After their initial roll-out in 2021 the new Easy-Fix fence, made possible by donations from TGSF supporters, was redesigned and modified. The newly modified fence will be available for schooling in Spring 2023, with a potential run over the new fences at spring Point-to-Points. Use of the new fence for NSA sanctioned racing will not begin before Fall 2023, and will only begin after extensive schooling opportunities and feedback from trainers as well as evaluation by the NSA Safety Committee.
Times are changing, and they’re changing this weekend
The full story of the EasyFix fence, by Betsy Burke Parker
Short of staying in the barn, there’s no way to ensure complete safety for any sport horse.
But, say steeplechase industry leaders and horsemen, the game must strive to modernize and protect its precious human and equine athletes, especially in a day and age where digital evidence of a single stumble can be viewed in real-time.
And since nobody wants to abandon the historic sport, it is time to improve it. Developers of an innovative new steeplechase jump hope Sunday’s EasyFix hurdle debut elevates the game.
To the naked eye, EasyFix is pretty similar to the national fence long used for National Steeplechase Association and point-to-point hurdle races. The colors are a little different – a muted brownish green take-off roll rather than the brighter green of the national fence roll cover – but, look deep inside the modern construction and tech materials to see, this is a 21st century take on what was an American innovation circa 1973.
Read the entire story, HERE.
THANK YOU to all our amazing Donors! Your donations purchased these new fences, and for that we are incredibly grateful. We appreciate you Funding Opportunity, Growth & Change!
Learn More About the EASYFIX Fences
The National Fence has been used as the standard Fence here in the USA since 1972 (nearly 50 years) with little or no change to the Fence other than adding ground and “knee” lines. The National Fence been has been fully studied in a multi-year review process from the NSA Safety Committee, headed by Reynolds Cowles, DVM. The Safety Committee has kept detailed statistics on yearly fatalities of horses as well as injury to horse and rider for more than eight years.
After a thorough multi-year statistical and slo-motion video review of the current National Fence, the NSA took what it learned from the study, drawing specific and scientific conclusions on the National Fence and its weaknesses (and strengths). The NSA consulted and then contracted with EASYFIX of Galway, Ireland to design and customized a new Fence specifically to meet the needs of the NSA today and well into the future.
The EASYFIX Fence is similar in nearly all regards to the National Fence we’ve been racing over for nearly fifty years with a few notable exceptions. The EASYFIX Fence has been customized for the NSA and offers important state-of-the-art advantages over the current National Fence:
- There is no steel in the EASYFIX Fence – it is made of a roto-mould plastic base, EASYFIX’s plastic birch, rubber matting, and styrofoam
- The EASYFIX Fence is the same height as the National Fence: 51 inches tall
- Each EASYFIX section is 46” wide vs. 90” allowing lengthening or shortening of a flight based on racecourse and entries with the ability to ship in our current 48 foot NSA trailers
- EASYFIX’s patented interlock between the sections is designed so that each section fits tightly and snugly on the “male” to “female” interlock. This unique design adds significant downward pressure and weight to each flight – the sections can not and will not separate from each other
- Based on input from NSA horsemen and the Safety Committee, the breadth of the EASYFIX Fence is a bit broader than the National Fence by 8” to encourage better jumping of maidens and seasoned horses alike
- The EASYFIX Fence is made of a one-piece construction – horses can not put a foot between the roll and the steel frame as there is no gap
- The EASYFIX Fence is exceptionally easy and considerably less time consuming to set-up offering significant consistency from one Race Meet to the next – no need for last minute adjustments with tightening ropes and tarps
- YES, the exterior cover on the apron is BROWN turf not GREEN. Unlike we humans, horses can not see differences in colors particularly brown, green and orange; only contrasting colors i.e. white (see this Exiter University study)
Based on strong encouragement and suggestions by NSA horsemen, EASYFIX designed just for the NSA, a very large “soft spot” in the middle part of the apron so that a horse sticking a errant foot into the apron will provide give. Unlike the current foam rubber roll, the soft spot is not bottomless giving up to 6” of support to a horse if he sticks his foot in a place it doesn’t belong.
Despite rumors to the contrary, this EASYFIX Fence can not flip over.