Helmet safety forum planned for next year

December 12, 2010

Medical and equestrian representatives will attend a day-long horse riding helmet safety symposium in Florida early next year.

Horsetalk is an official supporter of riders4helmets© and the "Strap One On - Everyone's Doing It" campaign.
Organised by Riders4Helmets, the helmet awareness campaign founded by Jeri Bryant and equine health product Succeed, the Helmet Safety Symposium will bring together representatives from the equestrian world to discuss the importance of wearing helmets, helmet design, rules surrounding helmet wearing, and more.

The event will take place January 8, 2011, at the White Horse Tavern, Wellington, Florida, from 9am to 6pm. The symposium is sponsored by Troxel Helmets, Charles Owen Helmets, Tipperary Helmets and Samshield Helmets.

A series of panel discussions take place throughout the day. Many in attendance will also sit on the panels, including leading equestrians, representatives from the helmet safety testing authorities, helmet manufacturers, equestrian organizations including US Equestrian Federation and the FEI, and neurosurgeons. The chair of the meeting will be Dr Craig Ferrell, physician to the United States Equestrian Team.

"We are very excited to be part of the Riders4Helmets campaign and to see it continue to expand," said Lyndsey White, representative from Freedom Health, LLC, makers of Succeed and co-manager of the Riders4Helmets campaign.

"Since Courtney King Dye's tragic accident earlier this year, awareness of the importance of helmet safety has grown to the point where we can now bring together different individuals, corporations and organizations all in one place to discuss the issues and, hopefully, being to change things for the better," White said.

Symposium panel topics will include the Incidence of Head Injury in Equestrian Sport, Concussion and Brain Injury Mechanisms, History of Helmet Designs and Standards, History of Rules Related to Wearing Helmets, Helmet Design, Helmet Standards, and, Rules Regarding when Helmets Should be Required.

Dr Richard Timms, Chairman of Troxel Helmets, said the history and evolving knowledge related to head injury and head protection supported Troxel's timely attention to the issue. "I am looking forward to this important discussion and the growing awareness of head protection by USEF and FEI. USEF's and FEI's positions supply leadership examples to the remainder of the equestrian world."

Roy Burek, Managing Director of Charles Owen, said: "This is exactly what we need to engage the equestrian community with the important developments in the understanding of brain injury. We are excited to be part of this to make riding a safer sport."

Riders4Helmets was founded in early 2010 after Olympic dressage rider Courtney King Dye was seriously injured in a riding accident. King Dye, who remained in a coma for a month following her accident, was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident and is currently undergoing rehabilitation.

Jeri Bryant donated her helmet campaign t-shirts (featuring the slogan "Strap One On - Everyone's Doing it") to Succeed's eBay store to raise funds for King Dye, and a partnership was formed, resulting in the Riders4Helmets campaign.