Top level NZ dressage rider 'comes out'

February 4, 2011

Grand prix dressage rider Shiwon Green is 'coming out' at the North Island Championships at Kihikihi today, and will wear a safety helmet during competition for the rest of the season.


Shiwon Green and Gosh
Green's move, which is in support of the THINK! (The Head Injury Network for Kiwis) project's Safety Helmet Awareness Campaign, has the support of US Olympic dressage riders Courtney King-Dye and Steffen Peters.

"Courtney said 'Absolutely! Put my name on it! Great idea!' And Steffen followed with 'It's a great idea. I considered wearing a helmet during the WEG in Kentucky. If everybody does, I will certainly do the same.' Unbelievable endorsements by our heros," Green said this week.

Helmet wearing campaigns have been gaining momentum since the serious injury suffered by King-Dye last March, and several top riders have worn helmets in their dressage tests since. Traditionally, riders wear top hats at higher levels in dressage.

Green's helmet has been sponsored by Stirrups Equestrian in Auckland, supporters of last June's Head Injury Awareness Week. Stirrups offered a 20% discount on riding helmets during THINK!'s awareness week.

Green, who is an ED nurse at Waikato Hopsital, said she would be wearing a GPA Airskin helmet at the Championships, which start today, and in competition for the rest of the season. She competed in Australia late last year, and finished seventh in the freestyle at the Pacific World Cup final in December.