use of racing vestSafety concerns have forced the withdrawal of a popular safety vest worn by jockeys and track riders.

The Australian Racing Board said approval for jockeys to wear the Tipperrary Ride Lite Vest had been suspended immediately while track riders and stable hands would have to find an alternative by October 1.

The vest, preferred by jockeys because of its light weight, came under scrutiny last week and riders were prevented from wearing them at meetings across the country on Saturday.

The ARB said it had received reports from experts that the vest did not comply with the SATRA standard.

Tests on samples of the vests have been conducted. The first sample comprised used, second-hand vests while the second sample involved new, unused vests.

Neither met the required standards.

Continued use of the vest will result in penalties.

The ARB said it would continue to work with the manufacturer to address the safety concerns.

Safety vests became compulsory in December 1998 and are credited with saving several jockeys from serious injury.

They vary in weight from 400 to 700 grams and riders receive a 1kg allowance for the vests.

Some of the lighter weight vests used in Asia do not meet the SATRA standard and have been banned in Australia.