Eventing requires a safety vest at all times on an xc course. In my opinion, the Tipperary vest is the best one. It fits the sleekest. Charles Owen makes them too, but they are bulky. I got mine off of Dover, but BitofBritain sells them and specializes in eventing perifinarlia. Also you can get an air vest to wear on top of the reguar vest for extra safety. Point Two makes them you can find them on Dover or Bit of Britian. They are expensive but have saved lives. Highly reccomend them for anything above novice or training level or if you have a hyper horse
Tipperary and Intec are crap, I've heard. They don't meet the safety ratings, but it IS better than nothing. I have an Airowear I got for my birthday for $300 or so and I love it. Meets all the requirements, conforms to your body as it heats up. And I believe they are required in eventing here, at least in youth....not sure aboiut adults.
I'm going to be buying a new vest sometime in the next few months as well (I used to always just wear my trainer's at events), but I haven't started looking yet, so I can't give any specific suggestions. However, I would 100% say that you need to get something certified. Tipperary vests are not certified. Charles Owens vests are. I believe a normal vest is required underneath of an air vest if you want to compete. Even if it's not required that you wear a certified vest in your event (it's been a few years since I've competed, so I can't remember), I'd be willing to bet that it will soon be a requirement, if it's not already. And really, what is the point of buying an expensive piece of safety equipment if it doesn't even meet the standards that were created to keep you as safe as possible?
Tipparary vests are legal. I wear an air vest on top of mine, but others still compete with just the Tipparary vest. The TD would call out out if something were not legal. Any vest is better than none. Says it is certified with beta 7(?) Charles Owen is also beta approved and ASTM approved. It must still be legal. Everyone has them, but not everyone has an air vest.
Tipperary Eventer vest runs about $240 at BitofBritian.com The Charles Owen est is $225. Most vests run around the 200-300 dollar price range. Air vests are the new craze but are expensive. Point Two air vests are $675 and the Hit Air Jacket is $390. But air vests are known to have saved lives. All are at BitofBritian.com. I have the tipperary and the pint two. My tipperary is beautiful and seek, but I have to wear the air vest on top. Its kind of ugly, but hey better than a broken neck.