Rider safety in spotlight next weekend

January 8, 2012

Equestrian safety and head protection is at the forefront of a seminar next weekend hosted by Riders4Helmets in West Palm Beach, Florida.

German dressage rider Isabell Werth is among a growing group of riders who have changed to wearing helmets in competition.
And for those not able to attend, the organisers are arranging a live feed of the sessions, which will bring together representatives from various parts of the equestrian world to discuss the importance of wearing helmets, rider safety, improving helmet design, rules and more.

The event will provide a series of lectures and panel discussions throughout the day. Many in attendance will also sit on the panels, including equestrians, representatives from the helmet safety testing authorities, helmet manufacturers, equestrian organizations, and neurosurgeons. The chairs of the meeting will be Dr Craig Ferrell, physician to the United States Equestrian Team and Chair FEI Medical Council, and, Lyndsey White and Chad Mendell of Riders4Helmets.

"We are very excited to be hosting the 3rd Riders4Helmets Safety Symposium and to see it continue to expand," said Lyndsey White, co-founder of Riders4Helmets.

"Awareness of the importance of helmets has grown significantly in the past two years. The symposia are a fantastic opportunity to bring together individuals, corporations and organizations all in one place, to continue important discussions of equestrian safety related to helmets."

Speakers include Courtney King-Dye and Darren Chiacchia, both of whom have sustained serious head injuries in falls in recent years.

Topics include living with a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and insights into TBIs and equestrian sport, encouraging western riders to wear a helmet, latest legislation and safety innovations, and more. The full agenda is below.

Attendance to the symposium is open to any member of the public.

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 continues to undergo rehabilitation. The goal of the Riders4Helmets Campaign is to educate equestrians on the benefits of wearing a properly fitted and secured, certified helmet.

The third Riders4Helmets Safety Symposium is being sponsored by Tipperary, Charles Owen, Samshield, Ovation, One K Helmets, GPA, Equine Risk Management Group LLC, Equestrian Collections and Point Two.

The symposium takes place on January 14, 2012, at the Hilton Airport Hotel, Australian Avenue, West Palm Beach, (International Room), from 8.30am to 5pm.