International Helmet Awareness Day

International Helmet Awareness Day

Saturday 17 September 2016 represents the seventh annual International Helmet Awareness Day but do you know what it’s all about?

Read on to find out more and how you can get 10% off all riding hats at EQUUS this weekend. Get your code at the bottom of this article.

How it started

In 2010, American international dressage rider Courtney King-Dye suffered serious head injuries following a fall from a young horse. The story goes that she jumped on the horse she was training, to demonstrate its progress to its owner. With inexperienced horses such as this, she usually wore a helmet but as it was the busy winter show season in Palm Beach and she was in a hurry, she got on without a helmet. She was cantering when the horse slipped and fell. King-Dye went down with the horse and fractured her skull. She was airlifted to a hospital, where she remained in a coma for several weeks. After months of rehabilitation, she regained her speech and the use of her right side This single accident touched all equestrians as it highlighted just how vulnerable riders are on horses.

As a result of this at a major dressage competition in Palm Beach the day after King Dye was injured, the practice area looked very different. Riders who normally wore baseball caps to warm up were wearing helmets.

What it’s all about

Riders4Helmets is a non-profit helmet awareness group based in the U.S. The campaign is designed to educate people about the importance of wearing a hat following King-Dye’s accident. They aim to promote the wearing of helmets on an international level by involving leading equestrians in various disciplines to encourage increased use of helmets.

6 Things to Remember on International Helmet Awareness Day

  1. If your helmet receives a hard blow, replace it immediately with a new one even if it doesn’t look damaged. Often damage isn’t visible to the naked eye.
  2. There’s no statistical correlation between skill level and injury likelihood. Professional, experienced and highly competent riders are just as at risk to sustain injury due to a fall as less frequent riders.
  3. Even a fall from a standing horse can be catastrophic. Your injury risk depends on the height from which fall, as well as the speed at which you're traveling.
  4. Head injuries are cumulative. An original head injury can be made much worse by additional concussions.
  5. Approximately 20% of accidents that result in head injury happen while the person is on the ground.
  6. Riding is considered more dangerous than downhill skiing and motorcycling.

What can I do to promote awareness of helmets?

There's lots you can do!

Read and share our riding hat buying guide. In it you'll find lots of advice about different types of riding hats, what they're made of and how to measure yourself for a hat.

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Special offer

Get 10% off all riding hats at EQUUS on 17 and 18 September 2016. Enter code RH10 in checkout to claim your saving on any of our hats.


Kim Horton

Co-Founder of EQUUS and a keen equestrian, when Kim's not at her desk she's with her horse, Waldo.

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